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Ford unveils future Ranger pickup for segment rivals dominate

Ford Motor Co. returned to the midsize pickup truck market with the 2019 Ford Ranger, bringing back the vehicle at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit following an eight year absence from the US market.

Revealed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, the 2019 will go into production at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant later this year. The company hasn't exactly suffered without a small truck in its lineup - selling 897,764 F-Series trucks a year ago - but the Ranger could still give Ford's us sales a boost.

Rolling out of an assembly plant in Wayne, Mich., the new Ranger is based on an architecture Ford developed for sale around the world, but engineers say every piece of the US version's frame is new. The 2019 Ford Ranger has yet to have a specific release date, but fans are expecting more information in the coming months. It will sell in the USA in entry-level XL, mid-level XLT and high-level Lariat variants with available Chrome and Sport appearance and FX Off-Road packages, and in SuperCab or SuperCrewcab configurations. Analysts say that the buyers for a midsize truck are more interested in sports or off-roading while the full-size truck buyer usually uses the vehicle for work.

The first-ever diesel engine offered for the F-150 comes as a 3.0-liter Powerstroke with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The FX4 Off-Road Package introduces Fords all-new Trail Control technology.

Rangers twin-power dome hood houses its 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine designed for efficiency and capability thanks to direct fuel injection, a twin-scroll turbocharger and 16-valve design.

The Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi Triton and Isuzu D-Max are also due for minor model-year updates. For off-road chops the rear- and four-wheel-drive models both feature Dana Trac-Lok differentials, and an electrically locking rear diff is available as an option or standard on the FX2 and FX4 trims.

Ranger incorporates smart driver-assist, passenger convenience and connectivity technologies. Optional features include B&O PLAY premium audio and the FordPass Connect 4G LTE hotspot (which can support up to 10 wireless devices). Only extended cab configurations are available.

The models also feature autonomous emergency braking - a first time for the class - as well as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring and automatic high beams.

Our big question is whether, as with the "other" Ranger, there'll be a Ranger Raptor version for the US.

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