Ford Ranger Raptor Could be US-Bound but Will Drop the Diesel Drivetrain
The Ford Ranger is coming to the U.S. That’s good news for a lot of people who have been clamoring for a smaller pickup to complement the much larger F-150. But there’s the potential for better news on the horizon with the potential of a Ranger Raptor hitting the scene. The souped-up pickup made its debut in Bangkok last week, and there’s growing momentum that we might see it in American soil at some point in the future. Maybe.
Tuscany Brings Two Modified Ford F-150s to 2018 Chicago Auto Show
Ford didn’t limit itself to regular production vehicles at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. Rather, it invited Tuscany to participate in the fun. Tuscany is an independent aftermarket coachbuilder that contracts with Ford to upgrade trucks with special packages and performance modifications before selling them at Ford dealerships and covered under Ford’s new-vehicle warranty.
Well, Tuscany brought two Shelby-branded trucks to the show – both of which are lifted 4WD modes, but with very different personalities.
Continue reading for more on the trucks.
Ford Transit Connect Gets Diesel Engine in Chicago
Ford’s smallest van, the Transit Connect, has just received a facelift at the 2018 Chicago Motor Show. Exterior updates are mild and interior upgrades are mostly about new tech and options, but there’s big news under the skin, in the form of a brand-new diesel engine.
The outer shell of the van remained largely unchanged on the sides and around back, but the front fascia now sports the company’s latest corporate face. The large grille seen in the newer models found its way on the Transit Connect, as did slightly bigger headlamps, and a revised, sportier bumper. Inside the cabin, there’s a reshaped dashboard with a cleaner center stack, with a 6.5-inch touchscreen floating on top. The display is optional though. The instrument cluster now has a digital information center. Ford now offers wireless charging, with Waze compatibility to be introduced soon.
Moving over to tech, the Automatic Emergency Braking system comes standard with the segment-exclusive Pre-Collision Assist. The optional Adaptive Cruise Control system makes highway driving easier by automatically slowing the vehicle when radar detects traffic ahead. The available Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert rounds off the driver assist package. Continue reading to find out about the engine lineup.
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Flex Those Muscles: Ford F-150 is the Favorite Vehicle Among Members of the U.S. Military
36 straight years. That’s how long the Ford F-150 has sat atop the best-selling truck list in the U.S. The F-150’s timeless popularity is unquestioned to the point that it’s not surprising to hear that the truck has also been named the best-selling vehicle among members of the U.S. military. A study conducted by the United Services Automobile Association’s car buying service revealed the status of the F-150 among all branches of the U.S. military in 2017. It’s the latest accolade given to a model that also earned the 2018 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award for the fourth year in a row.
Anonymous Report: 400+ HP Ford Explorer ST in the Pipeline
An anonymous source within Ford in conjunction with confirmed speculation suggests the next-generation Ford Explorer will return to a rear-wheel-drive architecture and come with four new engine options, one of which will offer more than 400 horsepower in a sporterized ST variant.
The news comes from The Truth About Cars, which speculated about the rear-drive platform some time ago. TTACs insider source then revealed details about the next-generation Explorer’s powertrain options, along with the new ST trim. This follows Ford’s recent release of the Edge ST – a two-row crossover gussied up by Ford Performance with 335 horsepower and a stiff suspension. The same is expected with the Explorer ST, but with the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 currently used in the Lincoln Continental and MKZ. In the Lincolns, the engine makes an even 400 horses and 400 pound-feet of torque. The insider source says power will likely increase since the V-6 will be longitudinally mounted in the new rear-drive Explorer.
Continue reading for more information.
Ford Ranger Returns To America With a Vengeance
Six years. That’s how long it’s been since we had the Ford Ranger in our lives. It took some time and a set of fortuitous circumstances, but after waiting since 2011 for the Ranger to make its comeback in the U.S., Ford finally delivered. The Ranger is back, and it’s looking to reclaim its status as one of the best and most popular entry-level pickup trucks in the market.
Spray and Pray: Hagens Berman Representing Truck Owners that Say Ford Cheated on Emissions Too
Volkswagen may soon have more company in the ranks of accused cheaters now that Ford is being accused of doing the same thing. The Blue Oval finds itself in the crosshairs of a lawsuit that’s accusing the automaker of rigging at least 500,000 heavy-duty pickups to beat emissions tests. The lawsuit claims that models of Ford’s F-250 and F-350 Super Duty diesel pickups sold between 2011 and 2017 are releasing emissions that are 50 times the legal limit for nitrogen oxide pollutants.
Ford F-150 Power Stroke Turbodiesel Finally Debuts for 2018
Ford has finally pulled the wraps off its long-awaited 3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6 turbodiesel for the 2018 F-150. The engine will compete directly with the Ram 1500’s 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 and General Motors’ upcoming light-duty turbodiesel anticipated for the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.The addition of the Power Stroke to the F-150 lineup means six engines to choose from.
The 3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6 makes an impressive 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque, with torque peaking at just 1,750 rpm. The engine comes mated to Ford’s 10-speed automatic with a unique calibration for diesel use. With the right truck configuration, Ford says the Power Stroke will tow 11,400 pounds and haul 2,020 pounds in the bed. That’s a full 2,190 pounds more than the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is able to tow, and 420 pounds more than the Ram can haul. Naturally, Ford is also looking to beat Ram at fuel economy, too. Ford is shooting for 30 mpg on the highway – beating the Ram by one mpg. Only the EPA’s testing will validate Ford’s engineering.
Continue reading for more information on the 2018 F-150 Power Stroke.
2019 Ford Ranger Spied in Thailand
Ford appears to be mildly updating its current Global T6 Ranger pickup for 2019 in conjunction with the truck’s debut for the North American market. Though unconfirmed, these spy shots reveal a completely uncamouflaged Ranger wearing a different grille and sporting upgraded LED-encrusted headlights. It’s likely these same changes will accompany the U.S.-spec Ranger when it debuts ahead of the 2019 model year, possibly at this month’s Detroit Auto Show.
The likelihood of this spied pickup wearing the U.S.-spec front end is validated by a Reddit user who claims (and later verified) to be a Ford designer. Over 11 months ago the user said the U.S.-spec Ranger would be a facelifted T6 with a unique grille and headlights.
The current T6 Ranger was last updated for 2015, so a refresh for 2019 is highly probable. Making the U.S.-spec and global versions use the same parts would be an easy cost-cutting and logistics-simplifying move. Of course, the U.S.-spec Ranger will have slight differences, including left-hand drive, different license plate bracketry, and perhaps some different wheel and tire combinations. Then there are the greasy bits under the truck.
Continue reading for more information.
The 2019 Ford Ranger Likely Debuting At Detroit Auto Show
We know for a fact the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and 2019 Ram 1500 will make their appearances at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit come January, but it seems Ford isn’t arriving empty-handed either. There is a very strong chance the all-new Ford Ranger will make its first public appearance.
The 2019 Ranger is a major milestone for Ford, having been absent from the mid-size pickup segment since discontinuing the last-generation Ranger in 2011. This new pickup will be larger than the 2011 Ranger found here in North America, as it’s based on the global T6 Ranger platform. It will compete directly with the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier, and Toyota Tacoma.
Ford’s plans for a Raptor version of the Ranger are a poorly kept secret, but it’s unknown if that hard-core off-roader will debut as a 2019 version or come later. Ford has also been seen testing an FX4 version, which will slot between the standard 4WD Ranger and the Ranger Raptor.
Continue reading for more information.
Torque Wars Continue as Ford Boosts Super Duty Power Stroke Torque to 935 Pound-Feet
Because pickup trucks usually carry heavy loads other than their bodies, acceleration is important in getting these vehicles to move. That’s why torque numbers are just as important, maybe even more, as horsepower in this segment. This explains why Ford and Ram have been engaged in a perpetual battle of “can-you-top-this?” with regards to the amount of torque their models can produce. Well, it’s Ford’s turn atop the mountain after the automaker announced that for 2018, the Super Duty line’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 diesel engine packs 450 horsepower and 935 pound-feet of torque, edging out Ram’s 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six turbodiesel engine by five pound-feet of torque.
2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT By BDS Suspension
Ford brought more than 50 vehicles to the 2017 SEMA Show, ranging from factory fresh models and high-horsepower Mustangs to SUVs and lifted trucks. That last one is exactly what we’ve got here – a massive F-250 Super Duty that’s been re-engineered to handle any off-road situation. Ford partnered with BDS Suspension in building what’s been dubbed “Project SD126: No Mission Is Impossible.
The truck started life as a 2017 F-250 Super Duty XLT with a regular cab and long bed powered by the 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel and backed by the six-speed automatic transmission and stock 4WD system. BDS broke out the Sawzall and cut the long bed down. The wheelbase went from 142 inches to 126 inches, hints the SD126 name. From there came the suspension parts, new body panels, and reworked interior. Nearly every inch of the truck has been touched. Check out the details below.
Continue reading for more on the SD126 Super Duty.
2017 Ford F-150 RTR Muscle Truck
The 2017 SEMA Show is here, and as it happens every year, Ford brought a handful of modified F-150 pickup trucks to Las Vegas. Among them, there’s a beefed-up version created by the folks over at RTR Vehicles. Known mostly for tuning Ford Mustangs and for providing Vaughn Gittin Jr. with vehicles for the Formula Drift series, RTR used its experience in creating race-ready pony cars to put together a performance-oriented F-150.
RTR used a Lariat SuperCrew model as a base for this souped-up truck and add some of the features seen on its Gittin-prepped Mustang, most notably the D-shaped LED lights in the grille. Of course, the F-150 got a few unique touches as well. But, unlike the Mustang RTR, there’s no improvement in terms of horsepower and torque, although the truck now sports a wide range of chassis upgrades. So while it’s not as quick as the Raptor, it’s definitely more capable on the unbeaten path than a standard F-150.
Continue reading to learn more about the Ford F-150 RTR Muscle Truck.
The 2018 F-150 Earns Big With IIHS Safety Ratings – Except For One Thing
The Ford F-150’s skin might be made from recycled beer cans, but the full-size pickup scored very well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s barrage of testing. Since it debuted in 2015, the current F-150 has scored a “Good” in all crash tests. But, things aren’t all rainbows and butterflies for the half-ton pickup. The 2018 F-150 is too short-sighted to earn the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+. The reason: it can’t see well in the dark.
The IIHS rates the F-150’s headlights as “Poor” in all five of its tests.
Both the base halogen headlights in the lower-trimmed F-150 and the LED headlights in the more expensive models scored a “Poor” in visibility testing. The halogen lights’ low and high beams fall short in straightaway visibility on the left and right sides of the road. The low beams only give 149 feet of visibility on the right, and 89 feet on the left and the high beams only shine 412 feet and 317, respectively. In curves, the headlights perform even worse, providing an average of only 102 feet of visibility with the low beams and 148 feet with the high beams in the four different curve tests done by the IIHS.
Jumping up to the LED headlights don’t help the situation, though they perform a tab bit better. The low beams shine 323 feet on the right and 168 feet on the left, while the high beams shine 544 feet on the right and 428 feet on the left. In turns, the LED low beams illuminate an average of 135 feet ahead, and the high beams shine an average of 163 feet ahead. The unfortunate trade-off for the better performance is excessive glare for oncoming traffic with the low beams. They exceed the IIHS’ glare threshold between 94.8 and 187.9 percent. That’s not good.
There’s more to this story below.
Ford Says 2011-2017 Explorers Are Safe, But Will Fix Them Anyway
The Ford Explorer recently made headlines due to exhaust fumes entering the cabin and making people nauseous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received more than 2,400 reports on the issue, with at least 41 citing injuries and three reporting crashes due to the ill effects of the carbon monoxide fumes on the 2011 through 2017 Explorer. However, investigations by the NHTSA and Ford turned up no significant changes in CO levels in the cabin. Well, except for Police Interceptor models. Ford says the issue stems from aftermarket up-fit companies leaving unsealed holes from the installation of police equipment. Still, Ford says it will fix any of the 1.3 million affected Explorers at the owner’s request, despite Ford calling the vehicles safe.
Ford’s voluntary service is free to Explorer owners regardless of the warranty status or vehicle mileage. The fix includes reprogramming the air conditioner, replacing the liftgate drain valves, and inspecting the sealing of the rear of the vehicle. Ford dealerships will begin offering this service starting November 1, 2017, and will continue through December 31, 2018. Of the Explorers built in that 2011 through 2017 timeframe, roughly 1.3 million are in the U.S., 84,000 are in Canada, and 24,000 are in Mexico.
Continue reading for more information.
Upcoming Ford Ranger Raptor Might Go Diesel
Rumors of Ford’s upcoming mid-size Ranger pickup are compiling. That’s especially true for the highly anticipated Ranger Raptor, the hard-core version built to hang with the Ford F-150 Raptor in high-speed off-roading. But of the rumors and insider information about the Ranger Raptor, none have seemed to nail down what will power this baby beast – until now. Australian automotive outlet The Motor Report is citing “sources familiar with the new model’s development” that Ford is developing a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel with at least as much power in the Ranger’s current 3.2-liter five-cylinder turbodiesel. The new 2.0-liter will be a member of Ford’s new EcoBlue turbodiesel family and will generate no less than 236 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque while getting better fuel economy and producing fewer emissions.
The EcoBlue engine family debuted in 2016 and is rolling out in markets across the world in the Transit van. Here in the U.S., the Ranger Raptor will likely be our first taste of the EcoBlue. Ford says durability is improved 20 percent over the EcoBlue’s predecessor, the 2.2-liter TDCi. It features a low-inertia turbocharger with cutting-edge alloy materials for better resistance against high temperatures, a new high-pressure fuel injection system that’s quieter and more responsive, and an offset crankshaft within the iron block that’s said to reduce side-load pressure on pistons against the cylinder walls. Interestingly, rather than a chain drive for the overhead camshafts and oil pump, the new EcoBlue uses a belt-in-oil design that’s engineered to be a maintenance-free item.
Continue reading for more on the Ranger Raptor’s rumored engine.
Expecting Greatness From The Ford F-150’s Upcoming Turbodiesel V-6
Ford made big waves in the half-ton pickup segment when it announced the 2018 F-150 would be available with a V-6 turbodiesel. Details about the new 3.0-liter have been scarce, with Ford only divulging it was designed, engineered, and tested in-house and that it will wear the Power Stroke name. Fortunately for us, Ford’s corporate ties to Jaguar Land Rover give telling clues about the new Power Stroke.
See, Jaguar Land Rover’s 3.0-liter V-6 Td6 turbodiesel is actually a Ford engine – a byproduct of Ford’s past ownership of both Jaguar and Land Rover. The engine is even found in Peugeot and Citroën cars, too, as part of the Lion engine series. Introduced in the U.S. for the 2016 model year, the 3.0 Td6 plays a staring role in Land Rover’s new Discovery, the Range Rover, and Range Rover Sport. To show off the Td6’s abilities, Land Rover recently hitched a diesel Discovery to a 121-ton road train in Australia. The 328-foot-long semi truck included seven trailers – three more than what’s typically legal to tow across the open roads of the Outback. The Discovery’s turbodiesel and full-time 4WD system seemingly had no problem moving the 242,000-pound behemoth 10 miles across a flat stretch of closed highway. That’s an impressive feat given the engine’s output of 254 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. While Ford hasn’t disclosed its 3.0-liter Power Stroke’s specs, we can bet big money it won’t make less power than its Land Rover twin. So what does that mean for the mid-2018 F-150? Keep reading to see what we think.
Continue reading for more information.
Ford Australia Teases The Ranger Raptor – Big time!
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.
Ford F-250 Super Duty Proves Even New Trucks Break
Our friends over at TFLTruck experienced an unlikely event while testing towing and payload performance of a 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty. It seems the plastic cooling fan disintegrated into several pieces, sending high-speed projectiles into the radiator and slicing off the main serpentine belt. And all this before arriving at TFLTruck’s famed “Ike Gauntlet” towing test up the steep, seven-percent grade near the Eisenhower tunnel on I-70 outside Denver, Colorado.
The Super Duty in question is a bare-bones regular cab in XL trim with RWD and the 6.2-liter gasoline V-8. In other words – a common work truck. What’s more, the 6.2-liter is a carry-over engine from the previous generation Super Duty. Only a new air intake and camshaft profile were added for 2017, helping bump power output to 385 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. F-250 models with the 6.2-liter also have the new TorqShift-G six-speed automatic transmission, though the transmission certainly had nothing to do with the cooling fan blowing up.
Granted, the F-250’s V-8 was working hard. The truck was hauling a 2,500-pound water tote in its eight-foot bed while towing an 11,900-pound trailer loaded with a 2012 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab. Combined with the 2017 truck’s curb weight, the GCWR sat around 19,500 pounds – right at the limit for this F-250. The cooling system was undoubtedly under stress. Still, the truck wasn’t overloaded; TFLTruck is known for being thorough and fair with evaluations. The heavy weight doesn’t excuse what happened. It will be interesting to see what Ford tells TFLTruck and how the issue is resolved. Luckily, we’ll get that update in Part 2 of this video review.
So, what do you think? Does this add fuel to the age-old battle between Ford, GM, and Ram? Let us know in the comments below.