2020 Ford Ranger FX2 Adds Off-Road Goodies to Two-Wheel-Drive Pickup
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About 20 years ago, if you ordered a small truck with two-wheel drive, you got a shorter suspension and less ground clearance, and if you ordered four-wheel drive, you got a tall, beastly-looking thing. Now, however, that garden-truck look is pass and virtually every small pickup rides high. And to further separate modern pickups from their compact predecessors, Ford will build you a 2020 Ranger FX2, the company's latest offering that adds rugged goodies to the midsize truck's two-wheel-drive powertrain.
Much like the Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road 2WD, the Ford Ranger FX2 features a specially tuned suspension that yields better performance in the rough, as well as off-road tires for better grip (17-inch wheels are standard, 18s optional). The FX2 also includes an electronic-locking rear differential to counter Toyota's automatic limited-slip pumpkin, and it gets the Ranger FX4's air dam delete and underbody guard for a better approach angle. Other donated goodies include an off-road screen in the reconfigurable gauge cluster, where drivers can see pitch, roll, and steering angles.
Ford says the Ranger FX2 is aimed at urban markets, such as Los Angeles, where drivers might value some off-road functionality but don't necessarily need four-wheel drive. The FX2 will be less expensive than the FX4, and it will also likely get better fuel economy (the Ranger 4x2 achieves 22 mpg combined, compared to the 4x4's 21 mpg).
The two-wheel-drive off-roader fills a likely small niche in the Ranger lineup, but Ford says that the majority of its midsize pickups are sold with some kind of special styling or off-road package. Two-thirds of Ranger buyers option their trucks with the Sport Appearance Package, Chrome Appearance Package, or STX Appearance Package, while one in every three selects the FX4 Off-Road Package.
Tossing an FX2 into the mix should only improve the Ranger's adaptability to specific buyers' needs—with a minimal investment from Ford itself, since the package's contents are adopted from existing Ranger models. Order books for the Ranger FX2 are open now, and Ford expects deliveries to begin in late 2019.