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Ford Ranger MkII details announced

Oh what a feeling: Ford continues to snipe at Toyota in its marketing for the facelifted Ranger ute.

Optional high-end safety features for high-end Ford Rangers dominate MkII update

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Ford logo12 Jun 2015

By TIM ROBSON

FORD Australia has dropped details of its MkII Ranger update several months before its on-sale date, outlining a raft of changes – but no pricing – to its number-one seller.

Chief among them is the announcement that its pair of top-end XLT and Wildtrak variants can be optioned with a safety technology pack that Ford claims matches or betters many $60,000 luxury sedans.

The release is also notable for its overt references to the category-leading Toyota HiLux, as Ford continues hostilities in its push to close the sales gap, a strategy it has also employed with the Kuga SUV and Mondeo mid-sizer.

Ford Australia president and CEO Graeme Whickman highlighted the wide appeal of the Ranger, and had a not so subtle dig at Toyota in the process.

“Ranger continues to win friends and customers across the country, from urban trade’s people looking for a smart workhorse during the week, to rural folks who require a robust, stylish and capable light truck,” he said. “You can buy a best-seller or cheaper alternative but nothing as good as the Ford Ranger.” The 24-strong Ranger range scores a mild front-end makeover with a new trapezoidal grille, repositioned headlights, recessed driving lamps and new rim designs. Dual-cab variants also get a cargo bay light that is mounted on the sports bar.

Powertrains remain unchanged, comprising a 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel engine producing 147kW and 470Nm, and a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel that offers 118kW and 385Nm. Both are available with either a six-speed manual gearbox or six-speed automatic transmission.

The manual has been updated with a cable-actuated shifter, as opposed to the rod style of the current generation.

Ford has also equipped the Ranger with electric steering across the range and has increased its towing capacity to 3500kg – with the caveat that a genuine Ford towbar be fitted. It also claims to have increased the payload capacity, but no figures were provided.

A new dashboard layout for the interior is complemented by additional noise, vibration and harshness updates, according to Ford.

New features across the range include a 230-volt inverter on dual- and super-cab variants, idle-stop on 4x2 Hi-Rider and 4x4 manual variants, tyre-pressure monitoring and an adjustable speed limiter.

In addition, XLT and Wildtrak can be optioned with a Tech Pack that includes adaptive cruise control with forward collision mitigation, lane-departure warning, lane keeping aid and a driver impairment monitoring system, a first for the segment.

A reversing camera is standard on the range-topping Wildtrak, available as an option on the XLT, and not available on XL, XL Plus (a primary industry-focused variant of the XL) and XLS.

“The new technologies and safety enhancements available in the 2015 range will continue to cement the Ranger’s reputation as one of the most technologically advanced and capable light trucks in Australia,” said Mr Whickman.

Ford has sold 10,772 Thai-built Rangers in 2015, which is up over more than five per cent year on year, and accounts for more than 40 per cent of Ford Australia’s total sales volume.

The category-leading HiLux – now in run-out mode ahead of a new model due in October – has shifted 14,500 units in 2015, a drop of 2.5 per cent year on year.

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All future models

Ranger pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.