Ford's all-new Ranger, released in South Africa this week, is the first pickup developed under the company's "One Ford" programme; designed in Australia, it will be built on three continents (including right here in Silverton, just north of Pretoria) and sold in 180 countries around the world.
Which is why we're not calling it a bakkie, although we can't help being amused that Ford still refers to a full one-tonner (and then some - payload on some variants is 1200kg) as a "compact pickup".
But enough teasing: the 2012 Ranger introduces three new engines - two Duratorq TDCi diesel engines and one Duratec petrol unit - in three body styles - single, super and double cab - on two ride heights, with 4x2 Hi-Rider models sharing the taller suspension of the 4x4 chassis.
Everything about the new Ranger is new, says Ford, after 30 000 computer models and a million kilometres of extreme-climate testing in 15 countries, including South Africa, with its unique combination of altitude, heat and dust.
That's been all the more important, say the Blue Oval boffins, because the new 2.2 and 3.2-litre Duratorq TDCi turbodiesels are being built at Ford's engine plant in Struandale near Port Elizabeth for export to 140 countries around the world.
At 5274mm long and 2163 mm wide, it's significantly bigger than the previous-generation model, with what Ford designers call "21st Century Tough" styling, featuring a very short front overhang, and the three-bar grille that identifies Ford trucks from Argentina to Zastron.
But it's not a collection of blocks: the windscreen has been raked back and the front corners sculpted around bigger headlight clusters with bigger mirrors and stamped-in wheel-arches.
Most importantly, the waistline has been raised to give the new Ranger a chunkier presence on the road, and a deeper load box - 1.82 cubic metres on the single cab, 1.45 on the super cab and 1.21 on the double cab.
The B pillar in the double cab has also been moved forward to improve rear legroom and knee clearance; the maker says the rear bench will comfortably seat three adults, while two 1.8-metre Boerewors Bliksems can sit one behind the other.
The double cab also has 23 storage spaces, including an 8.5-litre centre-console box that'll keep a six-pack cold, a glove compartment big enough to store a 16" laptop and door pockets that will hold 1.5-litre cool-drink bottles. There's easily accessible storage for cellphones and other small items in the centre stack and hidden storage bins for tools and other valuables.
But a pick-up (all right, Cyril, a bakkie) is all about shifting the load, whether it be materials on site or family and playtoys to the 'Berg for the weekend.
Leading the way in the motorvational stakes is the new, five-cylinder, 3.2-litre TDCi, rated at 147kW and a substantial 470Nm, for which Ford claims 8.4 litres per 100km in a 4x2 chassis and 9.2 litres per 100km on a full-option 4x4 double cab.
The economy champion of the Ranger crew is the new 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi four-cylinder diesel engine, with 110kW and 375Nm to work with at a cost of only of 7.6 litres/100km in a rear-wheel drive set-up.
The 2.5-litre Duratec four-cylinder petrol engine has also been updated; Ford quotes 122kW and 226Nm, while burning 9.8 litres of unleaded per 100km in a rear-wheel drive Ranger.
Petrol models have a five-speed manual gear-box, while the diesel come with either a six-speed manual or, on the fancier models, the option of a six-speed self-shifter (the only one in the one-ton class, says Ford).
And how much load can they shift? The short answer is, lots. Rear-wheel drive, single-cab models are rated to carry 1200kg, the big diesels can tow 3350kg and Hi-Rider models can wade through 800mm of water.
Off-road capability comes from a new, compact front differential, a tougher rear axle and lower overall ratios, with an electronically controlled transfer case (on both manual and automatic transmissions) that lets you shift 'on the fly' from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive, via a knob on the centre console.
Higher-specced Rangers also have a new traction control system that can brake a spinning wheel and then reduce the engine's torque to the exact amount that the tyres can handle at that moment. Also available is an electronic locking rear differential for extreme conditions.
Rear suspension is by traditional leaf springs and live axle (still unsurpassed for serious load-carrying) but the front end runs a new, double-wishbone set-up with coil-over dampers. The suspension architecture is the same across the range, with varying spring and damper rates depending weight, centre of gravity, engine torque and drive distribution.
Upspec Rangers now also have a comprehensive electronic stability programme that uses sensors to monitor where the vehicle is headed compares that to where the front wheels are pointed.
ESP functions include hill hold, hill descent control, trailer sway control, adaptive load control, roll-over avoidance and emergency brake lighting, that flashes the hazard lights when the driver hits the brakes hard.
The new Ranger needs servicing every 15 000km and comes with a four-year or 120 000km warranty, a five-year corrosion warranty, a five-year or 90 000km service plan, three years' roadside assistance and, on 4x4 models, free off-road driver training.
2.2 TDCi Base Single cab - R184 400
2.2 TDCi XL Single cab - R193 400
2.2 TDCi XL Hi-Rider Single cab - R217 000
2.2 TDCi XL 4x4 Single cab - R262 900
2.2 TDCi XLS Hi-Rider Single cab - R251 100
2.2 TDCi XLS 4x4 Single cab - R251 100
2.2 TDCi Hi-Rider Super cab - R251 200
2.2 TDCi XL Double cab - R272 300
2.2 TDCi XLS Double cab - R319 200
2.2 TDCi XLS 4x4 Double cab - R364 400
2.5 Base Single cab - R174 000
2.5 XL Single cab - R193 400
2.5 XL Hi-Rider Single cab - R205 600
2.5 XL Hi-Rider Super cab - R228 000
3.2 TDCi XLS Hi-Rider Super cab - R323 900
3.2 TDCi XLS 4x4 Super cab - R370 300
3.2 TDCi XLS 4x4 Super cab a/t - R380 200
2.5 XL Hi-Rider Double cab - R259 400
3.2 TDCi XLT Hi-Rider Double cab - R380 400
3.2 TDCi XLT Hi-Rider Double cab a/t - R391 500
3.2 TDCi XLT 4x4 Double cab - R426 900
3.2 TDCi XLT 4x4 Double cab a/t - R436 700
3.2 TDCi Wildtrack Double cab - R402 600
The Ranger 2.2 TDCI XL Supercab is only available in low spec trim and forces one to buy the 3.2 XLS at a premium price. The 2.2 is going to be the star of the show. Does one need all that power in a bakkie?If build quality like Hilux and Amarok it is going to be a winner
Come on toy fans. Why don't you all wait and see. I guarantee you. You'll hate your hilux after you see what this big, beautiful beast can do. 8l100km. 147kw. 800mm water wading. Good players know when to admit defeat.
Mlungisi Ngwenya, wrote
I am in love with the interior and the fact that its bigger than the old one
Jaun van Zyl, wrote
I went to the press launch that was held at River Wild just outside Nelspruit and this is surely the best truck on the marked today, we await the dealer allocations! Good luck competitors
Looks like a decent diesel engine vs the Toyota and the price of the Navara? After a Toyota, Isuzu and currently a Fortuner I am thinking rather than waiting for 2013?
This does look like the hilux.
Amarok also got 5 stars, Hilux managed only 4 stars in the Aus NCAP.
@ Theo I can confirm New Ranger can run on both 50 and 500ppm. am with Ford dealer and confirmed with Factory. @ Roumal Quality like the brake problem Also please tell me where is the copy. Ford engines 2.5 Petrol 2.2 and 3.2 Diesel Toyota 2.7 petrol 3.0 diesel both old engines @KENNOEL the new Hilux is only due in RSA in 2013 so how do you ripoff a vehicle that has not been launched yet
These prices makes every other bakkie a rip-off. not just Toyota.
so if you've owned 11 toyotas, how many other brands have you owned to enable you to make statements of "quality is best from toyota". I've owned 3 fords, driven each one over 150 000km and never needed repairs.Funny that you think this looks like a hilux - the hilux front looks like the old Condor. The Three bar grill has been a ranger staple since the 80s.
And we should add that this is the first double-cab ever to get a 5-star safety rating from euroncap. So the perfect family car then? I would just like to get the 2.2 diesel in auto.
Roumal. The fact that you have owned 11 Toys says absolutely nothing. If you had some other makes you would not be in such denial to think that Toyota is the best. I have a vrot tuna myself, and I think its rubbish, compared to other brabd i have owned.
To all the "Hilux Morons" - you are so right, I own a fleet of 4wd double cabs (Construction and Mining) and the Hiluxes outlast just about anything else I own (Inlcuding Ford Rangers, Mazda's and Nissans), the only other 4wd that comes close is the Isuzu. So, in my experience, if you want reliabilty, get yourself an Isuzu or Hilux.
Well, if the Hilux was so bad, why is it outselling any other 4x4 in the country? Even though the Ford, and every other vendor, has more gears and a more powerful engine, will it last as long as a Hilux? I doubt it. Go and see what makemodel farmers drive, or which vehicle you would see towing boats at the beach. Of course the new Ford will be able to do all of this, but until the warrantee runs out? No thanks, I will stick to my trustworthy Hilux, and with 4.0 L V6, nothing new (with a Petrol engine) will match the reliability easily.
Roumal , wrote
Toyota is no rip off i have owned 11 toyotas so far including the new hilux and fortuner let me tel u that quality is best from toyota no other manufacturer can can worldwide a Ford wil always be needing repairs and all sorts of parts not available the new Ford is a copy of the Toyota hilux
You are right of course, the Hilux is a 100% rip-off! And as ALWAYS, TSA is trying to play after the fact catch-up games by adding little cosmetics here and there if there is wind of a new model from competitors. . NOTHING SIGNIFICANT changed from 2005 on the Hilux. But the herd will keep on buying Hilux regardless, naively. Meanwhile, TSA is laughing their ass of while pocketing! Wake up!!!!!!! You are all in denial - Toyota is NOT what it was 15 years ago, oh wait, they are actually EXACLTY still the same, no innovation, no nothing!
To all you hilux morons, this is not and does not look like a hilux. The hiluxfortuner with their new grill looks more like something out of china, and this is typical of toyota to take years to upgradechange there vehicles to compete with the local market. So stop being so sour and accept the competition! Go FORD!!!
Impressive. BUT what diesel does it use, ie 50 or 500ppm. The local Ford dealer in Centurion could not tell me despite the sales staff having been on some or other course to learn about the 'bakkies'. If it requires 50ppm, then it's a problem for users that do not have supply points selling the higher quality diesel AND it impacts on the service interval of 15 000km - the lube oil gets contaminated faster with the low quality diesel.
Joe Mur, wrote
You must be joking , Maybe you should try reading a little instead of just looking at the pictures, The hilux is GREAT !!! this is JUST BETTER :)
Ford is setting the bar; but Toyota to try to keep market share brought out a water-down version of the Ford tuner to try to keep market share, ford sets the bar even with price