It's the new Ford Ranger!

By topgear ,

Detroit Motor Show reveal for the 'baby Raptor', set for launch in USA

Ford Ranger 2018 3

America demands smaller trucks? Really? Well, Ford certainly thinks so, because it’s just about to start building the all-new ‘mid-size’ Ranger in Michigan to process demand for smaller, more fuel efficient pick ups in the US.

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It’s not quite the same as the one we recognise in Europe and Asia, though: where domestic Rangers are diesel-only - with a six-speed auto/manual ‘box - new American Rangers are equipped with a 2.3-litre four-pot EcoBoost turbo and ten-speed auto. Which is basically a re-tuned Focus RS motor. Ford reckons it gives the outputs of a V6 with the efficiency of a four - and that ten-speed will no doubt help.

It’ll get plenty of kit, too, to try and keep it ahead of what is a very popular market segment and the trim lines run pretty much like the big-brother F-150: an 8-inch touchscreen, electric everything, Ford’s SYNC 3 multimedia with Alexa digital spying machine, a 4G modem and plenty of charging points so you never run out of charge while attending to the ‘Gram.

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On the real side of things, there’s standard Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning and the like, and a Reverse Sensing System and Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage are standard on the more expensive XLT and Lariat trim levels. You can also get Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection and Adaptive Cruise Control on the latter. There’s even an optional B&O Play sound system for those that like their tunes.

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But the bit that made us sit up and take notice is something called the the ‘FX4’ off-road package. Now, this package isn’t new on Ford trucks in the US, but it includes off-road-spec suspension, AT tyres and underbody protection as well as the same Terrain Management System you get on the Raptor (the usual - it’s a drive-mode selector that can deal with ‘normal’; grass, gravel and snow; mud and ruts; and sand, tweaking throttle response and transmission strategy).

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So when you add in the Trac-Lok lockable diffs - so it should actually be pretty capable if you do decide to meander off the beaten path - what you actually get is sorta-kinda a 4/5ths-scale Raptor - especially if you throw a decent tune on that engine… now there’s a thought…