Designed in Melbourne for world markets, the updated Ford Ranger has benefited from a design brief that demanded a unique and tough new style: one that further distances it from the Mazda BT-50 ute range that sits beneath the skin.
With a distinctive three-bar grille, twin lateral nostrils, wrap-around headlamps and a raised hood, the ?tough? factor is evident.
Forming the main elements of the Ranger?s new look, the front end has been massively overhauled. That three-bar grille is swiftly becoming an international trademark for Ford, and the ?RANGER? emblazoned top bar sets it right off. The twin black lateral nostrils are both functional and stylish, and the wrap-around headlights cap off the new look perfectly.
The front bumper has been redesigned as well, with silver-framed fog lights flanking the prominent centre air dam, leading through to the Ranger?s turbo-charged diesel?s front-mounted intercooler.
With 4x2 and 4x4 drive options, the 2009 Ford PK Ranger is available in three spec levels: XL, XLT, and Wildtrak, along with three body configurations: Single Cab, Super Cab and Crew Cab.
There is also a Hi-Rider option for the 4x2, raising the car a good 26mm over its standard 181mm height.
While the base XL model receives 15-inch steel wheels, sporty new alloy wheels accompany the aggressive redesign on some models, with 16-inch rims for the XLT models and bigger 18-inch rims for the Wildtrak variants.
Power comes courtesy of two Duratorq TDCi engine options, in either 2.5 or 3.0 litre capacities. Both feature an intercooler, with a variable-geometry turbocharger offering reduced lag, improved performance, and maximum efficiency.
The 2.5 litre Duratorq TDCi makes 105kW (140hp) and 330Nm (243Nm), and the range-topping 3.0 litre unit develops 115kW (154hp) and 380Nm (280Nm) of torque at 1800rpm ? around 10 percent more than the Toyota Hilux. Both engines can be mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic.
With strength and rigidity being the key requirements, the 2009 Ford Ranger utilises an overlapped, cross-braced ladder frame, offering superior load-carrying and towing capacity, durability, as well as improved handling and ride quality.
The 4x2 2.5 litre Ranger is rated to tow up to 2250kg, and the 4x4 3.0 litre will pull up to 3000kg.
Suspension is managed up front by a double wishbone setup with torsion bar springs, while the back end gets a long-leaf arrangement with 32mm gas shock absorbers.
The 4x2 Hi-Rider and 4x4 models also benefit from a two-way mechanical, multi-plate torque-sensing limited slip differential. ABS with EBD is standard on the XLT and Wildtrak models, and can be optioned on the base model XL.
Tray capacity varies depending on the body configuration, with the Single Cab?s tray measuring 2280x1456mm, the Super Cab?s tray 1753x1456mm, and the Crew Cab at 1530x1456mm.
The 2009 Ford Ranger will see action in Thailand first, from mid-February, before coming to Australia in either the first or second quarter of 2009.