Testing of the next-generation Ford Ranger has been underway over the past 12 months and the new model is due for release in 2019. The Ford Ranger 2019 has been developed in Australia but a slightly modified version will also go on sale in the US.
The current generation, the T6, hit European dealerships in 2012, but it is already one of the oldest models on the market. In 2016, the Ranger received a major update in the form of a new facelift, new technology and the addition of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) with AdBlue to meet Euro-6.
Currently, the Ford Ranger is offered with either a 2.2-litre, four-cylinder or 3.2-litre, five-cylinder diesel engine but Ford looks set to retire these veteran engines and replace them with a smaller diesel.
The new model will inherit the new 2.0-litre EcoBlue engine, which also features in the new Transit and Transit Custom. Despite the criticism of downsizing, Ford argues that the 2.0-litre EcoBlue will produce more power (213bhp) and torque (500Nm) than the 3.2; which generates 197bhp and 470Nm.
However, the results aren’t exactly eye-watering. Preliminary test results revealed that it will still take the Ranger over 10 seconds (10.5 seconds) to reach 62mph (the Amarok and X-Class are both sub-8 seconds) with a combined fuel economy in the mid-30’s. There will be an option of a 6-speed manual or a new 10-speed automatic.
Given that the 3.2-litre makes up almost two-thirds of European sales, it’s unlikely Ford will leave the 2.0-litre as the sole engine option and executives at Ford have hinted that the new UK-designed 3.0-litre V6 ‘Powerstroke’ diesel – which features in the Ford F150 from 2018 – may make an appearance, which could challenge the Mercedes-Benz X-Class and Volkswagen Amarok as the most powerful pickup.
As with all the latest generation pickup trucks, there will be a wide range of safety and infotainment system introductions. These include:
- Adaptive cruise control
- Autonomous braking
- 360-degree parking camera
- All-round parking sensors
- Keyless entry and start
Ford Ranger 2019 production
Ford invested R3 billion (£180m) in the Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria and the Struandale engine factory in Port Elizabeth in November 2017, where the current European Ranger and its engines are manufactured, so we can say with confidence that Ford will not be shifting production from South Africa for some time. The good news is that the capacity will be increasing from 100,000 to 124,000 units per year, which should alleviate the availability issues.
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