This is the moment North American midsize truck enthusiasts have been waiting for, the debut of Ford’s new 2019 Ranger at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Journalists from various publications were given the opportunity to get up close with at least two production ready Ranger prototypes and there’s even a publically accessible press release from Ford themselves, but we’re going to make it easier for everyone and highlight a few key features of Ford’s highly anticipated pickup.
At first glance it may look like the globally sold Ranger, but the American spec variant is going to receive a few updates in an effort to become more appealing to the North America market.
Sitting on a new fully boxed ladder frame are body panels that have been tweaked in some way, though Ford made no mention of what these revisions are. AutoGuide
suggests the changes do include smaller panel-fitment gaps and improved aerodynamics.
Aside from exterior sheetmetal alterations the new Ranger will come with front and rear steel bumpers, aluminum tailgate and unique cargo box rails. There’s also going to be a slew of optional features including an integrated trailer-hitch receiver, LED headlights and taillights, puddle lighting, cargo bed lighting and more.
Inside, customers will find a layout that strikes a perfect balance between comfort and functionality.
The center console features an 8-inch Sync 3 infotainment system with large accessible audio/tune knobs. Under those are the buttons and rocker switches that controls the dual-zone automatic climate control system and if that’s not enough to keep you toasty, heated seats are an option.
Under the dome hood sits a direct-injected, turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine
that was designed with improved efficiency and durability in mind. Unfortunately, Ford did not disclose the exact specs of said engine but we do know that it’s paired with 10-speed automatic transmission. Automobile Magazine
claims it’s the same gearbox that’s sitting inside the Ford F-150 Raptor and if that is indeed true, we may have a “smart, quick-shifting, and robust” transmission to look forward to. Whatever the case may be, we’re definitely going to see a few complaints about the lack of a manual gearbox.
Speaking of Ford Raptors, the Ranger’s optional FX4 Off-Road Package features a similar Terrain Management System with four selectable drive modes:
normal, grass/gravel and snow, mud and ruts, and sand. “The system can shift on the fly to automatically change throttle responsiveness, transmission gearing and vehicle controls”, says Ford.
Once the Ranger goes on sale in the first quarter of 2019, fans will be able to choose between SuperCab or SuperCrew configurations, which are offered in XL, XLT, and Lariat trims along with 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive.