• Ford ups the ante in ‘truck wars’

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    Ford showcased the downhill and wading capabilities of the new Ranger during its formal unveiling at the Bangkok International Motor Show

    Ford showcased the downhill and wading capabilities of the new Ranger during its formal unveiling at the Bangkok International Motor Show

    Pulls the covers off the new Ranger
    FORD is not leaving anything to chance. Despite the Ford Ranger lording it over in 2014 as the best pickup truck in most of the Asean and Asia Pacific regions, the American car company aims to continue its domination of the segment by coming out with a refreshed model filled with state-of-the art technology and a more efficient, yet powerful engine.

    Just months after Isuzu, Mitsubishi and Nissan all introduced their respective contenders in the ongoing pickup wars, Ford has upped the ante with the introduction of a refreshed version of the Ranger, to quell the impending challenge of the all-new models. The new Ranger was presented at the Bangkok Motor Show during a special preview for the regional motoring media.

    Changes in the new Ranger include exterior and interior tweaks as a retuned suspension for better comfort and improved handling, as well as some new technology and transmission upgrades.  And although the Ranger is still the leader in the pickup segment, Ford engineers were already busy adapting the suggestions of their customers on how to make the Ranger even better.

    David Dewitt, Ford’s design team head in the Asia Pacific, said the new Ranger was specifically designed to reflect the current trend of customers who use their pickups for both as a lifestyle vehicle and for work.

    Motoring journalists from ASEAN region inspects the new Ford Ranger after its unveil at the Bangkok Motor Show

    Motoring journalists from ASEAN region inspects the new Ford Ranger after its unveil at the Bangkok Motor Show

    More than just a fancy trapezoidal grille, the Ford Ranger is said to be more refined than ever and sports plenty of new features that were previously unheard of in the segment. One of them is the new electric power-assisted steering system, which provides a precise steering feel, quieter operations and improved fuel economy by at least 3.0 percent.

    A more contemporary interior can now be found in the new Ranger, giving it that more car-like feel. The dashboard has a new central 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system, while the driver gets a new dual-TFT instrument cluster.

    Car-like features
    Ford has raised the bar in the pickup segment by fitting its new truck with features previously found only in cars. The whole set of features aims to entice car owners into buying the pickup truck.  Some new features that can be found on the new Ranger include the Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid. Using a bank of forward-facing cameras, the system is able to detect if the driver is drifting unintentionally out of a lane when driving at high speeds. The Lane Keeping Alert warns the driver with a vibration in the steering wheel, and if no action is taken, the Lane Keeping Aid will apply steering torque to guide the vehicle back.

    Another feature is the Adaptive Cruise Control. The Ranger comes with radar sensors that can maintain both a preset speed as well as a preset distance from the vehicle ahead.

    Forward Alert. This system works with the Adaptive Cruise Control to give audio and visual warnings when it gets too close to a vehicle in front and charges the brakes to ensure optimum braking performance.

    Driver Impairment Monitor. Using the forward-facing cameras and on-board sensors, this feature can detect if the driver is drowsy. Should the system detect drowsiness, it will warn the driver with gradually louder signals.

    SYNC 2. The Ranger comes with the latest generation of Ford’s in-car connectivity system, which is said to recognize more natural voice commands. And it can change the car’s climate control settings, entertainment system, and navigation system.

    Front and Rear Parking Assist, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, and Electronic Stability Program are also among the new features.

    Advanced Technology
    A host of cutting edge technology is available on the new Ford Ranger to help drivers stay connected and in control.

    SYNC 2, the latest generation of Ford’s in-car connectivity system, gives drivers smarter and safer ways to stay connected. Using natural voice commands, like “temperature 20 degrees,” “play AC/DC” or “I’m hungry,” the driver can control the car’s climate controls, entertainment system and navigation system more easily than ever before. An eight-inch touchscreen places more controls at the driver’s fingertips, with color-coded corners for easy menu navigation.

    For extra convenience, the new Ranger features a 240-volt power socket that can be used to power a laptop computer anywhere, from a work site to a family road trip.

    Capability and refinement
    The Ford Ranger remains one of the most capable trucks in its class. With a class-leading ability to wade through water up to 800 mm deep, and with 230 mm of ground clearance, it is designed and engineered to handle the most extreme terrains with ease. Thanks to a 28-degree approach angle and 25-degree departure angle, drivers in the new Ranger can feel confident when taking on steep obstacles.

    A robust electronically controlled transfer case allows drivers in 4×4 models to shift on the fly from 4×2 to 4×4 high with a knob on the center console. For low-speed torque or additional downhill braking, drivers can also engage low-range 4×4 gearing, while an electronic locking rear differential helps to improve traction in difficult conditions. These off-road strengths are matched by towing capability of up to 3,500 kg and exceptional payload capacity.

    The Ranger achieves all this with a level of refinement not usually seen in the pickup truck segment. While the current Ranger already sets the standard for ride and handling, Ford engineers fine-tuned its suspension for additional comfort and even better handling.

    Efficient Power
    The new Ranger’s impressive power, capability, and payload and towing capacity are made possible by its powerful and efficient engines paired to either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. All four engines available provide Ranger customers a winning combination of power and efficiency in all conditions, and help to underscore Ford’s fun-to-drive promise.

    For maximum power and torque for heavy-duty towing, Ford is offering the latest generation of its globally proven 3.2-liter Duratorq five-cylinder TDCi diesel engine. Upgrades including an updated exhaust gas recirculation system help to improve fuel efficiency by up to 18 percent, while still putting out 147 kW of power and 470 Nm of torque.

    Equipped with the latest generation of Ford’s 2.2-liter Duratorq four-cylinder TDCi diesel engine, the Ranger delivers significantly improved fuel efficiency and refinement while also providing the power Ranger customers demand. Depending on the market, Ford will offer a standard 2.2-liter engine, which generates an improved 118 kW of power and 385 Nm of torque, or a high-efficiency (96 kW) variant for up to 22 percent improvement in fuel economy.

    The new Ranger is also available with Ford’s dependable 2.5-liter Duratec petrol engine, providing 122 kW of power and 225 Nm of torque.

    Maximizing the efficiency of its engines, the new Ford Ranger is available with Automatic Start/Stop Technology, which saves fuel by shutting off the engine when the vehicle is idling, such as at a stop light, improving fuel economy by up to 3.5 percent. On the move, an available longer final drive ratio boosts fuel economy at highway speeds.

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