Ford Ranger 2.2 Automatic Takes on Sand Dunes at George Launch


 Bennett  Oghifo

Driving instructors usually recommend lesser air pressure for tyres when driving over loose sand because it gives better grip.

This was done during a launch of the All-new Ford Ranger 2.2 Automatic before the drive on the beach of the Indian Ocean in George, South Africa. The sight of all that sand ahead and the steady rise in topography was simply challenging to the mind, but it became reassuring when reassured about the strength/toughness of the Ford Ranger 2.2 Automatic on and off road. It has the cool feel of a family car on-road and is excitingly tough off-road.

So, the ride over sand was exciting with the Ranger holding its side of the bargain, leaving the rest to the judgement and attitude of the driver. The interesting thing was that the Ford Ranger 2.2 Automatic won the challenge.

The Ranger 2.2 Automatic is coming to the sub-Saharan African market both right hand and left hand versions. In Nigeria, the left hand drives are expected to be on display at the showroom of Coscharis Motors soon.

The new Ford Ranger remains one of the most capable pick-ups in its class. With an exceptional 800mm water wading depth, and with 230mm of ground clearance, it is designed and engineered to handle the most extreme terrains with ease. Thanks to a 28-degree approach angle and 25-degree departure angle, drivers in the new Ranger can feel confident when taking on steep obstacles.

A robust electronically controlled transfer case allows drivers in 4×4 models to shift on the fly from 4×2 to 4×4 high via a knob on the centre console.

For low-speed torque or additional downhill control, drivers can also engage low-range 4×4 gearing, while an electronic locking rear differential helps to improve traction in difficult conditions. These off-road strengths are matched to a towing capability of up to 3 500kg and impressive payload capacity.

The new Ranger achieves all this with a level of refinement not usually seen in the pick-up segment. While the current Ranger already sets the standard for ride and handling, Ford engineers fine-tuned the suspension of the new version for additional comfort and even better handling.

The driving experience is further enhanced by an electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system, which provides precise steering with a natural and confident feel. With EPAS, steering is light and manageable for low-speed manoeuvring, such as parking, and precise at higher speeds.

The level of assistance varies based on speed, steering wheel angle, cornering forces and acceleration or deceleration. Furthermore, by eliminating the power steering pump used in a traditional power-steering system, EPAS also results in a quieter vehicle and improves fuel efficiency by about three percent.

Engineers fitted the new Ranger with advanced sound-deadening materials and improved insulation for one of the quietest and most comfortable cabin interiors in its class.

The new Ranger’s impressive power, capability, and payload and towing capacity are made possible thanks to the latest generation of powerful, refined and fuel-efficient Duratorq TDCi diesel engines, as well as the proven Duratec petrol unit. These engines provide new Ranger customers with a winning combination of power and efficiency in all conditions, and help to underscore Ford’s fun-to-drive promise.

Ford’s mighty 3.2-litre Duratorq TDCi five-cylinder diesel engine tops the range, and has earned an impressive reputation for its segment-defining levels of performance. Upgrades include a new exhaust gas recirculation system that helps improve fuel efficiency while still producing 147kW (200PS) of power and 470Nm of torque.

The capable and economical 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi four-cylinder diesel engine remains part of the line-up, available in mid-power 88kW (120PS)/285Nm guise, or the high-power version with 110kW (150PS) and 375Nm. Combined with the addition of EPAS and the use of a longer final drive ratio, this reduces overall fuel consumption.

The new Ranger is also available with Ford’s dependable 2.5-litre Duratec petrol engine, providing 122kW (163PS) of power and 226Nm of torque.

Buyers can specify the new Ranger with the option of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions on the 3.2 and 2.2 High-Power models, while a five-speed manual is standard on the 2.2 Mid-Power and petrol versions.