2019 Ford Ranger - 5 Hits
It’s been a couple weeks since the 2019 Ford Ranger was introduced at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, and we've had time to digest some of the information presented with it. I have to say that it is a good looking truck, and I’m really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of one. While that’s going to be a bit farther down the road, enough time has passed for us absorb the information Ford has provided us thus far. So here are the Five Hits we here at SVTP see with the 2019 Ford Ranger.
One of the few surprisingly specific details that Ford provided about the upcoming Ranger was that it will come equipped with Dana axles both front and rear. While we don’t know which models will be sourced, it’s highly likely that they’ll be part of Dana’s 3rd generation of axles and components. This new family of axles is designed to increase efficiency and fuel economy, while also remaining very strong. So I would not expect a traditional Dana 44 rear, but we may very well see something even stronger.
10R80 10-Speed Automatic Transmission
One of the breakout piece of technology that Ford has released in the last several years has been the 10R80 transmission. In the F-150 is has proven very strong, and in the Mustang GT it has added an incredible new level of performance compared to the previous 6R80 trans (which is a great unit in its own right). As good as the 10R80 is in the F-150, we expect it to be even better in the more compact, and hopefully lighter weight, Ranger.
This is a new one for me. I had two Rangers in what nearly feels like a previous life a this point, and in my day Leather seats were no existent on the compact Ford. For just a couple years towards the end of production a material that resembled what is commonly known as leather was available on the Ranger’s seats, but the rest of the interior was still pretty much standard XLT fair. However, on the 2019 Ranger a Lariat model will be available; and with it comes a much greater level of interior trim. I’m looking forward to seeing all the up-market goodies Ford crams into the new truck. All I can say is heated seats are damn nice in the winter.
I already know what you’re going to say, “It’s just a 4-Banger!!!”. Let me tell you something about the 2.3L EcoBoost, that little bastard pulls. We haven’t seen it used in a truck application yet; but in out SVTP Project EcoBoost Mustang we made over 340RWHP and 440RWTQ with just an intake, tune, and exhaust. That’s well over 100 more HP and TQ than the PI 2V 5.4L V8 was putting out in the 1999-2003 F-150. Hell, that’s more power than my 2004 Lightning made from the factory; and it was obtained with simple bolt-ons that you could install in a couple hours on a truck.
Yes it’s true, we’d all love to see the 2.7L V6 EcoBoost on deck, but the fact that we’re getting such a potent mill right out of the gate is a good sign. Ford has a tendency to debut a truck with one powerplant, then the next model year offer a substantial upgrade. All you have to do is look back to the 2010 SVT F-150 Raptor’s 5.4L V8 and the 2011 model’s 6.2L engine. So I would say that there’s a very good chance that we’ll be seeing a more potent engine option than the 2.3L EcoBoost make its way into the Ranger. However, in the meantime; the 2.3 4-Banger is an impressive mill in its own right that I would not mind having between my Ranger’s framerails.
Appropriately Sized Head Lights and Tail Lights
I’m going to giveaway something that I have found completely irksome about Ford styling for about a decade now, the increasing size of headlights and taillights. IMO, the best looking mainline trucks Ford has built in the last 30 years was the final years of the OBS F-350 and the 2005-07 Super Duties. On thing those trucks had in common was reasonably sized lights. I didn’t think things could get any worse than the gargantuan headlights of the 2011-2016 Super Duties, but then the 2017s came along with even bigger ones.
Thankfully, the Ranger debuts with some of the best looking front and rear light styling we’ve seen in years. Dare I say that the front styling harkens back to those glory days of the old 7.3L Powerstroke? While I’m not a huge fan of a plastic front fascia on a work truck, a Gen 2 Lightning doesn’t count, I suppose I can learn to live with it on a Ranger.