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February 7, 2022

Next-Generation Ford Ranger To Have One Giant Touchscreen

Ford knows customers want a pickup with a smart, functional interior with a high-level of well-integrated technology. And with the next-generation Ranger being the smartest ever, it all translates to an enhanced user experience.

From the new-generation SYNC 4A infotainment system to large-format screens that behave more like smartphones, and digital instrument displays replacing analog clusters, the all-new Ranger pushes the boundaries of customer-focused technology.

The next-generation Ranger has done away with a physical instrument cluster for things like the speedometer, replacing them with an 8-inch digital instrument panel that can be customized. These displays boast a start-up and farewell animation and a digital speedometer and tachometer. The graphics also feature realistic body-style avatars.

Depending on the variant, owners can toggle between layouts showing information such as driver-assist technologies, tachometer on or off, and extra gauges. There’s also a ‘calm view’, which removes information on demand from the display.

Because the Ranger features on- and off-road driving modes, the instrument panel displays a different theme for each selected drive mode, with animated mode changes when the driver scrolls from one to the other.

At the center of the Ranger’s technology story is the SYNC 4A infotainment system. This system offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity and displays the latest features used to make the SYNC4A system easier to navigate.

Whether equipped with a 10.1 or 12-inch screen, there’s a customizable split-screen setup with an information-on-demand panel always available at the bottom of the screen. This displays key information, like the user’s connected smartphone and more.

The team chose a large-format tablet screen because it allowed for a good depiction of navigation while still leaving room at the bottom of the screen for things such as climate and entertainment controls.

Moreover, many of the traditional driving mode controls have been moved from the dash and center console to their own dedicated display on the SYNC screen.

For example, with one button press, drivers can go to Ranger’s dedicated off-road screen where they can monitor the driveline, steering angle, vehicle pitch, roll angles, and other controls. 

The cabin climate and entertainment can be controlled via the SYNC screen, with additional physical controls mounted just below the screen for quick and easy adjustments.

The screen is linked to a 360-degree camera to make parking a breeze in tight urban spaces or to assist when negotiating particularly tricky terrain while out exploring. The system allows the driver to see what’s in front of or behind the vehicle as well as a top-down view of the area around the vehicle, including blind spots, for added confidence.

The team fitted the higher variants of all-new Ranger with a first-in-class, short-throw e-shifter and electric parking brake for a more high-tech feel. This change not only allows for greater accessibility for drivers, but also provides the opportunity for increased advanced driver assist systems (ADAS).

The next-generation Ranger now allows customers to keep their smartphone wirelessly charged and connected to SYNC 4A via a charging pad at the base of the center console. Smartphones also can be charged via a cable to a USB port or with the available 12V/240V sockets and the 400W inverter located in the pickup bed.

With more and more drivers using dash cams, there’s also a high-mounted USB outlet alongside the rearview mirror. This USB Type A outlet converts 12V power into 5V USB output and is designed to power an external GPS or dash camera.

The next-generation Ranger is set to go on sale later this year.

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