Ford Unveils Power Ranger in Australia

By: Lauren Woods

When Power Ranger becomes the subject of a tÃ?te-Ã?-tÃ?te, what first comes to mind is the long-running children's television show that lasted for three seasons. With the introduction of the new Ranger from Ford Motor Co., the automaker is giving people one good reason to push Mighty Morphin Power Rangers behind to pave way for a valiant uphill warrior.

Ford Australia launched the 2007 Ranger as a replacement for the Courier, an old American pickup. "Setting new standards in the light commercial sector, the all-new Ford Ranger is a no-compromise, powerful vehicle offering the style, comfort and refinement of a passenger car," said Ford Australia President Tom Gorman.

"The new Ranger is more powerful compared with Courier, offers improved functionality, significantly increased three-tonne towing ability (when using a 3.0-litre manual transmission model fitted with a genuine Ford towpack and load leveling kit), and maintains a one-tonne plus payload across the range. Ford engineers have built on the company's vast experience in trucks to deliver the ultimate one-tonne vehicle with the performance and power to get the job done."

Gorman added, "At the same time, we recognized that Ranger had to be versatile enough to adapt to the changing needs of the light commercial owner in the 21st century. It needs to be a combination of reliable work mate, family vehicle, lifestyle statement and an adventure vehicle. We engineered Ranger to deliver on all these expectations. It's the can do truck - a truck that means business."

Gorman noted that the change of name was resorted to after numerous hours of exhaustive customer research and brainstorming. "It was a tough decision to change a name that has been part of the Ford Australia family since 1978, but the research was overwhelming. The light commercial vehicle sector has changed dramatically in recent years, with customers wanting more from their truck than just a reliable work vehicle. Today's light truck owner wants the best of both worlds - a dependable, genuine truck for the industrious worker and a great family vehicle with the quality, comfort, safety and modern conveniences they demand. Ranger researched well as a brand name that exemplified all these attributes," said Gorman.

Ford's Ranger brand is used by the automaker around the globe. According to the company, this is the ideal time to introduce in Australia a new light truck with a bold new name. Ranger is designed to radiate a bolder and more aggressive charisma with a modern car-like interior. The pickup is equipped with two new common-rail turbo-diesel engines featuring direct injection, enhanced ride and handling and appreciably higher towing capacity.

The pickup was designed by the automaker's pool of engineers to appear tough and rugged to stand the most demanding truck applications. "We listened to the market and focused our improvements on Ranger's classic rugged exterior, its refined and comfortable interior, exceptional diesel performance, great driving feel and fantastic ability both on and off-road," added Gorman.

All-new Ranger was redesigned to give it a longer wheelbase and cab. To raise its capabilities to the maximum, the twin I-beam front suspension was replaced by a wishbone-style system. In addition, the new Ranger is offered with a 143 horsepower 2.3 L I4, a 148 horsepower 3.0 L V6, and a 207 horsepower 4.0 L V6 engines. All transmissions are 5-speed and come with a choice of manual or automatic. Adding an would also help boost the performance of the vehicle.

"The light commercial segment is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing in the Australian market," concluded Gorman. "The new Ranger, with its impressive list of features, gives Ford Australia a fantastic vehicle to enhance our well earned light truck reputation."

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