FORD RANGER UPGRADES

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Ford Australia has announced details of the MY19 Ford Ranger pickup truck. There’s a particular emphasis on the top end of the range as more and more buyers are opting for small trucks instead of cars.

Biggest news is the introduction of a high-tech 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine. This new BiTurbo unit produces a huge 500Nm from 1750rpm. A fixed-geometry turbocharger is used for fast throttle response and minimum lag. Then a secondary turbocharger features advanced variable geometry to deliver performance gains and smoothness at higher speeds, taking over from the primary initial turbo.

Available only on Ranger XLT and Wildtrak at this time, the new diesel sits in front of an advanced 10-speed torque-convertor automatic.

The rest of the Ranger range uses the existing 3.2-litre turbo-diesel (147kW / 470Nm) and a six-speed torque converter automatic.

A facelift includes a new grille, with what Ford calls ‘distinctive nostrils’, a chiselled lower bumper with broader intake. Ranger Wildtrak and XLT have LED daytime running lights and HID headlights.

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There’s also clearer visual distinction between models, with bumper treatments and colours reflecting the character of each model. Chrome brightwork on Ranger XLT and Monument accents on Ranger Wildtrak make them stand out.

Exclusive to Wildtrak is the new ‘Sabre’ hero colour, a rich orange with blonde accents, that contrast strongly with dark grey grille surrounds. A Wildtrak sports-bar and optional black-finish 18-inch alloy wheels further differentiate Wildtrak from the pack.

Ranger’s interior now has a black theme, with detail elements in shadow chrome and silver accent stitching, that help give Ranger’s interior a premium feel.

Loading Ranger is easier, with the introduction of an easy-lift tailgate on all pickup models. With a new internal mechanism, the Ranger’s tailgate is now lighter to lift, with a 70-per cent reduction in initial force required to raise it for closing.

Ranger’s suspension has been upgraded for a better ride, a reduction in body roll and improved steering precision.

On the safety front, Ford’s Pre-Collision Assist using Inter-Urban Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with Vehicle Detection and Pedestrian Detection is available on MY19 Ranger. The system, which can detect pedestrians as well as vehicles and functions at speeds above 3.6km/h, is optional on Ranger XLT and standard on Wildtrak.

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