Ford jazzes up the Ranger ute with new tech, safety equipment
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It's sat perched atop New Zealand's registration charts for months, and now the Ford Ranger is set for an injection of new standard equipment for the 2020 model year. Each level of Ranger (from XL through to the off-road orientated Raptor) inherits some kind of update in the change-up.
The XL gets new 'Heavy Duty Suspension' as standard. The system includes thicker rear springs with a revised spring rate, new re-tuned dampers all round, a unique ABS ans ESC calibration, and Bridgestone A/S tyres on the 2WD model (they're already standard on the 4x4 XL variant).
The XL (as well as the rest of the range) also gets a revised version of Ford's SYNC infotainment system as standard, a new USB port in the rear-view mirror — designed to support dashcams.
For XLT, Wildtrak, and Raptor, the changes start with a new set of Bi-LED headlights. These replace the old HID projectors, and will be visually distinct from the outgoing headlights. They're said to present a 17 per cent improvement in standard conditions, and a 20 per cent improvement when high-beams are activated.
Read more: Ford Ranger Raptor rated on and off-road
The 'foreman's favourite' Wildtrack gets a new-look 18-inch wheel, and a power roller shutter for its bed. The slight redesign supporting the shutter has led to an (unspecified) increase in load space and an 80mm increase in opening length. The roller shutter can be operated via a switch on the dashboard, a button in the tub, or a button on the key fob.
Completing the list of revisions is the addition of Ford Performance Blue to the Raptor colour line-up, which replaces 'Blue Lightning'.
The changes come after Ford announced in March that each model would get Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection as standard.
“New Zealand Ranger customers are finding so many different uses for their Ranger, from workhorse to weekend off-roader through to safely heading out with the family,” said Simon Rutherford, Managing Director, Ford New Zealand.
“We’re glad to add to the versatility and capability of the Ranger line-up, and bring more value to customers with the latest updates. We’ll keep on working to make sure Ranger continues to be the vehicle that reflects what customers want.”
Ford did not confirm whether these changes would result in alterations to pricing. The revised models will land in New Zealand in December.