The Ford Ranger has resumed production in the United States following a nearly seven year long absence.
Set to go on sale early next, the 2019 Ranger will be available in SuperCab and SuperCrew configurations. Pricing starts at $24,300 but the entry-level Ranger XL comes sparely equipped. However, the range-topping Ranger Lariat features LED lighting units and 18-inch aluminum wheels with stealth gray accents.
The Ranger Lariat also has an upscale interior with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an 8-inch infotainment system and 8-way power heated leather front seats. Other niceties include an ambient lighting system, a dual-zone automatic climate control system and the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of driver assistance systems.
All US-spec Rangers are powered by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that develops 270 hp (201 kW / 273 PS) and 310 lb-ft (419 Nm) of torque. It is connected to a ten-speed automatic transmission which can be paired to an optional four-wheel drive system. This setup enables the truck to tow up to 7,500 lbs (3,401 kg).
The 2019 Ranger is being built at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne and Ford has invested $850 (£655 / €741) million into the facility to build the new pickup as well as the 2020 Bronco. It’s a fitting home for the models as the plant started building the Bronco in 1966 and continued to produce the SUV for the next 30 years.
While it’s nice to see the Bronco and Ranger making a return, the Michigan Assembly Plant stopped building the Focus earlier this year. Ford originally planned to move Focus production to Mexico, but that plan was abandoned. The company then decided to import models from China and Europe, but the automaker eventually decided to eliminate sedans from its North American lineup altogether.