New Ford Ranger impresses on debut drive in SA

The Citizen finally a taste of the much-anticipated new Ford Ranger this week, albeit in small bits.

And, judging by the look and feel of the new Blue Oval bakkie, all the hype is sure to be expected when it is rolled out locally later this year. And, that gives trouble to fierce rivals the Toyota Hilux, the Isuzu D-Max and Nissan Navara.

The extensively upgraded Ford assembly plant in Silverton is gearing up for a production transition from the current Ranger to the new one in the coming months.

Meanwhile, a variety of next-generation models were built in South African specification for testing purposes. These are referred to as “tool test” units and pre-production models are anticipated.

The two models we got on Thursday were the 2.0-liter bi-turbo Wildtrak 4×2 double cab and the 2.0-liter single turbo double cab 4×2.

Not on an open road though and also not a free pass, but limited to two disciplines at the Gerotek Test Facilities. The dynamic handling track and the high speed oval.

ALSO READ: WATCH: New Ford Ranger makes dramatic debut in South Africa

And, those few minutes behind the wheel at each discipline were enough to make us want the real McCoy. The significant upgrades to the suspension were already a highlight on these very early units.

Despite the fact that the twin-turbo in the new Ford Ranger has been slightly reduced to 155kW/500Nm from its current output of 157kW/500Nm, it certainly does not feel down on power.

In fact, it almost felt like it had a bit more thrust than the current model. We suspect the new twin-turbo mill is better calibrated to the ten-speed automatic transmission than it is now.

The new single turbo, down to 125kW/405Nm from the current 132kW/420Nm, also made an impact. Paired with a six-speed manual transmission, a combination not available on the current range, the double XL cable has plenty to go for.

Watch this space for any updates on the local line-up, price and availability of the new Ford Ranger.

For more information, visit the manufacturer’s website.

New Ford Ranger impresses on debut drive in SA Source link New Ford Ranger impresses on debut drive in SA

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