While we were busy checking out the new 2010 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 at the Chicago auto show, half a world away Ford was introducing an updated version of its important overseas Ranger midsize pickup, which is sold in 130 global markets.
The Thai-built Ranger shares only its name with the Ranger built for North America, so while U.S. Ford Ranger buyers have to settle for an old platform enhanced with new airbags and advanced stability control, Thai Ranger buyers can now buy a handsomely restyled pickup with a choice of two diesel engines.
The overseas Ranger takes its styling cues from the Ford Ranger Max concept that was shown at the 2008 Bangkok auto expo. The styling update is an effort to keep the Ranger fresh in the competitive Thai market, which is the second-largest pickup truck market on the planet after the U.S.
Recent Ford truck design DNA, like a twin-nostril three-bar grille and fender side vents, have evolved with inspiration from power tools and extreme sports gear.
While the outside is more muscular, mechanically the refreshed Ranger is the same as the previous truck. Two advanced, fuel-efficient, 16-valve, four-cylinder Duratorq TDCi common-rail diesel engines are available. The standard 2.5-liter TDCi engine is rated at 141 horsepower at 3,500 rpm and 243 pounds-feet of torque at 1,800 rpm. The 3.0-liter is rated at 154 hp at 3,200 rpm and 280 pounds-feet of torque at 1,800 rpm. Alas, the Duratorq twins are not clean enough to find their way to U.S. shores.
The new Ford Ranger is available in regular cab (Single Cab), extended cab (Open Cab) and crew cab (Double Cab) body-style configurations in both 4x2 and 4x4. Pricing starts at $13,843 for Single Cab 4x2, $15,406 for Open Cab 4x2 and $17,140 for Double Cab 4x2.