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Ford fires first salvo in a recovery year with new Ranger pickup

The Ford Ranger. Ford Philippines has just launched the 2021 Ranger pickup. The new Ranger features design changes and upgraded features to help cement its lead in the pickup market. Immediately noticeable is the new hexagonal grille, now with trapezoidal accent inserts. These make the Ranger’s visage look more similar to Ford’s American truck fleet, a la F-150 and and Expedition. 
The Ranger, er range, is 13 variants wide, from base XLS to high-performance Raptor. There’s a Ranger for every need and desire. The standard engine is the 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine, rated at 160ps and 385Nm. The engine is paired to 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The Wildtrak 4×2 gets an upgraded 2.0-liter diesel engine with single turbo, good for 180ps and 420 Nm, paired with 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic. Then there’s the 2.0-liter diesel engine with twin turbo setup, pumping out 213ps and 500Nm. Paired with a 10-speed automatic, it’s under the hood of the Wildtrak 4×4 and the Ranger Raptor. Ranger has maximum braked towing capacity of 3.5 tons, and 1.3-ton maximum payload. 
Up front, the Ranger gets available LED headlamps and daytime running lights, new alloy wheels—16-inch for the XLS, 17-inch for the XLT, 18-inch for the FX4 and Wildtrak, and a special 17-inch setup for the Raptor. The grille on the Wildtrack variant features Saber accents, painted gloss black wheels and gloss black accents on the grille, lower bumper, rear bumper, fog lamp bezel, and mirrors. There’s also a sports bar with Saber insert, roof rail, and tailgate handle accent. A new feature exclusive to the 4×4 Wildtrack is the power roller shutter, allowing one to secure the pick up bed with the push of a button. 
Active safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and autonomous emergency braking. The latter allows the car to pre-charge the brakes when it detects possible collision with pedestrians and vehicles, and it can even automatically apply the brakes. There’s also available electronic stability control, hill launch assist, and for offroading—hill descent control. 
The new Ranger features an updated cabin with bolder design elements including 8-inch touchscreen audio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (standard across all variants), 230-volt power socket, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, leather seats and steering wheel. Available convenience features include keyless entry with start button, navigation system, voice-command Sync 3 infotainment, and tailgate lift assist. 
“Our new Ford Ranger lineup will allow us to continue building on our leadership in the pickup segment in the country,” said PK Umashankar, president and managing director, Ford Philippines. “The new Ranger is set to deliver on its promise of functionality and capability while enabling the diverse needs and lifestyles of our customers.” 
Ford Philippines also highlighted its “Live the Ranger Life” credo, showing how ownership of the Ranger can help support their customers’ personal goals and drive in life. These include: tackling challenges head on, pitching in to help others, carving one’s own path, bringing others on the journey, and making our own fun. 
“Live the Ranger Life will allow us to connect with our customers in a deeper and more emotional way by showcasing how the Ranger enables their passions and goals. Understanding our customers allows us to deliver the right vehicles that truly meet their needs today and in the future. Beyond their functionality and versatility, pickup trucks have become symbols of success for our customers, and the new Ranger’s refreshed look and design will allow them to fully express their identity and individuality,” added Umashankar.

Isuzu D-Max
Isuzu will be releasing the long-awaited all-new D-Max in March.  The new D-Max is expected to be bigger-just slightly in length, but a big increase in the wheelbase, to improve space and driving characteristics. The D-Max is reportedly built on a new body-on-frame Isuzu Dynamic Drive Platform, which is more rigid than the outgoing model’s. The ladder frame has been improved with expanded cross sections and optimized crossmembers—resulting in a lighter and stiffer chassis. The engine has also been moved back slightly behind the front axle. 
The D-Max is expected to arrive with a 3-liter turbodiesel with 190ps and 450Nm. Reshaped combusion chamber, higher-pressure injectors, diamond-like carbon coating on the piston pins, and electronic variable geometry turbocharger all contributed to the improved power output. The new engine will be mated to a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. 

Nissan Navara
Nissan is set to launch its updated Navara pickup soon. The redesign brings a bold new face with a large grille, 8-LED headlamps (ala Porsche), LED taillights, and 17-inch offroad alloy wheels.  The interior will feature Nissan’s trademark Zero Gravity seats up front, promised comfortable back seat with armrest, and noise-reducing acoustic glass. 
Navara is expected to pack a 2.3-liter twin-turbo diesel with 164ps/403Nm or a higher-tune 192ps / 450Nm. These are mated to a 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic. 
Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility is expected to be on board. This means bird’s eye view surround camera with moving object detection to allow easier maneuvering in tight situations. There’s also smartphone connectivity and a digital screen integrated into the instrument panel to help monitor safety and perhaps navigation features. Stability control, traction control, and hill-start assist are expected to be available. 

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