Machinery News, Trucks & Utes

Tray and engine boost to Ford Rangers

Available to order now, Ford’s new Ranger models will have a wider tray and new engine options among a series of other changes

The next generation of Ford’s Ranger ute comes with a wider tray and the option of a 3 litre V6 turbo-diesel engine, among a series of other changes.

Ford’s dynamic experiences supervisor for the Ranger, Rob Hugo, says the company aimed to balance the existing Ranger’s car-like handling with its off-road performance.

To that end, the new models have a 50mm track and wheelbase increase, which Hugo says has improved vehicle stability both on-and off-road.

This track increase helped designers widen the tray to the point where it now fits a Euro pallet – measuring 1200mm by 800mm – and with a 1 metre ruler and cup holders now built into the tailgate work surface.

Ford has also moved the rear dampers outboard of the springs which it says makes for a more controlled ride whether or not the vehicle is carrying a load.

“The outboard dampers have allowed us to tune a more controlled ride whether the vehicle is carrying a heavy load or not and solve a common complaint of pickups with inboard mounted dampers that they can bounce or skip when unladen,” Hugo says.

Moulded slots in the bedliner allow the owner to fit dividers to customise the tray and stop gear from sliding around, and there’s also more storage space on the inside of the vehicle, including under the seats, and room under the bonnet for an optional second battery.

Ford is also offering a 3 litre V6 diesel engine on its higher spec models – turning out 184kW (246 horsepower) at 3250rpm and 600 newton metres of torque – though a single turbo 2 litre and bi-turbo 2 litre version will also be available.

On top of this, the new Rangers will offer up to six different drive modes, depending on the variant, with a special Tow/Haul mode available on every model except the Raptor.

Selecting this mode optimise the gear shift timing to maintain power when the vehicle is travelling uphill and delivers the right amount of engine braking when travelling downhill.

Certain models in the range will also feature an integrated trailer brake controller, trailer connection checklist and trailer light check to simplify the process of hooking up a trailer, while operators will also be able to program the size of their trailer into the Ranger’s driver assistance technology for added coverage of blind spots.

In addition to the selectable drive modes, the new Rangers will also have a dedicated off-road screen that shows driveline and diff lock settings, steering angle, vehicle pitch and roll angles on the Sport, Wildtrak and Raptor models.

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