Monday, January 09, 2017

Can't wait for a new Ford Ranger

Road and Track (along with pretty much everyone else in the automotive press covered Ford's announcement today at the Detroit Auto Show (er, North American International Auto something-or-another) that the much missed (by me) Ranger will make a return in 2019! Read their coverage here.

While it's very reasonable that the "new" US Ranger will just be the world model with a different grill and headlights, and I would still theoretically love to have one, I think Ford could still do well in the US with an even smaller pickup.

Many people associate height with car size, bit width is the main determinimg factor in how big a vehicle really is. A narrower vehicle can go places that a wider one can't, but it will also feel smaller inside. My 1992 Ranger is only 67" wide. The current "T-6" Ranger sold in the rest of the world is 73" wide. That 6" growth has probably lead to a safer, more comfortable truck, but I imagine I would still miss the feeling of being able squeeze through just about any gap that such a small truck gives you.

Even a 2016 Focus is 72" wide, only an inch narrower than the current Ranger! If Ford were to build a truly small pickup on an existing US market platform, it would have to start with the Fiesta, which is only 68" wide.

I could definitely imagine a Ford Courier throwback built in a Fiesta platform -- unibody, front wheel drive, and all. The whole thing would only weigh around 2,800 lbs if they could keep it a two-seater, and if it had a payload capacity of 1,500 or so, that would be more then enough for a whole lot of folks to cart around their "active lifestyle" accessories, still get 30mpg, and park anywhere. It wouldn't be fast and you wouldn't be doing any off-roading, but few new vehicles ever see a dirt road anyway.

I know Ford would never build this kind of a car for the American market, but I can dream, right? In the meantime, I suppose I should start saving for a 2019 Ranger, even if it's a bit bigger than I would prefer.

No comments: