Following the traditional truck formula is a key selling point for new and returning customers, and the Ranger doesn't deviate. Future Web configurators will have the regular, extended, and crew cabs, plus a selection of rear- and four-wheel drive. The cab and box hides a new chassis frame, steering system, and suspension specially developed and tuned in the noted pickup haven of Australia. Front double A-arms with coils on struts, rear leaf springs, and two ride heights help with wheel travel and articulation, while damper valving and spring rates are finely adjusted per the truck's weight and setup. The braking system utilizes 11.9 x 1.3-inch brake rotors and twin-piston calipers up front; the rears get drums.
Overall efficiency was heavily stressed during development, particularly through the search for better fuel economy. Engineers changed the fuel pump and improved aerodynamics by re-sculpting the front fenders and modifying the front airdam's profile to reduce pressure buildup beneath the truck. The always-important towing and payload ratings haven't been released yet, but Ford claims the new Ranger can carry up to 3300 pounds with its top-spec models. Upcoming gross vehicle weight and gross combined weight ratings will tell the true tale of the truck's performance capabilities.
The new Ranger will be sold in 180 markets around the world, but not in ours. With Ford unwilling to commit its latest workhorse to the U.S., we will never know whether this thorough redesign was truly the key to jump-starting the compact/midsize truck segment's sluggish heartbeat.