Ford South Africa has added an alluring combination of distinctive style and innovative connected technology to its Ford Ranger line-up with the launch of the new Ranger FX4.
Based on the popular 2.0-litre Single Turbo XLT Double Cab, the Ranger FX4 is available in 4x2 and 4x4 derivatives, offering exceptional capability, unrivalled fuel economy and a superb range of design and functional features – including FordPass Connect which makes its debut on the FX4, and is now standard fitment on all new Ranger XL, XLS, XLT, Wildtrak and Ranger Raptor models.
“Following the remarkable success of the Ford Ranger Thunder, it’s clear that there is great demand among South African buyers for exclusive, value-added derivatives that offer a premium level of style and features, particularly in the important and rapidly growing leisure-oriented pickup segment,” says Neale Hill, MD of Ford South Africa. “The FX4 broadens our Ranger line-up, which is produced at our Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria. It offers a distinctive new model for discerning, lifestyle-oriented customers.”
The FX4 badge was first introduced on Ranger in South Africa in 2017 as a limited series, and the new model further raises the bar while building on the ‘Built Ford Tough’ DNA that defines the Ranger, which is locally assembled for domestic sales and export to over 100 markets globally.
“The new FX4 elevates the unique character of this exclusive model to new heights with eye-catching exterior styling, premium-level interior appointments and several practical features that make it a unique and very desirable vehicle,” said Doreen Mashinini, General Manager, Marketing at Ford South Africa.
“The attractive new FX4 also spearheads the introduction of FordPass Connect which adds a wide range of connectivity services to the Ranger line-up,” Mashinini adds. “FordPass Connect allows customers to access and control a number of vehicle features remotely via the FordPass app on their smartphone, bringing an entirely new level of innovation, functionality and convenience to the segment.
“Combining the FX4’s eye-catching design, practical features and the trend-setting connectivity provided with FordPass Connect and the FordPass app, embodies the values of our Live The Ranger Life campaign, and shows how the Ranger enhances peoples’ lives for both work and play.”
The new Ford Ranger FX4 returns to the fold offering bespoke styling cues that set it apart from the rest of the Ranger line-up, and adds significant appeal compared to its competitors. In FX4 specification, the muscular styling of the Ranger double cab benefits from a black mesh grille derived from the Ranger Thunder, which gives it an even more assertive appearance. This is complemented by the distinctive sweep of the integrated LED daytime running lights, along with the LED headlamps that are standard on all Ranger XLT, Wildtrak and Raptor models.
Black mirrors and door handles add to the upmarket image, which is further reinforced by the eye-catching 18-inch multi-spoke black alloy wheels that replace the 17-inch versions fitted on the XLT. Bold red ‘FX4’ decals located at the base of the front doors, along with a 3D ‘FX4’ badge on the tailgate, reinforce this model’s special status in the Ranger portfolio.
The rear load compartment boasts several FX4-specific enhancements too, most notably the tubular sports bar with extended legs that gives this Ranger an even sportier demeanour, while adding further practicality to the load box – particularly for carrying bicycles, canoes or other gear for sporting or working applications.
A drop-in bedliner protects the bin from damage during everyday use, with six cargo tie-down points provided for securely fastening loads being hauled. A practical 12-volt power socket is provided in the bedliner, which is ideal for powering a portable fridge or other accessories. Two further 12-volt sockets are located in the front of the cabin and an additional socket is provided for rear-seat occupants. The Ranger’s innovative Easy Lift tailgate remains one of the vehicle’s most useful features, allowing the tailgate to be easily lowered or raised with minimal effort.
In keeping with the Ranger FX4’s dynamic styling, it is available in five distinctive colour choices: Sea Grey, Frozen White, Race Red, Agate Black and Moondust Silver.
Echoing the exclusive design elements that characterise the exterior of the Ranger FX4, the upmarket cabin incorporates a soft-touch leather-trimmed dashboard with red stitching, with this sporty theme also carried through to the leather steering wheel, gear lever and seats. Embossed FX4 logos on the front seats add a further splash of dynamic flair.
The FX4 has a high level of standard specification, including dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless Passive Entry and Passive Start, a rear-view parking camera, and front and rear sensors to aid manoeuvrability in tight parking spaces.
SYNC®3 is standard on the FX4, incorporating voice activation, an eight-inch touch-screen colour display, two USB ports and Bluetooth. SYNC®3 provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as part of its multimedia and connectivity features, facilitating access to numerous smartphone functions along with popular navigation apps such as Google Maps and Waze.
The launch of the new Ford Ranger FX4 signals the introduction of FordPass Connect and the FordPass app in South Africa – Ford’s innovative and convenient connected service, which is now standard on all Ranger XL, XLS, XLT, Wildtrak and Ranger Raptor models, as well as the new Ranger FX4.
FordPass is an app that customers can download on their smartphones, allowing command and control of various vehicle functions remotely once the app has been paired with their Ranger. The app communicates with the FordPass Connect modem that is embedded within the vehicle, regardless of where they are – as long as both the smartphone and the vehicle have internet connectivity.
This makes it possible to lock and unlock the doors, start the engine to activate the climate control system, find the vehicle’s location, and even access information such as fuel level and oil life. The FordPass app also allows the driver to search for available parking within South Africa, find Ford dealers across the country, schedule maintenance and servicing bookings, keep track of past and future services, and view the vehicle’s warranty information.
Furthermore, the FordPass app enables direct access to Ford’s Roadside Assistance service, which is included as standard on all new Ford models, including the Ranger, for three-years with no mileage limit. It also provides online access to the owner’s manual and tutorial videos on key features, while FordPass Connect enables seamless over-the-air updates for the vehicle’s software.
The FordPass app has also been developed for use on Ranger models produced from 2017 onwards, providing selected vehicle, warranty and maintenance details, as well as the available search functions for dealers, fuel stations and parking. However, without the embedded FordPass Connect modem, the command-and-control functions are not available.
As with the existing Ranger XLT derivatives, the FX4 is powered by Ford’s impressive 2.0-litre Single Turbo diesel engine, which produces 132kW of power and a substantial 420Nm of torque. It is matched to Ford’s advanced 10-speed automatic transmission, which offers conventional automatic, sport and manual shift modes.
Additionally, the Progressive Range Select (PRS) function gives the driver the ability to lock out gears from the automatic shifting range simply by pressing the ‘+’ or ‘-’ buttons on the gear lever. This offers greater control to suit specific driving conditions – such as when towing or climbing steep gradients, for example.
The combination of the frugal 2.0 Single Turbo engine and the 10-speed automatic transmission proved a winning formula in the 2019 WesBank Fuel Economy Tour, with the XLT 4x2 derivative proving unbeatable in the pickup segment with an average fuel consumption of 6.8 litres/100km over the 2 500km test route.
The same model emerged victorious in the 2020 AA-Kinsey Report on parts pricing, achieving the lowest total cost of service, repair and replacement parts in the popular double cab segment. It also ranked as the lowest parts basket in its class as a percentage of selling price, at 13.86 percent – the second-lowest figure in the 2020 AA-Kinsey Report across all vehicle segments.
The Ranger FX4 can be specified in 4x2 or 4x4 models, both of which are equipped with an electronic differential lock as standard. The 4x4 derivative gains shift-on-the-fly engagement of the four-wheel drive system, along with Hill Descent Control.
Additional active safety features include Electronic Stability Programme with Traction Control, Hill Launch Assist, Roll-over Mitigation, Adaptive Load Control, Trailer Sway Control and ABS brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Emergency Brake Assist.
The Ranger FX4 is equipped with a full complement of airbags to protect the occupants in the event of a collision, including dual front, side and full-length curtain airbags, plus a driver’s knee airbag. Secure anchorage points are fitted to mount ISOFIX-equipped child seats. – Ford SA