Ford Ranger FX4 MAX will make its Australian debut in late 2020. This is a factory-built, fully warranted Ranger with extended off-road capabilities inspired by the sales success of the Ranger Raptor Downunder. It has specialised suspension and BF Goodrich All-Terrain off-road tyre-and-wheel package.

It has a standout front mesh grille with a dark grey surround – which is also used for the skid plate. Other features are exterior mirror caps, door handles, unique wheel arch mouldings and rear tray surrounds.

The alloy wheels are finished in the same grey colour as the grille and exterior details.

A full-length tubular sports bar, finished in matt black, incorporates in-tray lighting, while body-mounted metal ‘hoop’ side steps.

The FX4 MAX is offered in a specific colour range, which includes the previously Ranger Raptor-only Conquer Grey paintwork. It is also offered in Alabaster White.

An optional graphics pack is available for the bonnet, flanks and rear of the vehicle – sounds like a no-brainer to us.

“Our goal with the suspension was to extend Ranger’s off-road capabilities, and we started with the basics: suspension travel, vehicle track and shock damping capability,” said Tony Tsiandikos, Ford Chassis Engineering Manager.

“The changes mean greater control of the vehicle in more aggressive terrain. As well, of course, as testing at our Proving Ground in the You Yangs, we took the FX4 MAX through its paces, from the Victorian High Country to South Australia, and we’re confident that these are the very places that FX4 MAX customers will take their own vehicles. It had to cut the mustard, no question, in our playground.”

The FX4 MAX’s suspension brings an off-road stance and capability through new 2.0-inch monotube Fox shock absorbers front and rear. The rear sees a remote reservoir for them, enabling rapid recovery from extensive, prolonged off-road use. They’re teamed with tuned coil-springs at the front, and a staggered shock arrangement at the rear to manage loads.

Combined, the 20mm suspension lift and All-Terrain tyres sees FX4 MAX’s ride height 31mm above Ranger XLT, with outright ground clearance to rear differential increased by 19mm to 256mm. In addition, the FX4 MAX delivers greater approach and departure angles than Ranger XLT, to take full advantage of its switchable 4×4 system.

Ford Ranger 4×4 FX4 MAX is powered by the latest generation, 157kW/500Nm Bi-Turbo powertrain, including the advanced 10-speed automatic.

The powertrain enables the FX4 MAX a 981kg payload as well as a 3,500kg towing capability.

The 10-speed auto includes a lock-out feature to hold specific gears for ease when towing, with a tow-bar as standard on FX4 MAX.

Inside, the seats feature materials new to Ranger, including carbon-accents with Miko suede inserts and FX4 MAX embroidery. There are Ranger Raptor sports pedals. The leather-wrapped steering wheel shares Black Alley inserts with the door trims and dash applique.

The 8.0-inch full colour, high-resolution touchscreen gives control over built-in satellite-navigation. There are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility.

Six ‘upfitter’ auxiliary switches as fitted on Ford trucks globally give FX4 MAX owners the ability connect and operate auxiliary accessories and equipment, such as light-bars, winches and spotlights, in an seamless, integrated solution. The FX4 MAX has a specific 250A alternator to support power supply to multiple accessories and reduce reliance on the vehicle’s battery.

Ranger FX4 MAX has a five-year, unlimited kilometre full factory warranty. Further adding to the ownership experience, Ford Service Benefits also offers FX4 MAX owners a Service Loan Car, Auto Club Membership including Roadside Assistance as well as sat-nav map updates.

It has 15,000km/12-month service intervals, and is eligible for the Ford Service Benefits program at participating Ford dealerships. A and B log-book services for the first four years/60,000km are set at a maximum of $299 per service. Check with the selling dealer or Ford’s head office for details.

“The Ranger FX4 MAX channels the Ranger Raptor with its unique look and stance, while bringing customers both work and play capability with its locally engineered suspension, chassis tuning and unique FOX Shocks,” said Andrew Birkic, President and CEO, Ford Australia and New Zealand. “A factory-finished Ranger, FX4 MAX builds on the previous FX4 to deliver even greater off-road capability, yet adds its own distinctive style and genuine mechanical upgrades for a truly one-of-a-kind Ranger.”

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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