Ford Ranger FX4 MAX offers greater off-road capability

The first ever Ford Ranger FX4 MAX will make its Australian debut in late 2020, delivering customers a new factory-built, fully warranted Ranger with extended off-road capabilities inspired by Ranger Raptor. With specialised suspension, an All-Terrain off-road tyre and wheel package and unique proud stance, Ranger FX4 Max is a tough weekend off-roader with outstanding capability, alongside Ranger’s renowned day-to-day comfort, safety and practicality.

“The Ranger FX4 MAX channels the Ranger Raptor with its unique look and stance, while bringing customers both work and play capability with its locally engineered suspension, chassis tuning and unique FOX Shocks,” said Andrew Birkic, President and CEO, Ford Australia and New Zealand. “A factory-finished Ranger, FX4 MAX builds on the previous FX4 to deliver even greater off-road capability, yet adds its own distinctive style and genuine mechanical upgrades for a truly one-of-a-kind Ranger.”

The Ranger FX4 MAX stands apart with its inspired by Ranger Raptor exterior, headlined with the Ford Performance-like ‘F.O.R.D.’ lettered front mesh grille with a distinctive dark grey surround, which is also used for the skid plate, exterior mirror caps, door handles, unique wheel arch mouldings and rear tray surrounds. Around the FX4 MAX, a full-length tubular sports bar, finished in matt black, incorporates in-tray lighting, while body-mounted metal ‘hoop’ side steps toughen the look and emphasise FX4 MAX’s off-road attitude.

The FX4 MAX is endowed with an imposing presence, achieved through changes including off-road suspension tune and 265/70R17 off-road ready tyres. The BF Goodrich All-Terrain K02 tyres, the same as those fitted to the Ford Performance Ranger Raptor, provide outstanding traction on unsealed surfaces and feature tougher sidewalls. They’re fitted to exclusive 17 by 8.0-inch alloy wheels, front and rear, for a +42mm offset and 26mm wider track. The FX4 MAX also includes a matching full-size alloy spare complete with all-terrain tyre.

The FX4 MAX’s alloy wheels are finished in the same bold grey colour to match the FX4 MAX’s grille and exterior details, with, in a first for Ranger – wheel-lip mouldings. The bold grey wheel-lip mouldings are designed to emphasise FX4 MAX’s wide stance and match the detailing across the unique exterior, bolstering the overall impact of FX4 MAX’s upgrades. Following in the wheel tracks of the Ranger Raptor, the FX4 MAX is offered in a specific colour range, which includes the previously Ranger Raptor-only Conquer Grey paintwork. FX4 Max is also offered in Alabaster White, the first pearlescent colour offered on Ranger, recently introduced on XLT and Wildtrak. To further distinguish FX4 MAX, an optional graphics pack is available for the bonnet, flanks and rear of the vehicle.

“Our goal with the suspension was to extend Ranger’s off-road capabilities, and we started with the basics: suspension travel, vehicle track and shock damping capability,” said Tony Tsiandikos, Ford Chassis Engineering Manager. “The changes mean greater control of the vehicle in more aggressive terrain. As well of course as testing at our Proving Ground in the You Yangs, we took the FX4 MAX through its paces, from the Victorian High Country to South Australia, and we’re confident that these are the very places that FX4 MAX customers will take their own vehicles – it had to cut the mustard, no question, in our playground.”

The FX4 MAX’s suspension brings an off-road stance and capability through new 2.0-inch monotube Fox shock absorbers front and rear. The rear sees a remote reservoir for them, enabling rapid recovery from extensive, prolonged off-road use. They’re teamed with tuned coil-springs at the front, and a staggered shock arrangement at the rear to manage loads. The leaf springs have been tuned to provide greater compliance off road, while balancing payload and towing capability. Completing the suspension upgrades are new lock-stop profile steering knuckles, new front jounce bumpers and a 29mm front stabiliser bar.

Combined, the 20mm suspension lift and All-Terrain tyres sees FX4 MAX’s ride height 31mm above Ranger XLT, with outright ground clearance to rear differential increased by 19mm to 256mm. In addition, the FX4 MAX delivers greater approach and departure angles than Ranger XLT, to take full advantage of its switchable 4×4 system. Standard on FX4 MAX is a full-size spare wheel complete with BF Goodrich All Terrain tyre.

Shared with the Ranger Raptor, the Ranger 4×4 FX4 MAX is powered exclusively by the latest generation, 157kW/500Nm Bi-Turbo powertrain, including the advanced 10-speed automatic. The powertrain enables the FX4 MAX a 981kg payload as well as sharing Ranger’s renowned 3,500kg towing capability. The 10-speed includes a lock-out feature to hold specific gears for ease when towing, with a tow-bar as standard on FX4 MAX.

The cockpit of the FX4 MAX is unmistakable, with the exterior’s metal side-steps leading to off-road ready all-weather floor mats and FX4 MAX specific seating inside. The seats feature materials new to Ranger, including carbon-accents with Miko suede inserts and FX4 MAX embroidery. The driver’s feet are treated to Ranger Raptor sports pedals, while a leather-wrap steering wheel shares Black Alley inserts with the door trims and dash applique for greater contrast and a fresh, bold character throughout.

FX4 MAX brings another Ranger first. Centrally positioned above the 8.0-inch full colour, high-resolution touchscreen, which hosts built-in satellite-navigation as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility, are six upfitter auxiliary switches.

Fitted on Ford trucks globally, including the legendary F-Series, the switchbank gives FX4 MAX owners the ability to easily connect and operate auxiliary accessories and equipment, such as light-bars, winches and spot lights, in a seamless, integrated solution. To support such additions, the FX4 MAX features a specific 250A alternator to support power supply to multiple accessories and reduce reliance on the vehicle’s battery.

Building on the Ranger FX4, the FX4 MAX includes a comprehensive list of standard features, including AEB with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keep Assist and a full-colour, high resolution reversing camera. The Ford Ranger range has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, but this is based on tests conducted in 2011.

The FX4 MAX brings customers confidence and peace of mind with a five-year, unlimited kilometre full factory warranty. Further adding to the ownership experience, Ford Service Benefits also offers FX4 MAX owners a Service Loan Car, Auto Club Membership including Roadside Assistance as well as sat-nav map updates.

FX4 MAX features long 15,000km/12-month service intervals, and is eligible for the Ford Service Benefits program at participating Ford dealerships. A and B log-book services for the first four years/60,000km are set at a Maximum of $299 per service.

Starting at $65,940 plus on-road costs the Ford Ranger 4×4 FX4 MAX will be available in Australia from late 2020. Visit your preferred Ford dealer for more information.

Photographs by Ford Australia.