Matthew Jones26 October 2011

Meet the new Ford Ranger

This is the new “Ford of the world”. Big, isn’t it?

Say "hey there, big fella" to the Ford Ranger. It's their latest 4x4 and it's MASSIVE. As in really, really massive.

5.35 meters long, 1.85 meters wide and 1.85 meters tall, to be precise. That's 2.7 Jeremys long, a James tall and 1.08 Richards wide. Which seems a little extravagant for European roads.

See more pics of the Ford Ranger

And it comes as a bit of a surprise. The press bumf insists that this ISN'T recycled American-spec kit with some new panels - it's going to be sold in 180 countries, which means they developed it globally. The places that shaped it include North America, Australia, Dubai, Thailand, Brazil, Sweden, Germany and South Africa. Though its mass suggests it resolutely wasn't sent up on a British b-road.

You can chose between two engines - top of the tree is a 3.2-litre five-cylinder diesel with 346lb ft of torque and there's a 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel with 276lb ft of torque below it. Both are available with a six-speed manual ‘box, too.

It looks like it'll be pretty handy off-road. There's a compact front differential that's tucked up high enough to allow 23cm of ground clearance and there's a special low-ratio rear axle. The transfer box is controlled electronically, too, which lets you shift from four to two-wheel drive on the fly via a knob on the centre console.

Once it's chocked in 4x4 mode and the low-range ‘box engaged, the throttle response changes to a less sensitive off-road setting in case you prod the accelerator when you're bouncing around on the rough stuff. There are a brace of acronyms fitted as well, which include ESP, TCS, GCL and ED. They all sound very useful.

They also help it achieve some best-in-class accolades - it can tow 3,350kg and wade in water up to 800mm. The payload capacity's a reasonable 1,340kg, too.

Despite it's massiveness, it's actually pretty darn cheap. Prices start £15,515 and end at £25,040 for the range-topping Double Cab Wildtrak, 3.2 TDCi, auto' (minus options, of course).

But, while it's undoubtedly more humungous, whether it's as tough as our Toyota Hilux-shaped Top Gear stalwart remains to be seen...

Now watch Jeremy trying to kill one...

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