I’ve just driven a couple of modern electric cars, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Tesla Model S, and they’re real cars. Actually, the i-MiEV is a perfectly serviceable short-distance commuter and the Model S is the best street car I’ve ever driven, but I was ready to hate both of them a lot, because all my previous experience with EVs had involved growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s and hearing a lot of eat-yer-vegetables talk from earnest green types about how electric cars are good for you, when in fact those cars sucked stringwart-covered pangolin nodules. Then, of course, there are all the flake-O electric conversions from the 1980-2000 era that I’ve seen, a fair number of which appear in self-service wrecking yards as long-abandoned EV conversions are towed out of back yards and driveways. In this series, we’ve seen this EVolve Electrics 1995 Geo Metro and this 1988 Chevrolet Sprint Electric Sport, and there have been others too stripped to be worth photographing. Today we’re going to look at a California-based Ford Ranger that still has just about all its electric running gear. (Read More…)
Tag: Ford Ranger
Ford is said to be mulling a smaller pickup to slot beneath the F-150, plucked from their existing global product portfolio. One thing we are sure of is that it won’t be the new “global Ranger” sold in world markets.
Serendipity is what I believe it’s called. On the day TTAC was aflutter with news and comments on the new Chevy Colorado and an out-of-the-box thinking proposal to get the Chevy Montana into the North American market, I got some news in my e-mail inbox. The new Ford Ranger has arrived in Brazil – but in regular cab form.
An eagle-eyed reader sent us pictures of this Ford Global Ranger on the streets of Detroit. Reader bball40dtw claims that this version is “set up for diagnostic testing”. Nevertheless, don’t hold your breath. This thing is apparently 90 percent of the size of an F-150 and the price points are too similar.
With a US-EU free trade agreement looming on the horizon, Ford is calling for a harmonization between the US and EU vehicle standards, as well as a removal of tariffs on vehicles between the two entities.
Ford Ranger. Volkswagen Amarok. Toyota Hilux. Chevrolet…err…Holden Colorado. These are the mid-size pickups that are unavailable to us Americans, a once thriving segment now hollowed out by market economics and unfavorable CAFE regulations. But the crew at PickupTrucks.com managed to wrangle the four up in Australia, and pick a winner in the segment. Read all about it here. We won’t spoil the surprise.
The small pickup market may be dwindling, but Chrysler may be looking at getting back in to the segment – though their next small or mid-size pickup won’t be a body-on-frame vehicle like the now-cancelled Dakota.
TTAC commentator siggy writes:
Hello Sajeev and Steve,
I’m a big fan of TTAC’s Piston Slap column and I hope you can help me with a good recommendation. Currently, I have one car, a 1984 Mustang SVO. It has about 75k miles, and I’ve given it numerous upgrades. I love it, but it doesn’t have a heater or A/C, and the mileage is crap. On long freeway drives, I can get up to 25mpg, but the reality is my commute to work is 10 miles, and it’s all stop and go, sometimes bumper-to-bumper traffic. So I end up with about 15mpg. But, like I said, I love the car, so I will not be getting rid of it in the foreseeable future.
With gas at almost $4, and the way the SVO chugs the premium juice, I think it’s time to get a proper commuter. Not having A/C in the summer is a serious problem here in Orange County, so with spring and summer around the corner, I need to act on this now. Time for a beater!
OK, we get it. Ford’s all-new global Ranger is “90 percent of an F-150″ and it would make as much sense to sell it here as it would for Toyota to sell the Hilux alongside Tacomas and Tundras. We may not completely buy the argument that Fiesta, Focus and F-150 make for an adequate replacement to a true compact pickup in the US, but having starved that segment for so long, it’s understandable that Ford would now leave it to die. After all, nobody’s offered a truly new compact pickup for so long, it’s almost impossible to say whether the consumers or manufacturers killed off the once-burgeoning segment of efficient, utilitarian trucks.
With Mahindra struggling to offer its diesel pickups to American dealers, we aren’t holding out much hope of anything compact pickup-related changing anytime soon. Sure, there are whispers of a GM compact pickup in development (and some promising talk from Nissan), but that’s strictly in “wild ass rumor” territory. Meanwhile, VW is trying to apeal to more American consumers, doesn’t have a full-size truck lineup to cannibalize, and yet refuses to send its Amarok stateside. If any of the automakers is going to take a risk on compact (preferably diesel) pickups, Volkswagen seems like the one to do it. Alternatively, Mazda has its own version of the new Ranger and no full-sizers to cannibalize. Someone step up here!