Ford Ranger debuts in Detroit

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Ford reveals the all-new Ranger today at the North American International Auto Show, a year ahead of putting the pickup on sale in early 2019 alongside America's best-selling vehicle, the F-Series pickup. Following the success of GM's reborn Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, Ford now expects that buyers of the new Ranger won't be a traditional F-Series customer.

The all-new Ranger looks similar to the models the company has sold around the world for the last several years. Already a fondly-remembered nameplate in North America and the second-best-selling mid-size pickup outside of that market, the 2019 model is dramatically improved from the last Ranger sold there, and it's been torture-tested using the very same grueling regimen that the F-150 is subjected to. US sales are up 83 percent since 2014 as a new generation of midsize truck buyers seek more maneuverable, fuel-efficient pickups. Globally, the Ford Ranger design is distinct for its fast windshield, high beltline, and short front overhangs, which make for good approach/departure angles.

"This is for people living in the city who want to get off the grid", said Todd Eckert, truck group marketing manager for Ford.

The company said at last year's North American International Auto Show that there's vast consumer demand for the truck.

Announced at the Detroit motor show, the Nissan Navara and Volkswagen Amarok rival enters a class that has grown by 83% since 2014 in the US.

Analysts have said Ford might cut into F-150 sales by releasing the Ranger in the USA, but Ford executives have said F-150 shoppers are typically completely different from those who'd look to buy a Ranger. Whether or not there's a major improvement over the fuel mileage of EcoBoost- and diesel-powered aluminum F-150s, the new Ranger provides an easier entry point for-Ford hopes-younger buyers. It will include FX Off-Road packages, and in SuperCab or SuperCrew cab configurations, the automaker has said. The truck will also have an FX4 Off-Road Package.

The only engine offered for the North American Ranger will be a 2.3-liter, direct-injected four-cylinder with a twin-scroll turbocharger.

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Ford executives did not disclose prices or fuel efficiency ratings for the new Ranger. An off-road drive assist technology maintains speed as low as 1 miles per hour and as high as 20 miles per hour, in any transfer-case setting.

Built Ford Tough is engineered in Ranger's DNA - from its high-strength steel frame backbone to its frame-mounted steel front and rear bumpers. Its body will be composed of mostly steel with some aluminum panels such as the hood and tailgate.

Ford didn't skimp on the on-road tech, either.

An electronic Terrain Management System adjusts the drivetrain to any type of surface or condition. The features list includes automatic emergency brakes, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and a blind spot warning system that takes a trailer into account.

Ranger incorporates smart driver-assist, passenger convenience and connectivity technologies. FordPass Connect will give the Ranger Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities, ensuring that new adventurous owners can post their adventurous lifestyles to their favorite social media outlets, making the rest of our life feel uninteresting and void of Ranger-worthy adventure.

Inside, the 2019 Ranger features an 8-inch touch screen for the available SYNC 3 system, while the instrument cluster features dual LCD productivity screens for real-time vehicle, navigation and audio information. Truck fans have wanted that truck to come to the US for a long time and now they will get their wish, though Ford is doing them one better. Sales peaked in 1999 at around 350,000 but dropped steadily until its final year in 2011, when Ford sold 70,832.

Recent industry news included the seemingly cease-and-desist of the Fusion midsize sedan after 2020, and Ford announcing $1.2-billlion investment in support of truck and SUV production in MI.