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2015 Ford Ranger ute is the most advanced in the world


Tradies will soon have no excuse for running into the car in front or cutting off others in traffic.

The new Ford Ranger pick-up has technology once exclusive to luxury cars, including radar cruise control, forward collision warning, blind zone alert, and a lane keeping system that beeps at the driver if they wander from their lane.

It also has an 8-inch touch screen including navigation and a rear-view camera, voice control, and a 240 volt power socket to charge a laptop while on the move.

The new Ranger can't come a moment too soon for Ford Australia

The raft of new technology means when the new Ford Ranger goes on sale in July it will be the most advanced pick-up in Australia, outclassing working class heroes such as the Toyota HiLux, Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi Triton and Holden Colorado, all of which are due to release updated models in the coming months.

However, it is too early to determine if the extra technology means that Ford Ranger buyers will get a better deal on insurance; the premiums for utes are customarily higher than they are for passenger cars because they are over-represented in crashes, insurance industry data shows.

As with the current model, the updated Ranger (which has new bodywork from the windscreen forward) was designed and engineered from the ground up by Ford in Australia, but will be made in Thailand, where most imported utes are sourced.

The new Ford Ranger has the same choice of engines as before — with the same amount of power and towing ability — but the company claims new software calibrations have delivered better fuel economy on some models.

The new Ranger can't come a moment too soon for Ford Australia. Last year Ford sales fell to their lowest since 1966 and so far this year sales are down even further — by 20 per cent — in a market that is up by 2 per cent and on track for another record.

Last week, Ford Australia also announced the sudden retirement of boss Bob Graziano, who is returning to the US next month despite earlier promising to stay on for the shutdown of Ford's Broadmeadows car assembly line and Geelong engine and stamping plants in October 2016.