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Date: 28 Sep 2018 Author Type: Public Review
Author: Julian Lurie edited by Liam Mothilall
Source: Julian Lurie
Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa has announced that they will be launching their new Ford Ranger in 2019, and to this end, Ford have made an investment of some R3-billion. The new Ranger will be assembled at the Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, and the new-generation diesel engine will be produced on an all-new assembly line installed at the Ford Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth. The current Ranger has been an absolute winner for Ford both in South Africa and internationally, and has topped the sales sheets several times to be the top selling vehicle on the market.

Ford advise that the updated models that will be released next year will raise the bar further in the highly competitive light commercial vehicle sector. Building on the Ranger's "Built Ford Tough" heritage, the new model is destined to further expand the capabilities and proven off-road credentials. The new 2019 Ford Ranger will offer a greater choice of powertrains, including the new high-tech Bi-Turbo diesel engine that will, most notably, make its debut on the all-new Ranger Raptor. With common-rail direct fuel injection, an integrated intake manifold, and a belt-in-oil primary drive, the Bi-Turbo is compact, lightweight, powerful and efficient. It takes advantage of sequential turbo-charging to deliver greater responsiveness, drivability and maximum efficiency.

The Bi-Turbo diesel engine will be coupled to an advanced 10-speed torque-convertor automatic for improved flexibility and a quieter, more comfortable drive. With 500 Nm from a low 1 750 r/min, the Bi-Turbo delivers a greater torque spread, with the 10-speed's close ratios reducing gaps in power and acceleration to confidently conquer all types of terrain, while maintaining the Ranger's exceptional payload and 3 500kg towing capability.

Looking at the photos, the new Ranger has a rugged, tough vehicle look, with a cleaner new grille, featuring the distinctive 'nostrils' and a more distinctively chiseled lower bumper with broader intake. There will also be a clearer distinction between models visually, with bumper treatments and colours reflecting the unique character of each model - whether a hard-working Ranger XL, or a go-anywhere Wildtrak.

Although the current model is well equipped with driving aids, safety equipment, convenience and entertainment, according to the press information, the new model Ranger will raise the stakes even further. Ford's Pre-Collision Assist using Inter-Urban Autonomous Emergency Braking with Vehicle Detection and Pedestrian Detection will be introduced on selected Ranger models in 2019. The system is designed to detect pedestrians as well as vehicles and to bring the Ranger to a complete stop, to help mitigate rear-end collisions and road-traffic collisions with pedestrians at speeds above 3.6 km/h. This will be complemented by Passive Entry Passive Start keyless entry and push-button start. The Ranger's easy-to-live-with features will also now include Active Park Assist on the range-topping derivatives, reducing stress by enabling semi-automatic parallel parking.

Loading will be far easier with the introduction of an easy-lift tailgate on all pick-up models. With a new internal mechanism, the Ranger's tailgate is lighter to lift, with a 70-percent reduction in initial force required to raise it for closing. The new 2019 Ranger will be fitted with an upgraded suspension system across the range for better control roll, with an emphasis on improving the driving experience when fully-laden and towing. New packaging also enables geometry changes that bring improved ride, a reduction in body roll as well as improved steering precision. The suspension changes do not impact on the Ranger's exceptional towing and payload capabilities. More details, including specifications, model range and pricing, will be released closer to launch.
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