It has been years, YEARS, that we in Europe asked FoMoCo to bring here some of their gorgeous Ford F-150 half-ton pickup trucks. Now we have a light-duty eye stopper of our own in the form of the 2011 Ford Ranger! Although in terms of available engines, optional equipment and interior features the new truck falls short of its famed counterpart that was designed for the North American market, it is still a good thing to know that the brand’s European customers will soon get a nice “show-off” truck of their own.
The 2011 Ford Ranger is FoMoCo’s first global pickup truck, which is developed by Ford Australia and Mazda and is destined to reach 180 markets all over the world. The only exception is the United States of America, where the new vehicle will not be sold. Frankly, I don’t really get the reasoning behind the decision because the company’s management couldn’t seriously believe that this new workhorse would harm in any possible way the dominating position of the aforementioned F-150.
According to the company, the 2011 Ford Ranger will be delivered both as RWD 4×2 and 4×4 vehicles with three cab choices and two ride heights. The long list of goodies includes a Rearview Camera System, Rear Park Assist, Trailer Sway Control and Adaptive Load Control.
Some versions (as far as I understand, the most expensive ones) of the truck will be sold with optional 6R80 six-speed automatic transmission, which is claimed to be very smooth and provides the owner of the truck with car-like driving experience (although the latter I doubt since the new Ranger comes with a heavy-duty rear suspension, which is tuned to allow the truck to haul a ton and a half of cargo, not to make it fun to drive at high speed on an Autobahn, or through Alps).
Among available powertrains is mentioned the 3.2-liter five-cylinder Duratorq TDCi turbodiesel engine, which currently installed in the Ford Transit series of commercial vans. Churning out healthy 200 horsepower and 470 Nm of torque, the engine will be probably coupled to a 6-speed MT86 manual transmission. Together, they will be able to provide the truck with a maximum of 1500 of payload and exceptional towing capacity.
For those more interested in fuel economy, there will be two more engines: a 2.2L inline-four TDCi oil burner (147 hp / 375 Nm) and a 2.5L Duratec inline-four flex-fuel engine, which is mated to a standard MT75 five-speed manual gearbox and produces up to 163 hp and can run either on normal gasoline or E100 ethanol. The manufacturer also promises that the engine may also be adapted to work on either CNG or LPG for even greater economy (but even poorer performance.)
Traditionally for the American brand, the vehicle’s interior doesn’t look terribly inspiring (I especially don’t like the way the infotainment system is built into the central stack and hard-wired into its electronic system: there doesn’t seem to be a cost-efficient way to replace the stock stereo with a more advanced system from an independent manufacturer), but there are lots of large and small storage compartments and all the control elements look quite ergonomic to me. What else would one ask from a workhorse?
No info on pricing yet.