2015 Ford Ranger first official pics

THE big-selling Ford Ranger surfaces in Thailand with a fresh cabin, improved engines and advanced driver assist tech to match a new-look snout

The Ford Ranger facelift pick-up has been revealed in Thailand today ahead of its Australian release at the end of July.

The revised Ranger line-up features improved engines, better refinement, segment-first safety and greater convenience features in order to battle the segment-leading Toyota Hilux and the Nissan Navara.

While the more truck-like nose with flatter headlights and F-Series truck-style grille was previewed late last year – and seen in Wheels' spy shots while testing in Oz – a completely restyled dash from the upcoming Everest seven-seat wagon replaces the chunky original from 2011.

The XLT is the lone Ranger to surface at the Bangkok International Motor Show, with the rest of the bestselling range to be unveiled later.

While final specifications and details for the Australian market are yet to be announced, diesel engines gain idle-stop to help cut fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent in some variations, assisted by the adoption of electric rather than hydraulic power steering.

The volume-selling 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel rises in power and torque slightly, to 118kW and 385Nm respectively, while the 147kW/470Nm 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel’s outputs remain unchanged, despite boasting improved efficiency.

More sound-deadening material and higher-quality cabin materials also promise a quieter and more refined travelling experience, aided by retuning of the suspension to boost comfort levels.

For the first time in its class, the Ranger adopts car-like advanced driver aids including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, Driver Impairment Monitor and front and rear parking sensors, upping the safety ante for the Australian-designed and engineered tradie favourite.

Finally, the new-look dashboard gains a large central touchscreen with Ford’s SYNC2 voice-control and connectivity technology, as well as a TFT screen in the restyled instrument cluster.

The cabin makeover also includes different switchgear, air vents, dash trim, seat material and 240-volt charger as Ford updates the one-tonne pick-up in preparation to take on the next-generation Hilux, Navara and Mitsubishi Triton also due this year.

The Ranger is the best selling vehicle in the Ford range, ahead of the Focus, and comes following the annoucement that Ford Australia boss Bob Graziano will retire next month.

Pricing is expected to change little, ranging from just under $20,000 to about $60,000 for the flagship Wildtrak.

Click here to read the full range review on the 2015 Ford Ranger.

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