Ford is set to bring back the 2018 Ford Ranger trucks into the US market. This follows increased sales of the rival GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado. Ford has realized that it may have lost a lot by not having the model in the US market. Toyota too has recognized the huge potential of the segment and has been selling the Tacoma quietly.
This development is thus huge news for Ford enthusiasts who have been longing for a midsize pickup truck. What’s more, the automaker will not even have to do much as the automaker already sells the Ranger in other international markets. Ford will build the US Ranger at its Michigan Assembly Plant. Plans to bring back the model were released as the automaker responded to Donald Trump’s accusation that the company was shifting its manufacturing jobs to Mexico. In defense, the automaker said they were planning to release two new models i.e. the Ranger and a new Bronco, which would ensure no jobs were cut in its US factories. Read along for more information:
2018 Ford Ranger Exterior
The new Ford Ranger will adopt a similar styling as the current Global Ranger. As such, the US Ranger will likely feature minor visual tweaks. I expect the front bumper and the grille to remain largely unchanged. The headlights will also be adopted unchanged from the Global Ranger. However, the automaker may still alter the design of these features albeit slightly to differentiate the model from its global cousin. The front fascia is likely to come with a huge air dam to help cool the monstrous engine inside. I also expect the automaker to enlarge the model’s front tow hooks.
Onto the sides, the truck profile and shape won’t change much from that of the Global Ranger. Ford will like to maintain the look just as it is to avoid incurring unnecessary costs. However, the automaker will likely add a sliding rear window option. Most likely, the US Ranger will forego the roll bars and the roof rack bars as well.
At the rear, I expect the model to maintain a traditional step bumper along with an option for a frame-mounted trailer hitch receiver. In addition, I expect the rear to feature four-and seven- pen connectors for the trailer lights. Ford will also likely offer the spring-loaded assist system. The cargo bed will feature LED lighting. Another likely feature is the telescoping ATV ramps mounted on bed walls.
Finally, I expect the lower trims to ride on 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in all-season tires but with an option for all-terrain tires. Higher trim levels will ride on 19-inch alloy wheels.
2018 Ford Ranger Interior
The US Ranger will most likely adopt the interior of the current Global Ford Ranger. The Global Ranger features an uncluttered cabin. Its center stack leads into the center console. On the console, you will likely find the model’s gear-shifter as well as the 4WD switch for AWD models. For the US version, the automaker may revise the console to feature cupholders to accommodate softdrinks, which Americans can’t just do without.
Tech-wise, I expect the cabin to feature the latest SYNC but only in mid and top trims. The system features Bluetooth connectivity, a navigation system, hands-free phone operation, HD and satellite radio, voice control as well as a 360-degree camera.
While top trims will certainly feature leather upholstery on the seats as well as wood and metal accents on other surfaces, lower trims will feature cloth or vinyl upholstery to appeal to the price-conscious customers.
Engine Specs and performance
According to credible reports, three engines will power the Ranger. The first mill is a 3.2 L, five-cylinder turbodiesel mill that is used on Transit Vans. On the vans, the engine produces 185 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. However, Ford may upgrade the engine for slightly more power.
The second likely engine is a 2.7 L, EcoBoost V-6, which powers the F-150. The engine produces 325 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. Another likely engine is the four-cylinder petrol mill for the fuel-economy conscious buyers. The likely candidate in this respect is the 2.3 L EcoBoost I-4 that powers the Explorer. The engine is rated at 280 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.
As for the transmission, the likely choices may include a 6-speed automatic and a 6-speed manual gearbox. In addition, the Ranger may be offered with an option for either RWD or 4WD. 4WD models will likely feature a 2-speed transfer case through an electronic dial.
Price and release date
It is too early to talk prices for the 2018 Ford Ranger. However, to be competitive in the market, the model will likely be priced within the range of its competitors. As such a price of around $20,000 for the base models is likely.