Ford Ranger Production to Begin in Late 2018

Detroit Auto Show: The 2019 Ford Ranger is a high tech little truck

Welcome back Ranger! 2019 Ford Ranger shows off ahead of its Detroit show debut

Ranger fans and Donald Trump, get those hands ready to sign checks or Tweet because this Michigan-built truck is coming to market in early 2019.

We've seen spy photos of various versions of the Ranger over the past year, but this is our first chance to see it without any sort of camouflage hiding the details of the design.

For now, Ford says all Rangers will be powered by the company's well-known 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. This 16-valve, dual-overhead cam engine features direct injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger.

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Production of the 2019 Ranger begins late this year at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant. "The new Ranger is designed for today's mid-size truck buyer, delivering even more utility, capability and technology for those who blend city living with more off-the-grid adventures on weekends". Specific Sport and FX Off-Road appearance packages will be offered on some of the trim levels. Globally, the Ford Ranger design is distinct for its fast windshield, high beltline, and short front overhangs, which make for good approach/departure angles.

Indeed, the original Ranger built its loyal following by virtue of its rugged talents, and so that's what Ford is focusing on this time around, too.

When it comes time to take the Ranger off-road, the FX4 Off-Road Package offers multiple enhancements to make this truck more capable where the pavement ends. The FX4 off road package will offer upgraded tires, a steel front bash plate, reinforced, frame-mounted skid plates underneath to protect vital drivetrain components, off road tuned shocks, and the previously mentioned E-locking DANA rear differential. There's also unique FX4 badging to help the Ranger stand out from the crowd. That has four drive modes - normal; grass, gravel and snow; mud and ruts; and sand - that can be flipped between while the Ranger is in motion. This system can be changed on the fly, so there's no need to stop the action to adjust to the terrain. As on the Raptor, each mode will optimize the throttle mapping, transmission shift schedule, traction control, etc.to maximize performance on a variety of terrain types. Think of this as cruise-control blended with a hill-descent control system. Intended for low-speed and tricky terrain, it handles acceleration and braking for each wheel individually, leaving the driver to focus on steering. Every four-wheel drive Ranger also includes 2-high, 4-high, and 4-low. Around back, the Ranger nameplate is stamped boldly into the tailgate, and there's a steel bumper with an available integrated trailer hitch. Ford's Smart Trailer Tow connector can warn about mis-connected trailer links.

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The revived Ranger includes a center stack with an eight-inch touchscreen that features Ford's SYNC 3 system. Technophobes can opt out by selectively not using the system, but on opposite day they can play with onboard WiFi, AC power outlets and USB charging, an optional B&O sound system, and Amazon Alexa integration.

Automatic Emergency Braking will be standard on all models of the new truck, while Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Reverse Sensing System, and BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with trailer coverage will be standard on the XLT and Lariat. The Lariat model will also come with adaptive cruise control and a pre-collision assist system with pedestrian detection. Compared to the Ranger that's been sold outside the United States, the front of the 2019 US-spec Ranger gets a new grille, headlights and bumper.

Ford will offer the Ranger here in Super Cab and Super Crew body styles.

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