Ford Ranger (Americas)

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Ford Ranger
2011 Ford Ranger XLT -- NHTSA.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Ford
Production 1982–2011
2018-present
Model years 1983–2011
2019-present
Body and chassis
Class Compact pickup truck
Layout Front-engine, rear- / four-wheel drive
Chronology
Predecessor Ford Courier
Successor Ford F-150 (2011-2019)
Ford Ranger (T6)

The Ford Ranger is a compact pickup truck that was manufactured and marketed by Ford Motor Company from 1983 to 2012 model years for North America. From 1997 to 2011, a version was also manufactured and sold in South America. Introduced to replace the Ford Courier produced in Japan by Mazda, the Ranger had two distinct generations. While introduced a year after the Chevrolet S-10, the Ranger would go on to become the best-selling compact truck in the United States from 1987 to 2004.[1]

Over its production life, the chassis and suspension of the Ranger would be used for several compact Ford trucks and sport-utility vehicles. During the 1990s and 2000s, Mazda adopted a badge-engineered version of the Ranger, for their B-Series nameplate (the reverse of the Ford Courier produced by Mazda).

Over its 29-year production run, Ford produced the Ranger at three different assembly plants in North America. The Ranger was produced at the Louisville Assembly Plant in Louisville, Kentucky from 1982 to 1999. From 1993 to 2004, production also was sourced from Edison Assembly in Edison, New Jersey. For its entire production run, the Ranger was produced at Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minnesota. The final 2012 Ford Ranger produced on December 16, 2011, ended 86 years of production at Twin Cities Assembly as well as the production of all compact pickups in the United States.

In 2017, Ford announced the return of the Ford Ranger to North America, commencing with the 2019 model year. Derived from the Ranger T6, the 2019 Ford Ranger will be manufactured in the United States.

Development[edit]

1975 Ford Courier

In response to the growing popularity of the compact pickup truck segment in the late 1960s, Ford entered the segment for 1972 with the Ford Courier. Instead of risking the time and cost of developing an all-new vehicle in an unfamiliar market segment, Ford entered into a partnership with Mazda to market the Mazda B1800 in the United States; the Courier would become the first of several jointly-manufactured vehicles between the two companies from the 1970s into the 2000s.

The Mazda B-Series and Ford Courier were manufactured in Japan. To avoid the 25% "Chicken tax" on imported trucks, the vehicles were imported as cab-chassis trucks (taxed at the much lower 4% tariff) with pickup beds installed as parts in the United States. For the 1977 model year, Mazda redesigned the B-Series pickup with a larger pickup cab and redesigned pickup bed, with a separate front fascia design for the Ford Courier.

In 1976, Ford commenced development on a domestically produced compact truck, codenamed "Yuma".[2][3] While the Ford Courier had proven successful in the US marketplace, the $700 million project was undertaken in anticipation of a major expansion of the market segment in the early 1980s[3], with Ford predicting nearly a million compact truck sales a year by 1985.[4] The Ranger would take its model name from the mid-level trim name used by F-Series trucks from the 1960s and 1970s.

At the beginning of "Yuma", Ford researched which elements truck buyers valued the most in a compact truck (in addition to fuel efficiency).[4] Alongside durability and quality, Ford found that American truck buyers desired additional interior room, with three-across seating and space for six-foot tall drivers.[4]

The 1979 fuel crisis nearly doomed the Yuma/Ranger project, as it occurred between the redesign of the Ford LTD and Ford F-Series, causing Ford to lose money on the latter in 1980 after selling nearly 1 million in 1978.[2] Ford President Don Petersen kept the compact truck project alive, along with potential competition provided by the Chevrolet S-10, Petersen felt the Ranger could also serve as a replacement for the Ford F-100 price point.[2]

During design, the body underwent extensive wind tunnel testing, to meet a planned 20 MPG fuel efficiency target (the standard front bumper spoiler added 1MPG on its own).[4] To further improve fuel economy, the Ranger increased the use of high-strength steel other lightweight materials, including a magnesium clutch housing, aluminum transfer case for four-wheel drive versions, and a magnesium clutch/brake pedal bracket.[4] To further save weight, the design of the front suspension was computer-optimized, rendering the front stabilizer bar optional.[4] Though narrower than the F-Series and other full-size competitors, the cargo bed of the Ranger was designed to transport a four-foot wide sheet of material (considered an industry measure of space in pickup truck bed design) through the use of recesses to insert supports across the bed, allowing the Ranger to transport such material above the wheel wells.[4]

First generation (1983–1992)[edit]

First generation
1st-Ford-Ranger.jpg
Overview
Production January 1982 – 1992
Model years 1983–1992[5]
Assembly Louisville, Kentucky, United States
St. Paul, Minnesota, United States
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase Standard bed
107.9 in (2,741 mm)
Long bed
113.9 in (2,893 mm)
Supercab
125 in (3,175.0 mm)
Length Standard bed
1983–1988:175.6 in (4,460 mm)
1989–1992:176.5 in (4,483 mm)
Long bed
1983–1988:187.6 in (4,765 mm)
1989–1992:188.5 in (4,788 mm)
Supercab
1983–1988:192.7 in (4,895 mm)
1989–1992:193.6 in (4,917 mm)
Width 1983–1988: 66.9 in (1,699 mm)
1989–1992: 66.8 in (1,697 mm)

Ford began production of the model year 1983 Ranger on January 18, 1982 at the Louisville Assembly Plant,[6] hitting showrooms in March.[7] Available engines were the 72 hp (54 kW) 2.0 L and 82 hp (61 kW) 2.3 L OHC four-cylinders, a four-cylinder 59 hp (44 kW) 2.2 L Mazda/Perkins diesel, and a 115 hp (86 kW) 2.8 L Cologne V6. In 1985, a Mitsubishi-built 2.3 L turbo-diesel with 86 hp (64 kW) replaced the Mazda diesel engine, and in 1986, the 2.8-liter engine was replaced with a 140 hp (104 kW) 2.9 L Cologne V6. The SuperCab was introduced in 1986, offering an extra 17 inches (432 mm) of storage space behind the front seats, with a pair of jump seats available as an option. Also in 1986, the gauge cluster was modified to allow fitment of a factory tachometer. A lot of the parts of the interior such as the steering wheel, door handles, and the window cranks were similar to those in other Ford vehicles like the Bronco, Escort, and the F-Series.

Mid-year 1986 saw the introduction of the Ranger GT in California only. Available as a standard cab with a short or long bed, it had a 2.9-liter Cologne V6 with either a five-speed Mazda manual transmission or an optional A4LD automatic transmission putting power to a traction-lock differential. Inside, the pickup was equipped with special bucket seats, full instrument cluster, and an optional center console. Front and rear sway bars were installed and 14-inch aluminum wheels completed the package.

Facelift 1989–1992[edit]

The truck received a facelift for the 1989 model year, which included flush composite headlamps, new front fenders, hood, and grille, along with some upgrades to the frame. Inside, there was a modern new dashboard and steering column.

1989 Ford Ranger

The new steering column included, on automatic transmission-equipped models, a column-mounted gear shift, and key removal on manual transmission models became a simpler, one-handed operation. Manual-equipped 1983–88 models had the key release button beneath the column on the left-hand side, requiring drivers to use both hands to remove the key.

Rear-wheel antilock brakes were added, and a 21 US gal (79 L; 17 imp gal) fuel tank was now optional on extended-cab models.

Beginning in 1989 (until the end of 1997) the only manual transmission available on super cab models was the 5-speed Mazda M5OD-R1 manual transmission (while regular cab models were equipped with a manual or automatic transmission during 1989-1997 model years). The 2.0-liter engine was discontinued, and the 2.3 now had a distributor-less ignition system with two spark plugs per cylinder, giving it a 10 hp (7 kW) boost and better fuel economy.[8] The three-speed automatics were dropped, leaving only the A4LD. The new 155 hp (116 kW) 4.0 L Cologne V6 was added to the option list for all models in 1990. The 3.0-liter Vulcan V6 was also offered in the Ranger beginning in model year 1990. The 2.9-liter continued on alongside the 3.0-liter until model year 1992 when it was discontinued.

The Ranger GT was discontinued, although the Ford Truck Public Affairs office did build a prototype for 1990 powered by a 3.0 L SHO V6.[9][10]

Second generation (1993-1997)[edit]

Second Generation
97Vermillion.jpg
Overview
Also called Mazda B-Series
Production August 1992 – July 1997
Model years 1993–1997
Assembly Louisville, Kentucky, United States
St. Paul, Minnesota, United States
Edison, New Jersey, United States
General Pacheco, Argentina
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door compact
2-door extended
Powertrain
Engine 2.3 L OHC I4
3.0 L Vulcan V6
4.0 L Cologne V6
Transmission Manual
5-speed Mazda M5OD-R1
Automatic
4-speed A4LD
4-speed 4R44E
4-speed 4R55E
5-speed 5R55E
Dimensions
Wheelbase 107.9 in (2,741 mm)
113.9 in (2,893 mm)
125.2 in (3,180 mm)
Length 184.3 in (4,681 mm)
196.3 in (4,986 mm)
198.2 in (5,034 mm)
Width 69.4 in (1,763 mm)

The redesign in 1992 for 1993 featured mild restyling, flush-mounted door glass, wider doors, and slight fender flares. The 1989-style dashboard remained, but the seats and door panels were new. The 2.9-liter engine was discontinued. The engines offered were offered in displacements of 2.3, 3.0 and 4.0 liters. A new "Splash" model was introduced, which had a flare side bed, unique chrome wheels, 1-inch (25 mm) lowered rear suspension and a 2-inch (51 mm) lowered front suspension (on 4x2 models), and special vinyl "Splash" decals on the sides and the tailgate.

The 1993 Splash trim level was offered with regular cab in arctic white, gloss black, red orange, and sky blue. The Mazda B-Series became a re-badged Ranger for the 1994 model year, but the Mazda B-Series did not offer an equivalent to the Splash model. While 1993 Rangers used R-12 Freon, 1994 model year saw the transition to CFC-free air-conditioning systems in compliance with the Clean Air Act. For the 1994 model year, the Splash trim had options which all included; a 1-inch (25 mm) lowered rear suspension and 2-inch (51 mm) lowered front suspension (on 4x2 models), flare side bed, an extended cab, and unique chrome wheels. The decals also underwent subtle changes. While the 1993–1994 models sported red, yellow and blue stripes, the 1995 to 1996 models had lime green stripes. Additionally, the available colors for the Splash model changed from the 1993–1994 models to the 1995–1997 models. The latter were offered in maroon, gloss black, white, and canary yellow.

Fall 1994 production (1995 model year) included a steering wheel modified to include a driver's side airbag and a redesigned dashboard which included a double DIN radio head unit. Also for 1995 (model year), SuperCab trucks could have a power driver's seat. The A4LD transmission was updated. 2.3- and 3.0-liter models got the 4R44E, while 4.0-liter trucks got the 4R55E. The front brakes were changed to use the same two-piston brake calipers as the second-generation Explorer, and four-wheel anti-lock brakes were added as standard on 4x4 and 4.0-liter models. From October 1995 (1996 model year), an optional passenger airbag (the first compact truck to offer one) became available, with a key-operated cutoff switch that allowed the airbag to be turned off for smaller passengers riding in the front seat. In October 1996, the 1997 model year brought in the first ever five-speed automatic transmission to be used by an American manufacturer. The 4.0-liter models were equipped with the 5R55E, while the 3.0-liter was still mated to the 4R44E.

Powertrain
  • 1994 – 2.3 L (2311 cc) OHC I4, 98 hp (73 kW), 133 lb⋅ft (180 N⋅m)
  • 1995–1997 – 2.3 L (2311 cc) OHC I4, 112 hp (84 kW), 135 lb⋅ft (183 N⋅m)
  • 1994–1996 – 3.0 L (2957 cc) Vulcan V6, 145 hp (108 kW), 165 lb⋅ft (224 N⋅m)
  • 1994–1997 – 4.0 L (4016 cc) Cologne V6, 160 hp (119 kW), 225 lb⋅ft (305 N⋅m)

Mazda B-Series[edit]

Mazda B2300 extended cab (US)

For 1994, the third-generation Mazda B-Series was introduced. While the company continued to manufacture its own trucks in Japan and internationally, the North American version of the B-Series was now a badge-engineered version of the Ranger. The new B3000 and B4000 boasted Ford V6 engines, and the M5OD-R1 manual transmission returning to the options sheet. Extended cab models were available, as was four-wheel drive; Mazda made the B-Series available in two trim lines, LE and SE. The 3.0-liter B3000 was dropped for 1997.

Third generation (1998–2012)[edit]

Third Generation
98-00 Ford Ranger.jpg
Overview
Also called Mazda B-Series
Production August 1997 – December 16, 2011
Model years 1998–2012
Assembly St. Paul, Minnesota, United States
Edison, New Jersey, United States
General Pacheco, Argentina
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door compact
2-door extended (1998–2011)
2+2-door extended (1999–2011)
4-door crew cab (South America)
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission Manual
5-speed Mazda M5OD-R1
Automatic
4-speed 4R44E
5-speed 5R55E
Dimensions
Wheelbase 111.6 in (2,835 mm)
117.6 in (2,987 mm)
125.9 in (3,198 mm)
Length 188.5 in (4,788 mm)
200.5 in (5,093 mm)
202.9 in (5,154 mm)
Width 70.3 in (1,786 mm)
Height 68.3 in (1,735 mm)
69.4 in (1,763 mm)

In 1997 for the 1998 model year, the Ranger got a major update to the same body design, by giving it a longer wheelbase and a 3-inch (76 mm) longer cab for the regular cab models (part of which provided more room in the interior). The automatic transmissions on extended cab models returned for the first time since 1989. The 1995 to 1997 model year interior look was retained. The Twin I-Beam front suspension was replaced by the wishbone-style system found on the Explorer and the front half of the frame was of "boxed", rather than C-channel construction. Rack and pinion steering was also added. The four-cylinder engine was increased to a 2.5-liter SOHC I4, giving it a 6% increase in power over the old 2.3-liter. It produced 117 hp (87 kW) and 149 lb⋅ft (202 N⋅m) of torque. Also, for the 2000 model year, amber rear turn signals were discontinued. 4x4 models were equipped with a PVH lockout system for the front axles. This system proved to be rather unreliable and was changed to a live axle setup in mid-2000.

The 2.5-liter engine was replaced by a new DOHC 2.3-liter Duratec inline-four in mid-2001. 2001 also saw the pushrod 4.0-liter V6 replaced by the SOHC version from the Explorer, bringing with it a more durable M5OD-R1HD manual transmission. Also in 2001, the five-speed automatic transmission that was introduced in 1997 for the 4.0-liter V6, was now also available with the 2.3- and 3.0-liter units. The Ranger received a facelift, including a new grille, hood, and front bumper, as well as updated headlights and taillights. SLP produced a version of the Ranger, called "Thunderbolt". This model included different options, such as a unique front and rear bumper, air intake, exhaust and even a spoiler.

In 2004, the Ranger received minor updates to the grille, hood, and front bumper. New front bucket seats were also added in 2004 to meet the new U.S. Federal safety requirements. It retained the dashboard lines of the previous years trucks with an instrument cluster change. In 2006, the Ranger received more minor updates to the grille, front side markers and taillights, along with a bigger rear Ford logo that was now centered in the tailgate. It also received new larger mirrors similar to those found on other Ford trucks and SUVs.

The latest Ranger offered a 143 hp (107 kW) 2.3-liter inline-four and a 207 hp (154 kW) 4.0-liter V6. The 3.0-liter Vulcan V6 was discontinued as of the 2009 model year. Ford uses code "R10" through "R19" in the fifth, sixth, and seventh VIN positions for all Rangers; R10, R14, and R18 are all rear-wheel drive; regular cab, two-door SuperCab, and four-door SuperCab respectively. R11, R15, and R19 are four-wheel drive; regular cab, two-door SuperCab, four-door SuperCab respectively.

In December 2009, Ford announced that specially designed custom graphics would be applied to the Ranger, beginning with the 2010 models. The feature was exclusive to Ford Dealers and allowed customers to pick a design that they wanted customized for their Ranger trims.[11]

For the 2011 and 2012 model year, the level trims were adjusted. The XL trim has the standard level, followed by the XLT and Sport trims. The latter two included Sirius radio as an optional feature.[12]

The Ford Ranger was the first small pickup to introduce dual airbags as safety features.[13] It received an "acceptable" frontal crash test rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety when they were first tested in 1998, while many of its competitors received "marginal" or "poor" ratings at that time. The exception was the Toyota Tacoma, which also got an "acceptable" rating.[14][15]

The 2010 model year brought the addition of front seat combination head and torso airbags to improve passenger safety in a side-impact collision and earned "good" rating through the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's side impact test. Also, electronic stability control was added for the 2010 models as standard equipment.[16]

In the Roof Strength Test conducted by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Ford Ranger earned an Acceptable rating.[17]

FX4 Level II

The FX4 Level II version comes with a special 31-spline 8.8-inch (223.5 mm) Ford 8.8 rear axle equipped with a Zexel-Torsen limited-slip differential, three skid plates, upgraded tow hooks, 31" BFGoodrich All Terrains, 15-inch forged Alcoa wheels, and Bilstein shocks. Inside, the Level II package added two-tone cloth seats, optional leather and rubber floors along with a six-CD MP3 headunit as standard options. The FX4 level II package was first available in 2003, though, in 2002 the very first "FX4" package, however, not the Level II, was available. The 2002 FX4 off-road package is identical to the 2003+ FX4 Level II package, since there wasn't a FX4 Level II package offered. The FX4 off-road package did differ from the FX4 Level II package after 2002. The 2002 FX4 off-road and 2003 FX4 Level II are often referred to be the "Holy Grail" of Rangers,[by whom?] since there were limited production of these trucks with both a manual transmission and manual 4x4. According to Ford, 17,971 Level IIs were built from 2002 through 2007 (including the 2002[clarification needed]), and 45,172 of the Off Roads were built from 2003 to 2009. The FX4 Off Road was available into 2009, but the Level II was stopped after 2007, though many Level II features could be ordered individually. In 2010 the Ranger discontinued the FX4 trim level for the U.S. market, but it remained available in the Canadian market.

The above pictures are of a 2006+ FX4 level 1. A Level II has a special "Level II" decal just behind the front wheels in the secondary paint color, as well as chrome "J" tow hooks.

Ford Ranger EV
Ranger EV
1998–2001 Mazda B4000 extended cab (North America)
2002–2009 Mazda B3000 regular cab (US)

The Ford Ranger EV was a battery electric version of the Ranger produced for model years 1998 to 2002. The chassis of the four-wheel drive model was used, but the Ranger EV was strictly a rear-wheel drive vehicle. Unlike other versions, the EV featured a de Dion rear suspension. 1998 models employed lead-acid batteries while subsequent models used Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries.

The Ranger EV is nearly indistinguishable from a standard Ranger, except for its grille. On EV models, a door for a charging port is located on the right third of the grille.

Powertrain
  • 1998– 1999 – 2.5 L (2507 cc) OHC I4, 117 hp (87 kW), 149 lb⋅ft (202 N⋅m)
  • 2000– early 2001 – 2.5 L (2507 cc) OHC I4, 119 hp (89 kW), 146 lb⋅ft (198 N⋅m)
  • late 2001–2002 – 2.3 L (2300 cc) Duratec I4, 135 hp (101 kW), 153 lb⋅ft (207 N⋅m)
  • 2003–2010 – 2.3 L (2300 cc) Duratec I4, 143 hp (107 kW), 154 lb⋅ft (209 N⋅m)
  • 1998–1999 – 3.0 L (2957 cc) Vulcan V6, 145 hp (108 kW), 178 lb⋅ft (241 N⋅m)
  • 2000–2001 – 3.0 L (2957 cc) Vulcan V6, 150 hp (112 kW), 190 lb⋅ft (258 N⋅m)
  • 2002 – 3.0 L (2957 cc) Vulcan V6, 146 hp (109 kW), 180 lb⋅ft (244 N⋅m)
  • 2003–2004 – 3.0 L (2957 cc) Vulcan V6, 154 hp (115 kW), 180 lb⋅ft (244 N⋅m)
  • 2005–2008 – 3.0 L (2957 cc) Vulcan V6, 148 hp (110 kW), 180 lb⋅ft (244 N⋅m)
  • 1998–2000 – 4.0 L (4025 cc) Cologne V6, 160 hp (119 kW), 225 lb⋅ft (305 N⋅m)
  • 2001–2010 – 4.0 L (4025 cc) Cologne V6, 207 hp (154 kW), 238 lb⋅ft (323 N⋅m)

Mazda B-Series[edit]

North America saw a redesigned B-Series again for 1998, with a larger base engine. A five-speed automatic transmission was available. The 1999 B-Series added four doors, a first in the extended-cab pickup truck market. In 2001, a more powerful SOHC version of the 4.0-liter V6 replaced the old OHV engine, while Ford's Duratec engine replaced the Lima engine in four-cylinder models the following year. 2007 was the last year for 3.0-liter B-Series trucks. For 2010, the B4000 Cab Plus SE model was discontinued in the United States. The full B-Series lineup was discontinued, in the United States, at the end of the 2009 model year, while the Ford Ranger remained in production.[18] The B-Series was sold in the Canadian market for one more model year.

The last Mazda B-Series rolled off the assembly line on December 11, 2009.

Fourth generation (2019-)[edit]

Fourth generation
Overview
Manufacturer Ford
Production 2018 (to commence)
Model years 2019-
Assembly United States: Wayne, Michigan (Michigan Assembly Plant)
Body and chassis
Body style Mid-size pickup truck
Platform Ford T6 platform
Related Ford Ranger (T6)
Ford Everest
Ford Bronco (2020)
Powertrain
Engine Ford 2.3L EcoBoost turbo I4
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 127 in (3,226 mm)
Length 201 in (5,105 mm)
Width 73 in (1,854 mm)
Height 71 in (1,803 mm)

In January 2018, one year after announcing the production return of the Ford Ranger to North America, Ford introduced the 2019 Ford Ranger at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, marking the first Ford entry into the mid-size pickup truck segment.[2] Entering production during 2018, the fourth-generation Ford Ranger will go on sale by 2019.[2] In place of commercial use, Ford seeks to market the Ranger to private buyers using the truck for recreation; creating a vehicle for those who seek a vehicle smaller than a full-size truck, along with F-Series owners seeking a vehicle with a smaller exterior footprint.[2]

Chassis[edit]

The 2019 Ford Ranger is derived from the Ford T6 global midsize truck architecture. Designed by Ford of Australia, for use in North America, the chassis underwent several modifications. Along with the switch to left-hand drive, the frame of the North American Ranger was revised; to better handle American crash standards and increase its payload, the frame was redesigned with fully boxed frame rails.[2] The North American Ranger uses the single 127-inch wheelbase of the global T6 Ranger, along with the same width and height.[2]

Unique to the North American version of the T6, the North American Ranger is powered by the 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder; no diesel is currently announced. Although official engine output figures were not given at the introduction, the engine is shared with the Ford Explorer, where it produces 280hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.[19] The sole transmission is a 10-speed automatic, shared with the Ford Mustang GT and other versions of the Ford F-Series, including the F-150 Raptor.[19]

Body[edit]

The 2019 Ford Ranger will be sold in four-door SuperCab and four-door SuperCrew configurations (Ford has no plans to market a two-door Ranger in North America).[2][20] While externally similar to its global counterpart, the 2019 Ford Ranger features a number of exterior design changes. Most visibly, the front fascia was redesigned with a frame-mounted steel front bumper; although slightly less aerodynamic, the sturdier front bumper was designed to better comply with crash standards.[20] To better market the vehicle towards private buyers in North America, the Ranger was given a distinct hood design and grilles related to trim level.[2] Additional trim included color-contrasting fender molding and fender grilles (in line with the F-Series trucks).[20] The "RANGER"-embossed tailgate was modified; in the interest of aerodynamics, adding a spoiler (sharing the locking tailgate handle from the F-150).[20]

The interior of the global Ranger was also revised slightly. To comply with American safety mandates, a rearview safety camera is standard along with automatic emergency braking.[20] Several sizes of interior touchscreens are offered, depending on trim packages ordered.[19][20] To increase interior storage, waterproof storage compartments were added under the rear seats.[19]

As the global Ford Ranger was designed before the current F-Series, usage of aluminum in the body is minor, with only an aluminum hood and tailgate.[20]

Trim[edit]

The 2019 Ford Ranger shares the trim levels of the previous American Ford Ranger and the Ford F-Series: base XL, mid-level XLT, and top-trim Lariat. To supplement each trim level, Chrome, Sport, and FX option packages are offered for all three trim levels.[21]

South America[edit]

1998–2003 Ford Ranger double cab (South America)
2004–2009 Ford Ranger double cab (South America)
2010–2012 Ford Ranger double cab (South America)

Starting in 1998, Ford began to phase out the Ford Courier name on its Mazda-produced compact pickups sold globally in favor of the Ranger nameplate (though the Courier remained in use in Australia). Consequently, exports of the North American-produced Ranger were primarily limited to South America, including Argentina, Brazil, and Chile.[1]

In 1995 Ford began exports of the Ranger from the United States to Argentina; initial exports started with two-door SuperCab equipped with the 4.0-liter gasoline Cologne V6. As demand increased, Ford made the decision to produce it locally in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the Ford General Pacheco Assembly Plant for the local market, Canada and subsequently for the rest of Latin America.[22]

The first Rangers produced at General Pacheco were built in 1996 with a single cab, gasoline engine version. By November 1997, supply was increased with both diesel and gasoline engines, two-wheel and four-wheel drive and different levels of equipment.

After two years of local production in Argentina, in 1998, Ford of Argentina introduced a redesigned version of the Ford Ranger. Featuring the same updates as its counterpart in the United States, a new four-door double cab body variant exclusive to South America made its debut.[23] As Ford was developing the functionally similar Ford Explorer Sport Trac at the time, the double-cab Ford Ranger was not produced or marketed in the United States or Canada.

To better match the needs of local buyers, Ford of Argentina offered three different turbodiesel powertrain options, including a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel with 115 hp (85 kW) starting in 1998, a 2.8-liter with 135 hp (99 kW) starting in 2002 and a 3.0-liter with 163 hp (122 kW) and 280 lb⋅ft (380 N⋅m) of torque mated to an Eaton FSO-2405-A five-speed manual transmission starting in 2004.

The 2001 exterior facelift given to North American Rangers was not carried over to South American versions, with the 1998 front bodywork remaining until the 2003 model year. For 2004, both versions were given the same grille (though Argentine-produced versions were designed with projector-style headlamps).

Following a US$156.5 million upgrade to the General Pacheco factory in 2007,[24] several upgrades were made to the South American Ranger; a number of them would diverge the model from its US counterpart. For 2008, the Ranger received a makeover with a grill and headlights similar to the 2006 North American version; bed extenders became available for all boxes.[25]

For 2010, the Ranger was given its largest facelift since 1992. To allow for a more aggressive stance, the hood, front fenders, and front bumper were replaced with a more aggressive and rounded design, including large wheel arches; on the doors, the handles were replaced by a pull-out design. For the first time, the Ranger wore the Ford corporate three-bar grille. Inside, the interior design introduced in 2008 remained, with both previous engine configurations.[26][27] A new option (for Argentina and Brazil) included an engine powered by compressed natural gas, making it the first pickup truck to offer a factory-built natural gas vehicle (NGV) commercially available in those countries.[26][28]

In 2012, Ford of Argentina replaced the US-derived Ranger with the larger Ranger T6. Designed by Ford of Australia, the Ranger T6 consolidated the Ford- and Mazda-based versions of the Ranger onto a single platform sold globally outside the United States and Canada.

Ford Ranger (Argentina) wheelbases and bed lengths:[29]

  • 1998–2012 – 111.5 inches (2,831 mm) – 6 ft. bed (1,732mm) Single Cab
  • 1998–2012 – 117.6 inches (2,987 mm) – 7 ft. bed (2,129mm) Single Cab
  • 1998–2012 – 125.7 inches (3,192 mm) – 5 ft. bed (1,467mm) Double Cab

Engines:[29]

Engine Years Power Torque
2.3 L Duratec HE gasoline I4 2004–present 148 hp (110 kW) 159 lb⋅ft (216 N⋅m)
3.0 L Power Stroke diesel I4 2004–present 163 hp (122 kW) 280 lb⋅ft (380 N⋅m)

Discontinuation and re-entry[edit]

Discontinuation[edit]

In the summer of 2005, alongside the update for the 2006 model-year U.S. Ranger, the first information emerged about its intended replacement.[30] Designed under the P273 codename as a 2010 model-year vehicle, the new Ranger was designed as a global vehicle, intended to replace three versions of the Ranger: the related North American and Latin American versions, along with the rebadged version designed by Mazda sold through much of the rest of the world. In 2007, the Thai market received a Ranger based on the 4Trac concept vehicle. Designed by Ford Australia, the Ford Ranger T6 began production in 2011 in AutoAlliance in Rayong, Thailand. While the Ranger T6 was initially released as a global vehicle, it was not sold in the United States or Canada, leaving the compact Ranger without a successor.

In 2008, Ford made its first plans to end production of the Ranger in North America; although its high productivity spared it from The Way Forward, Twin Cities Assembly (built in 1925) was the oldest Ford factory worldwide.[31] Ford later extended the closure date of the factory to 2011, but in June 2011, a final closure date was announced.[32] As Twin Cities was the sole production location of the Ranger in North America (from 1982), its closure brought the production of the Ranger to an end after 29 model years. The 2011 model year was the final model year for retail sales, with a shortened 2012 model year for fleet sales; the final North American-market Ranger (a white SuperCab Sport produced for pest-control company Orkin) was produced on December 16, 2011.[33]

While the global Ranger T6 underwent development in the late 2000s, it was ultimately rejected for the North American market for several reasons. Although compact pickup trucks had grown in size in the 2000s (notably the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma) in the early 2000s (in comparison to the Ranger and Chevrolet S10), the global Ranger was seen as dimensionally a mid-size truck.[34] While potentially offering Ford a competitor to the Dodge Dakota for the first time, Ford also felt a mid-size truck of its own would threaten sales of the Ford F-150, the best-selling vehicle in the United States.[34] Another factor in its decision was the overall decline of the compact truck segment, from 8% of total market sales in 1994 to 2% in 2010.[34]

According to its market research, toward the end of its production, Ford discovered that most Ford Ranger buyers were not buying the Ranger as a truck, but for its low price as a new vehicle.[32][34] Along with its plans to increase F-Series fuel economy, Ford sought to retain Ranger buyers with the Ford Fiesta and Ford Transit Connect.[34]

Reentry[edit]

In 2015, as part of contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers, leaked reports over the future of the Michigan Assembly Plant included the potential decision of replacing Ford Focus and Ford C-Max production with an American-market version of the global Ford Ranger.[35] Along with the revival of the Ranger nameplate, the UAW negotiations also included a potential revival of the Ford Bronco SUV.[36]

At the 2017 North American International Auto Show, Ford confirmed the return of the Ford Ranger and Ford Bronco, with the Ford Ranger as a 2019 model-year vehicle.[37] The production 2019 Ford Ranger was unveiled one year later, at the 2018 North American International Auto Show.

The new 2019 Ford Ranger has a single powertrain package under its twin-power-dome hood: Ford’s 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, mated a 10-speed automatic transmission – an exclusive in the segment. The engine features direct fuel injection, a twin-scroll turbocharger and four valves per cylinder, for enhanced efficiency and capability.[38]

Variants[edit]

1992–1997 Ford Aerostar
1983–1990 Ford Bronco II
1998–2001 Mercury Mountaineer
1991–1993 Mazda Navajo
Ford Aerostar

For the 1986 model year, the Ford Aerostar was launched as the first minivan from Ford Motor Company. Featuring a similar sloped-nose "one-box" body design introduced the same year on the European Ford Transit van. In a practice similar to that of the 1984- 1995 Chrysler minivans sharing components with the Chrysler K-Cars, Ford designed the Aerostar with mechanical commonality to the light-truck line. Throughout its 12-year production run, the Aerostar would share engines and transmissions with the Ranger and Explorer (among other Ford vehicles) .

Sold in a single generation, the Aerostar was discontinued after the 1997 model year, replaced by the front-wheel drive Ford Windstar (shifting to the Ford Taurus as a basis) and Mercury Villager.

Ford Bronco II

Following the transformation of the Bronco into a full-size SUV for the 1978 model year, Ford product planners sought to create a replacement for the popular 1966 to 1977 generation. Using a shortened Ranger four-wheel drive chassis, the 1983 Bronco II was only slightly longer and wider than the 1966 generation. In sharp contrast to its spartan predecessor, the Bronco II offered all of the convenience features available on any Ranger. Unlike its larger namesake, the Bronco II was not designed with a removable top; it was distinguished with large side windows which extended into the rear roofline.

As part of a redesign, the Bronco II was enlarged, becoming the Ford Explorer Sport for the 1991 model year.

Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer/Mazda Navajo
1991–1994 Ford Explorer XLT
1994 Ford Explorer Sport

For the 1991 model year, the Bronco II was redesigned for wider market appeal, becoming the Ford Explorer. To increase its appeal as a family vehicle, a five-door version was introduced; the three-door was renamed the Ford Explorer Sport. While the Ranger chassis remained in use, the Explorer was much longer than the Bronco II (mostly as a result of the second set of doors). As before, the Ranger and Explorer shared interiors and other components, though visible parts commonality was reduced over the Bronco II. In 1995, as part of a major redesign, the Ranger front bodywork was removed; the Explorer became the first Ford truck to end the use of Twin I-Beam front suspension.

Alongside the five-door Ford Explorer, Ford re-introduced the Bronco II with a three-door version of the Explorer for 1991. The three-door was sold under the Explorer and Explorer Sport names. To address the stability problems of the Bronco II, the three-door Explorer had an 8-inch longer wheelbase and was nearly a full foot longer in length. In contrast to the unique roofline of the Bronco II, the three-door Explorer wore a similar roofline to the five-door, with a raked "C-pillar" as an identifying feature. In 1998, the popularity of the Explorer Sport was noted, as the name was adopted for all three-door Explorers. For 2001, the Sport was given its own front-end styling (shared with the Sport Trac). Due to the declining popularity of three-door SUVs, the Explorer Sport was not redesigned alongside the five-door Explorer for 2002, with the facelifted 2001 version ending production in 2003.

From 1991 to 1994, Mazda sold the three-door Explorer as the Mazda Navajo. Equipped similar to the Explorer Sport and Explorer XLT three-door, the Navajo differed largely in exterior trim and wheels, with the interior differing only in the instrument panel lettering. Due to the slow sales of three-door SUVs, the Mazda Navajo was discontinued during the 1994 model year.

In 1997, the Mercury division introduced the Mercury Mountaineer as a badge-engineered version of the Ford Explorer five-door; it was sold until the discontinuation of the Mercury brand in 2010. As part of the development of the 2002 third-generation Ford Explorer, Ford developed a dedicated mid-size SUV chassis for the Explorer and Mountaineer, ending their use of the Ranger chassis after the 2001 model year.

Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Ford Explorer Sport Trac

For the 2000 model year, Ford introduced the Ford Explorer Sport Trac as its first crew-cab compact pickup in North America. Though Ford already produced a crew-cab Ranger in Argentina, the Explorer Sport Trac was intended as a personal-use vehicle rather than a work vehicle. The Explorer Sport Trac was a combination of several vehicles: the Ranger long-wheelbase chassis, the Explorer Sport front bodywork, F-150 tailgate, an all-new composite bed, and a cab formed from the five-door Explorer.

As with the Ranger and Explorer three-door, the first generation Sport Trac was powered solely by V6 engines, with a 4.6-liter Modular V8 option beginning for model year 2006, though both two and four-wheel drive configurations were available. In 2006, the Explorer Sport Trac adopted the Ford mid-size SUV platform, ending the production of the Ranger-based Explorer; in 2010, the model was discontinued.

Sales[edit]

Calendar year US sales
1997 298,796[39]
1998 328,136[40]
1999[41] 348,358
2000 330,125
2001[42] 272,460
2002[43] 226,094
2003 209,125
2004[44] 156,322
2005 120,958
2006[45] 92,420
2007 72,711
2008[46] 65,872
2009[47] 55,600
2010[48] 55,364
2011[49] 70,832

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "2019 Ford Ranger First Look: Welcome Home - Motor Trend". Motor Trend. 2018-01-13. Retrieved 2018-01-20. 
  3. ^ a b "Feature Flashback: 1983 Ford Ranger - Motor Trend". Motor Trend. 2017-07-24. Retrieved 2018-01-25. 
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  6. ^ Stark, Harry A, ed. (1983). Ward's Automotive Yearbook 1983. Ward's Communications, Inc. p. 69. 
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  13. ^ "Air Bags in Ford Trucks". The New York Times. June 16, 1994. Retrieved July 12, 2016. 
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External links[edit]