Nip nTuck – Revived Ford Ranger -2.0 Bi-Turbo 10speed AT

Nip nTuck – Revived Ford Ranger -2.0 Bi-Turbo 10speed AT

Last year Ford invited media to their Struandale plant for the launch of the new smaller yet more efficient and more powerful 2.0litre diesel engines, this also heralded news that the much anticipated Raptor will be made in here in South Africa in their Struandale, the engine is made right here in Port Elizabeth.  All this has culminated to us being on an awesome trip in George for additional model to the already successful Ranger model lineup.

First up ,the shape has not really changed apart from some minute yet lovely improved on cosmetics, most notable are on the popular Wildtrack, new LED daytime running lights, a revised front bumper with better looking  fog light housings. At the side profile the XLT benefits from a new set of Alloys, and now you can order a black set of wheels straight from Ford, their sales and marketing team have learnt that most Ranger buyers have a tendency of having their OEM wheels painted black in the after-market scene. The side fender badge now bares the Bi-Turbo logo, the rear tail gate has been relabeled with bolder Ranger lettering. Speaking of the tail gate, they have done some magic over there, Ford have fitted a torsion bar that creates some resistance when opening and closing thus making the process up to 60% lighter, it can now be closed even by a single index finger! It’s just awesome.

The Interior looks better and feels better , I have always loved their cluster, visually friendly, they have kept that steering wheels which looks like you are operating a Boeing, that many buttons in an era of touch screens are a sin. The centre console and dash are very well touched, in the current top of the range WildTrack the detail changes are most notable. It just does not feel like a bakkie. Seats are supportive and comfortable, the driver’s seating position was prime for me. Space is ample for all occupants.

The drive …..our launch route was a fair split between some serious off road sections  , loose gravel stretches, and on road, this was sufficient to sample all necessary aspect of the main draw cards on launch, engine and transmission, and that suspension. The engine, is available in 2 output options, 132kw and 420nm from the single turbo diesel , this is mated to a 10 speed automatic with several key features like skip shift. This allows one to access the correct gear according to throttle input, the gear box will not go through all the gear when changing down for instance. The prime 157kw and 500nm was what most guys wanted  to sample, this is the power plant going into the Raptor, off the bat I missed the mumble of the 5 potter from the 3.2L, hardly 15minutes into it I came into a realization that this 2.0 biturbo means business, the gear box makes it so smooth. We will have a better fuel consumption assessment  when we get the test unit. It is utterly impressive how it delivers the power, especially now that the suspension has been improved to be softer, that was always my gripe about the Ranger, a hard ride, all that is no more, rides better and feels better.

Overall the improvements are welcome , earlier I mentioned additions, this means you can still order a 3.2l with a 6 speed auto or manual, the derivatives will not be phased immediately. Some of the nice to haves also include lane keeping assist, and that cool Park assist, imagine a Bakkie that can park itself, to mention but a few.

If the 2.0L BiTurbo is anything to go by, the Raptor will be all we expect it be, personally I feel it needs more oomph to match those rugged looks!!! For now we are happy though.

 

Thanks to Ford SA, Minesh, Angeline, Vusumuzi,Gideon  and the entire team for a great time at  OuBaai.

Yours in motoring

Wezile Lorenzio Bonani

 

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