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Ford Australia Teases The Ranger Raptor – Big time!

Ford Australia Teases The Ranger Raptor – Big time!

Official website shows the mid-sized Raptor bombing through the outback

Out of the blue dropped Ford’s confirmation of the 2019 Ranger Raptor – a highly capable off-roader based on the mid-size T6 Ranger pickup but with the soul of the widely loved F-150 Raptor. Without much hubbub, the Ranger Raptor’s webpage went live early September 7 as part of Ford Australia’s main website. Included is a short video that teases the truck’s capabilities and rugged underpinnings. Many details still remain unknown, but Ford did confirm the Ranger Raptor will come in 2018 within the Asia Pacific market, which includes Australia and New Zealand.

The video offers a clear look the Ranger Raptor’s front suspension system, especially the lower control arm. It’s a beefy slug of aluminum and looks very similar to the F-150 Raptor’s. The MacPherson struts are devoid of branding, however, though we’d bet Fox Racing is a shoe-in. Sadly, we can’t see the rear suspension. Rumors are running rampant of a multi-link system with coil springs and a Watts Link attached to a solid axle. Confirmation of the powertrain is also missing. Some say the Ranger Raptor will use the same High Output 3.5-liter EcoBoost found the in F-150 Raptor, while others say the Ranger’s 3.2-liter five-cylinder will be used. We’re leaning toward the standard 3.5-liter EcoBoost used in less radical F-150s. There it makes 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. We’re also betting strongly on the 10-speed automatic transmission being the only choice. And what would a modern Raptor be without Baja Mode and the rest of the 4WD selectable setting? Ford could officially debut the Raptor at the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show starting September 14, so stay tuned to TopSpeed for that.

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor here.

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Mercedes-Benz X-Class Vs. The Competition

Mercedes-Benz X-Class Vs. The Competition

‘Ze Germans reimagine the pickup segment, but how does it stack up?

Mercedes-Benz just made quite the splash when it dropped the new X-Class. Framed as the first truly “upscale” pickup truck, the X-Class intends on redefining the midsize segment with unprecedented levels of luxury and refinement. It might seem like a strange combination to mate luxury with pickups, but as Mercedes points out, “the number of pickups for private use is increasing. They are no longer viewed purely as workhorses.” As such, the X-Class aims to broaden the pickup’s buyer appeal, seeking out folks like “land owners and farmers in Argentina, business owners and building contractors in Australia, families with an affinity for premium products in Brazil, trend-conscious individualists in South Africa and Great Britain as well as sporty adventurers in New Zealand and Germany.” Sounds like quite the collection of buyers. But here’s the thing – is the X-Class really all that revolutionary?

To find out, we placed it alongside some of its biggest competition, including the Toyota Hilux, the Volkswagen Amarok, and the Ford Ranger. And, since its possible Merc might bring the X-Class stateside eventually, we threw in the GMC Canyon Denali as well. Read on for all the specs and info you need, and let us know in the comments how you think the X-Class stacks up.

Continue reading to learn more about how the Mercedes-Benz X-Class compares to the competition.

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2019 Ford Ranger Raptor

2019 Ford Ranger Raptor

Ford likely developing a Raptor version of upcoming Ranger pickup

The Ford F-150 Raptor was supposed to be a specialty truck designed to last a few model years before being retired. That was in 2010. To Ford’s surprise, the desert-running truck struck a nerve and people lined up to buy them. The Raptor jumped generations with the 2015 F-150’s switch to aluminum body panels, returning to showrooms for the 2016 model year. Well, Ford decided to capitalize on the Raptor’s success and capability by extending the same hard-core off-road tech to the mid-size Ford Ranger pickup.

Debuting for the 2019 model year, the Ranger Raptor is wider, taller, and rides on Fox Racing Shocks and all-terrain tires similar to its big brother’s. Ford also decided the Ranger Raptor needed its own powerplant, electing to design and build a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel that makes a respectable 369 pound-feet of torque.

Ford’s initial debut of the 2019 Ranger Raptor happened for the Asia Pacific market that includes countries like China, Thailand, India, the Philippines, and Australia. The U.S.-spec model is expected to debut in the coming months, if not weeks.

Update 02/08/2018: Ford has debuted the 2019 Ranger Raptor for the Asian Pacific market. We’ve got all the details in the review below.

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Baloney: Ford Bronco, Ranger Getting Solid Front Axle

Baloney: Ford Bronco, Ranger Getting Solid Front Axle

It’ll never happen…

Word is circulating the rumor mill that both the 2019 Ford Ranger and the 2020 Ford Bronco will have solid front and rear axles, making both the only light-duty contenders outside the Jeep Wrangler to use such a suspension setup. The news comes from Automotive News, which reported famed axle maker Dana confirmed both Ford products will use its “AdvanTEK gear technology.” AN then made the assumption this means solid axles. There’s only on problem…

It’s not true.

What is true is Dana has indeed been selected as Ford’s axle provider for the Ranger and Bronco. What isn’t true is the solid, beam-style design. Dana’s AdvanTEK gear technology is indeed used in solid axles, but is also used in independent suspension systems, as well. See, AdvanTEK is a gear technology, not a particular style of axle. Dana markets the AdvanTEK brand as “delivering more miles per gallon, enhanced vehicle performance, and maximum durability for the complete spectrum of light vehicles.”

Further more, solid axles are good at two things: off-roading and being extremely strong. Conversely, solid axles are not so great at on-road driving. Ever heard of the Jeep “death wobble?” While the Bronco and Ranger would benefit tremendously off-road with a solid front axle, the on-road trade-off is far too great for Ford to okay the idea. What’s more, Ford has confirmed the U.S.-spec ranger will be based off the T6 global Ranger. That pickup uses an independent front suspension design. And since the Bronco will be based off the U.S.-spec Ranger, it too will have an independent front suspension.

Keep reading for the rest of the story.

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Bronco & Ranger Confirmed! Ford to Revive Icons in U.S.

Bronco & Ranger Confirmed! Ford to Revive Icons in U.S.

Both to be built in Michigan & hit showrooms by the decade’s end

Ford has officially announced the Ranger pickup and Bronco SUV will indeed return to the U.S. after an extended absence. The confirmation was all but expected as word of the vehicles’ return has long been rumored. Ford has not revealed any major vehicle-specific details, but the production timeline was announced.

Ford says the Ranger will fall into the mid-size pickup category and be “incredibly capable yet fun to drive.” It will hit showrooms for the 2019 model year, meaning Ford will debut the pickup in the coming year. Joe Hinrich, Ford’s president of The Americas, said this about the Ranger. “[The] Ranger is for truck buyers who want an affordable, functional, rugged, and maneuverable pickup that’s Built Ford Tough.”

As for the Bronco, Hinrich says, “[the] Bronco will be a no-compromise midsize 4x4 utility for thrill seekers who want to venture way beyond the city.” It will arrive in showrooms for the 2020 model year and will be classified a mid-size SUV.

Though no other information was given, it’s easy to speculate about Ranger and Bronco. Both vehicles will be built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan. This means they will likely share a good majority of parts, including their platform, engines, transmission, and interior.

Since Ford is sure to use a body-on-frame design for the Ranger, it would make sense for the Bronco to ride on the same underpinnings. Combine that with Hinrich’s words about a no-compromise mid-size 4WD utility for thrill seekers, and the suspicion of a body-on-frame SUV is undeniable. Perhaps Ford has the Jeep Wrangler in its sights.

Possible powertrains include the F-150’s new 3.3-liter V-6, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6, and hopefully, the new 3.0-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel. Perhaps Ford will also include the new 10-speed automatic transmission, as well.

Continue reading for more information.

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Ford Bronco and Ranger Will be Built in Michigan; Confirmation Thanks to... Donald Trump?

Ford Bronco and Ranger Will be Built in Michigan; Confirmation Thanks to... Donald Trump?

In a move to disprove Trump, UAW confirms Bronco and Ranger for U.S. market!

Love or loath him, Donald Trump has seemingly squeezed great news out of Ford Motor Company. Trump’s harsh and frequent remarks on Ford’s relocation of small-car production from Michigan to Mexico has pushed the automaker to divulge secret company plans on reviving the Bronco SUV and Ranger midsize pickup for the North American market.

Yep, Ford is bringing back the Bronco and Ranger. Trump aside, that’s news we can all get behind. The news comes from the chairman of the UAW local 900, Bill Johnson, in speaking with the Detroit Free Press.

Johnson is quoted as saying, “We hate to see the products go to Mexico, but with the Ranger and the Bronco coming to Michigan Assembly that absolutely secured the future for our people a lot more than the Focus does.”

Wow, clear as day, Johnson confirms Ford is indeed reviving the Bronco and Ranger. His further comments on securing the future for UAW workers also makes perfect sense. The Focus, a low-profit margin vehicle, is moving to Mexico to make room for high-profit margin SUVs and trucks. The Ranger will complete Ford’s F-Series lineup, spanning from the midsize segment up to the Class 7 medium duty commercial segment. The Bronco, on the other hand, will be one of four new SUVs Ford is debuting. These four SUVs likely include at least one model that’s no destined for North American sales, but rather will fall under Ford’s global arm.

Regardless, Ford is indeed bringing back two iconic nameplates. It remains to be seen what design and capability direction Ford will take the Bronco, but we highly suspect the Ranger will be a U.S.-spec version of the global Ranger already on sale around the world.

We expect Ford to make an official announcement or (even better) a debut of either product in the coming months. Auto show season is upon us, and timing is running out before the end of the decade. Will Ford debut the Bronco and/or Ranger this year? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Continue reading for more information.

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“Dirt Every Day” Builds the Most Well-Rounded Vehicle Ever

“Dirt Every Day” Builds the Most Well-Rounded Vehicle Ever

It’s called the PreRangerRoverLandeRunner and it’s awesome!

Fred Williams and his buds at Dirt Every Day are some of the craziest yet most creative at the Motor Trend headquarters. The YouTube show usually consists of some nutty build job or how to conquer off-road hardships on the cheap. Well, the latest episode has it all. In fact, everything that could possibly be included in an off-road vehicle is somehow hog-pogged together on the “PreRangerRoverLandeRunner.” Yep, it’s a thing.

Fred, with the help of Dave, build an “all-encompassing” off-roader that can pre-run, mug bog, rock crawl, and overland camp. Impossible? Nope. The guys hack together a first-generation Ford Ranger and a thoroughly trashed first-generation Range Rover in a beastly concoction of welded angle iron, rust, and jerry-rigged electronics and fuel systems. What’s more, they somehow convinced a overlanding tent manufacturer to send them a roof-mounted tent for review, along with Maxxis giving them four new Bighorn mud tires.

I won’t give away too much of the driving portion of the video, but needless to say, this two-headed monstrosity goes like none other and looks rather dangerous. Let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be riding backwards down a dirt road in a vehicle held together by some scrap iron and dinky welds. Thankfully both Fred and Dave make it out alive, though the same might not be true for the PreRangerRoverLandeRunner. But you’ll have to watch the video to see what happens.

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Ford Invests Into Future Bronco and Ranger

Ford Invests Into Future Bronco and Ranger

The United Automobile Workers and Ford Motor Company have reached a future strategy agreement that include $10,000 signing bonuses for UAW members, the creation, or at least retention, of 8,500 jobs, and a $9 billion investment in new U.S. products, two of which include the Ranger midsize pickup and Bronco SUV.

Now UAW members must vote on the tentative plan.

This is the latest and most concrete news in the rumor mill surrounding the Ranger and Bronco – two vehicles that have been the topic of heavy speculation for more than a year.

The UAW and Ford have been in negotiation over what vehicles will replace the Focus and C-Max cars at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant once production of the two cars are moved to Mexico.

According to the Detroit Free Press’ unnamed source, production of the Focus and C-Max will move to Mexico in 2018 and Ranger production will start shortly after that, with the Bronco following sometime before 2020.

At this point, there are still no details on the Ranger and Bronco. Many suspect Ford will adapt the U.S.-spec Ranger from its global Ranger platform, with updated in the powertrain, safety, and body and interior designs. The Bronco is speculated to be a rebadged version of Ford’s Everest SUV, itself an SUV version of the Ranger pickup.

However, such an SUV could clutter Ford’s SUV lineup and provide unwanted competition to the Explorer. Perhaps Ford will stick with the Bronco’s roots and build a more rough-and-tumble SUV with Jeep Wrangler-like characteristics.

Regardless of which way Ford goes on the Bronco, it seems the two iconic Blue-Oval nameplates are ripe for resurrection.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Ford Invests Into Future Bronco and Ranger

Ford Invests Into Future Bronco and Ranger

The United Automobile Workers and Ford Motor Company have reached a future strategy agreement that include $10,000 signing bonuses for UAW members, the creation, or at least retention, of 8,500 jobs, and a $9 billion investment in new U.S. products, two of which include the Ranger midsize pickup and Bronco SUV.

Now UAW members must vote on the tentative plan.

This is the latest and most concrete news in the rumor mill surrounding the Ranger and Bronco – two vehicles that have been the topic of heavy speculation for more than a year.

The UAW and Ford have been in negotiation over what vehicles will replace the Focus and C-Max cars at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant once production of the two cars are moved to Mexico.

According to the Detroit Free Press’ unnamed source, production of the Focus and C-Max will move to Mexico in 2018 and Ranger production will start shortly after that, with the Bronco following sometime before 2020.

At this point, there are still no details on the Ranger and Bronco. Many suspect Ford will adapt the U.S.-spec Ranger from its global Ranger platform, with updated in the powertrain, safety, and body and interior designs. The Bronco is speculated to be a rebadged version of Ford’s Everest SUV, itself an SUV version of the Ranger pickup.

However, such an SUV could clutter Ford’s SUV lineup and provide unwanted competition to the Explorer. Perhaps Ford will stick with the Bronco’s roots and build a more rough-and-tumble SUV with Jeep Wrangler-like characteristics.

Regardless of which way Ford goes on the Bronco, it seems the two iconic Blue-Oval nameplates are ripe for resurrection.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Ford May Bring Bronco & Ranger Back in The U.S.

Ford May Bring Bronco & Ranger Back in The U.S.

It appears Ford’s watchful eye on the revival of the midsize truck market has determined there is room for the Ranger after all. Yep, after four years without a U.S.-spec Ranger, the Blue Oval is currently (and more openly) discussing the possibility of bringing back the compact truck. What’s more, the Bronco SUV is being mentioned as well.

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Ford May Bring Bronco & Ranger Back in The U.S.

Ford May Bring Bronco & Ranger Back in The U.S.

It appears Ford’s watchful eye on the revival of the midsize truck market has determined there is room for the Ranger after all. Yep, after four years without a U.S.-spec Ranger, the Blue Oval is currently (and more openly) discussing the possibility of bringing back the compact truck. What’s more, the Bronco SUV is being mentioned as well.

The discussions are taking place between Ford and the UAW, with the union seeking promises on job security at the Michigan Assembly Plant. The plant currently builds the Focus and C-Max, both of which are scheduled to be relocated to another manufacturing facility after 2018. Ford now needs something to fill the gap and the business case for a less-expensive, more fuel-efficient truck is growing.

In order for the Ranger to work, the truck would have to cost $5,000 to $6,000 less than the F-150 and get 30 percent better fuel economy, according Ford’s truck group marketing manager, Doug Scott. That means the Ranger would have to have a base price of roughly $21,000 and get nearly 28 mpg combined.

If Ford didn’t start with a fresh design, the automaker would have to modify the current global Ranger to meet U.S. emissions and safety regulations. General Motors did the same with the 2015 Chevy Colorado and 2015 GMC Canyon trucks, both of which are loosely based off the global Colorado.

On the Bronco side, reports suggest the Bronco would be a midsize, body-on-frame SUV perhaps based on the Ranger. Again, Ford already has this vehicle in production in Thailand for sale in markets across the globe. Called the 2015 Ford Everest, the SUV would compete with Jeep in offering a competent off-roader.

If the Ranger and Bronco get the green light, expect them for the 2019 model year.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Ford Trademarks Ranger Raptor And FX4 Nomenaclatures

Ford Trademarks Ranger Raptor And FX4 Nomenaclatures

It looks as if Ford might be expanding the Raptor moniker outside the F-150 lineup. According to Australia’s CarAdvice, Ford has trademarked the “Ranger Raptor” name in preparation for its all-out off-roader.

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