Ford SA has announced that selected 2.2 Ranger derivatives will now have improved specification levels, including a standard electronic stability control programme (ESP). The Ranger, which was the first bakkie to achieve a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash test programme, was recently also chosen as the top pick-up in an international contest. FOR HI-RIDER 4x2sSouth African Ranger 2.2 Hi-Rider 4x2 derivatives will now be fitted with an electronic stability programme as standard, while the rear diff lock has been shifted across to the “options” column. Ford marketing manager Gavin Golightly said: “The Ranger was designed to offer the best possible road manners (and) ESP offers significant benefits in terms of handling and safety. “While ESP is standard fitment on Ranger 3.2 models we have now taken the decision to add it to certain 2.2 Hi-Rider 4x2 models as well, while still offering the diff-lock as an option for those who would like it.”The stability programme includes traction control to prevent wheel spin and off-road logic, which recognises when the Ranger is being driven on rough roads and adjusts the system to ensure the best level of stability. The system is particularly useful in situations where the roads are slippery, the driver has to make a sudden lane change or there is inadequate grip when cornering.Also integrated into the Ranger’s ESP is Ford’s hill descent control feature that allows the driver to increase or decrease the bakkie’s speed when descending steep gradients, and hill launch assist that temporarily holds the brake pressure when moving up a slope in either first or reverse gears.A trailer sway control feature detects when a trailer is “snaking” and gradually reduces engine torque and increases brake pressure until the swaying action stops, while adaptive load control adjusts the stability control of the Ranger, depending on the load being carried. Anti-locking brakes with gravel road logic to improve stopping distances on loose surfaces is included in the ESP, too. The Ranger’s ventilated disc and drum brake combination is said to be among the largest in its class. “We (Ford SA) have a comprehensive and diverse range of models on offer with a variety of options available to ensure that no matter what one’s requirements there is a model up for the task,” Golightly concluded. The Ranger comes with a five-year or 90 000km service plan and a four-year or 120 000km warranty. Service intervals are at 15 000km.