Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa says production of the updated Ranger has started at its Silverton plant in Pretoria. But perhaps more interesting is the fact the local arm of the Blue Oval brand has revealed more details about the local engine line-up.

Over the past 18 months, Ford has invested a further R3-billion in the plant, which will provide the updated Ranger to markets in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Single-, super- and double-cab body styles will again be offered.

Interestingly, Ford South Africa confirmed the 2,2-litre four-cylinder and 3,2-litre five-cylinder TDCi Duratorq units would soldier on locally, while also retaining their current transmissions.

But "selected range-topping" derivatives, including the flagship Ranger Raptor, would be powered by the firm's new bi-turbo 2,0-litre diesel engine, which is assembled at Ford’s Struandale engine plant in Port Elizabeth. For the record, this unit produces 157 kW and 500 N.m of torque and is mated to a new 10-speed automatic transmission.

The 2,0-litre oil-burning unit will furthermore be available in single-turbo guise, with resulting peak outputs of 132 kW and 420 N.m of torque. This engine will also be offered with the new 10-speeder.

“Following the investment of over R3-billion in our local operations and extensive upgrades to our plants over the past 18 months, we are delighted to see the first of the new Ford Ranger models coming off our production line,” said Neale Hill, managing director or Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region.

“This is an extremely important and exciting year for the Ford Ranger, which will also see the launch of the first-ever Ranger Raptor that is undoubtedly one of this year’s most highly anticipated new models,” Hill added.

"There is a lot of excitement and hype around the Ranger Raptor, and this exhilarating new model will occupy a white space in the pickup market when it goes on sale in the second quarter of this year, creating the first-ever true performance model in this crucial segment," says Neale Hill, Managing Director, Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region.

While production of the updated Ranger has officially commenced, Ford SA has yet to reveal the official launch date.