The wraps are off the all-new for 2011, Ford Ranger pickup truck which makes its worldwide debut at this week's Australian International Motor Show in Sydney before going on sale in 180 markets around the world but not -you guessed it- in the USA.
Like its predecessor, Ford's new Ranger was developed in cooperation with Mazda, which will also unveil its version of the compact pickup truck called the BT-50 in Sydney.
The new Ranger moves a step closer to passenger cars in terms of styling, interior appointments as well as technology features. It will be available in three different cab body styles, 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains, two ride heights and four series choices.
It is powered by a choice of two new common rail Ford Duratorq TDCi diesels, a 2.2-liter TDCi four-cylinder unit with 150HP and 375Nm [277 lb-ft], or a 3.2-liter TDCi inline-five rated at 200HP and 470Nm [347 lb-ft], and new six-speed automatic and manual transmissions.
The 4WD models are equipped with an electronically controlled transfer case that allows drivers to shift from 4x2 to 4x4 through an electronic switch located on the console, while low range gearing can also be enabled.
Ford said that the cargo box of the new Double Cab is more than 100mm wider than before - 1,549mm long by 511mm high and with a maximum cargo width of 1,560mm. Volume is rated at 1.21 cubic meters.
All Ranger models will come equipped with a new Electronic Stability Program (ESP) system that includes four-wheel traction control, yaw control and roll-over mitigation, as standard. Other new technologies include Rear Park Assist and new Rearview Camera system, plus the availability of side curtain airbags on all cab styles for the first time.
Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe, said: "The new Ranger is an exciting and dynamic vehicle that will undoubtedly raise the bar in the pickup market. The scope of its capability and technology are further evidence of how powerful the One Ford initiative is in helping us globally to develop a whole range of all-new class-leading vehicles. We look forward to bringing new Ranger to European customers by 2012 and I am confident it will exceed their expectations."
The new Ford Ranger will be built at three sites with series production scheduled to begin next summer, initially in Rayong, Thailand. Ford said it is also planning to manufacture the new pickup truck at its plants in Argentina and South Africa.