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FEATURE STORY AND PHOTOS BY PERRY MACK 2019 Ford Ranger 20 Subscribe at

Our first glimpse of the new mid-size pick-up entry from Ford came on January 15th in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). A few years ago, the midsize truck segment in North America had been whittled away to one significant choice - the Toyota Tacoma. Fast forward to 2017, and we’ve seen Chevrolet introduce the Colorado, with the stunning ZR2 trim level for outstanding off-road performance. Meanwhile, Ford had been selling the Ranger in 180 markets around the globe - making it the number two selling compact pick-up truck globally (a close second to the Toyota Tacoma) - but not available in North America. Why has it taken so long? Why not bring a few here? This is not the same truck that has been sold globally. According to Jeff Siemen, Brand Manager for the Ford Ranger, “It was about taking the good architecture that we have that’s been proven out, tearing it down to its very core and then building it back up for the North American market. With the growth in the segment (compact pick-up) this is the optimal time.” One visible North American change is the front and rear steel bumpers, a significant improvement from the plastic integrated front fascia. The bronze (Saber) coloured truck in the photos has the FX4 Off-road Package with the Sport Appearance Pack. While all the details haven’t been released, there are some key features that are off special interest to the folks who want to do more than run to the grocery store or pick-up the kids from hockey practice. Starting from the ends and working inwards, we noticed the framemounted steel bumpers front and back. Rigidity comes in the from the high strength steel frame with six cross-members. High strength steel lower control arms beef up the double wishbone suspension system in the front end, while a solid axle on parabolic leaf springs holds up the rear. The cab and bed are not aluminum; just the hood and tailgate while Volume 20/1 21

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