Detroit Auto Present: Ford Ranger revives storied nameplate with new tech, options, seems to be

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2019 Ford Ranger(Photo: Ford Motor Company)

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Ford expects to make a big splash in the midsize pickup market when it revives the beloved Ranger nameplate on an all-new pickup early in 2019.

Rolling out of an assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan, the new Ranger is based on an architecture Ford developed for sale around the world, but engineers say every piece of the U.S. version’s frame is new.

So are the drivetrains, including a 10-speed automatic transmission and 2.3L Ecoboost four-cylinder gasoline engine.

Ford won’t reveal power, fuel economy or towing capacity yet, but it’ll be a surprise is the Ranger isn’t competitive with popular midsize pickups like the Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma.

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The annual North American International Auto Show, one of the largest such events in the U.S., starts its engines this weekend with dozens of new production vehicles and experimental concept cars. (Jan. 12) AP

Ford will build Rangers with two cabs and 5- or 6-foot boxes. The interior features and trim incline toward durability, not luxury.

Running gear will include sh8ft on the fly four-wheel drive, a locking electronic differential and Dana axles.

Other available features will include LED head and taillights B&O audio, blind spot alert for the truck and trailers, 4G LTE hot spot, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection and autonomous emergency braking.

In addition to the suburban Detroit plant that builds Rangers for U.S. sales, Ford produces the truck in Thailand Argentina and South Africa. It’s one of the world’s best-selling pickups.

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