The next-generation Ford Ranger, which first debuted in November 2021 and has been on sale in select markets for a while, is finally landing on our shores. The company today introduced the North American-spec model and will start taking orders later this month, with the first deliveries planned in late summer.
The 2024 Ranger returns in XL, XLT and Lariat trim levels, each one sporting a different face. Aesthetically, it looks like a beefier, more rugged Maverick: the redesigned grille and C-shaped headlights are similar, just like the tailgate that sports embossed “RANGER” lettering.
The next-gen Ranger project was led by an international team of designers and engineers at Ford’s Product Development Centre in Australia with one goal in mind—to make it the toughest and most capable Ranger ever created. The upgraded chassis and suspension were tested with the equivalent of nearly 8 million kilometres prior to launch, if you want to know. The wheelbase is 50 mm longer and the track is 50 mm wider. Ground clearance is increased along with the truck’s approach and departure angles.
Cargo bed volume has been expanded in the process so customers will be able to load flat plywood sheets or a full-size pallet. Maximum payload is now rated at 1,711 lbs, but towing capacity remains unchanged at 7,500 lbs.
Under the hood, the proven 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine returns as the standard engine, developing 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft. of torque. However, in a surprise twist, the 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 found in the F-150 and Bronco will be available starting in late fall, increasing output and torque to 315 horsepower and 400 lb-ft., respectively.
All Rangers come with a standard 10-speed automatic transmission and an available electronic shift-on-the-fly 4×4 system. Unlike the U.S., Canada won’t get a 4×2 variant.
Extra Tech Content
Inside the 2024 Ford Ranger, look for extra storage in the centre console and under the rear seats (plus an available second glove box). Incidentally, new fold-flat rear seatbacks make loading and moving large objects easier.
Ford also claims upgraded materials and textures, improved fit and finish, and more purposeful technology. Depending on the model, that means an 8- or 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.1- or 12-inch infotainment touchscreen powered by SYNC 4. The latter can receive OTA updates. A wireless smartphone charger and 360-degree camera system are available, as well.
A new, short-throw E-shifter in Lariat trim enables the Ranger to offer driver assistance features such as Active Park Assist 2.0, Pro Trailer Backup Assist and Trailer Reverse Guidance, which uses cameras to show angles and monitor conditions surrounding the truck, and provides real-time coaching on how to manoeuvre the trailer.
Now, for the best part. Ford is keeping its promise of bringing the Ranger Raptor to North America for the first time, giving competitors like the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, GMC Canyon AT4X and Jeep Gladiator Rubicon a serious run for their money.
Beefier looks are achieved by the flared fenders, aggressive 33-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain KO3 tires on 17-inch wheels, signature F-O-R-D lettering on the grille, all-steel front bumper and integrated, frame-mounted front and rear tow hooks. The front bash plate is almost double the size of the standard Ranger bash plate and made from 2.3mm-thick high-strength steel.
The new Ranger Raptor also rides on a specific chassis. A series of unique frames, mounts and reinforcements at key locations all combine to handle punishing off-road conditions. The suspension is completely redesigned, featuring all-new, tough and lightweight aluminum upper and lower control arms. The long-travel design includes new, Ford Performance-tuned FOX 2.5-inch Live Valve Internal Bypass shock absorbers with position-sensitive damping capability that adapt to the terrain in real time.
We totally agree with Ford on the fact that such an amazing suspension deserves to be backed by a matching level of power. The twin-turbo 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6 in the Raptor produces 405 horsepower and 430 lb-ft. of torque (premium gas required), which is significantly more power than the GM trucks but the exact same amount of torque. Maximum towing capacity drops to 5,510 lbs.
Four different modes for the active exhaust system (Baja, Sport, Normal and Quiet) add to a selection of seven drive modes including Normal, Tow/Haul, Sport, Slippery, Off-Road, Rock Crawl and Baja. With the last one, anti-lag technology keeps the turbochargers spinning for up to three seconds after the driver backs off the throttle, allowing for faster resumption of acceleration out of corners or between gears when the driver gets back on the accelerator.
What’s more, the Ranger Raptor comes with Trail Control, which is like cruise control for off-roading at speeds less than 32 km/h. The driver can focus on steering through difficult terrain while acceleration and braking are taken care of.
Set to enter production in Wayne, Michigan just like its predecessor, the new 2024 Ford Ranger starts at at $34,160 in the U.S. The Ranger Raptor will start at $56,960, including $1,595 for destination and delivery. In Canada, the staring price is $41,255, while the Raptor is priced from $77,805. As mentioned up top, Ford will begin taking orders later this month.The Build and Price website is expected to be available in the coming weeks.
Source: Guide Auto Web