The new Ford Ranger is developing speed in the aftermarket, and not just because of that sweet little EcoBoost turbocharged motor. It seems like every week, a new partner is announced, from the Yakima project vehicles to this co-development of off-road accessories with ARB.
Most overlanders are aware of the ARB brand and their legendary durability and reliability in the field. At Expedition Portal, we have trusted ARB products on all seven continents, so it is little wonder that Ford would do the same with the new Ranger. And to kick off their accessory partnership, Ford Performance has announced co-development of a proper ARB winch-ready bull bar bumper. “For Ranger customers who want the ultimate adventure gear, a Ford Performance collaboration with ARB is a dream come true,” said Eric Cin, global director, Ford Vehicle Personalization and Accessories. “With 45 years of design and engineering experience in the overlanding and rock-crawling world, ARB is bringing additional options for Ranger customers looking to make their truck even more capable.”
While press images are limited, I was able to see a different variant of this bumper at the ARB facility in Washington, and it clear that significant thought was put into designing this bumper for the Ranger as a factory accessory. Most important, ARB and Ford engineers paid close attention to airflow, ensuring sufficient volume across the intercooler, radiator, and condenser.
This zoomed-in image shows the large airflow channel. Further inspection will be needed to determine the function of the stacked component shown in the middle of the photo. Possibly a winch controller.
There are several nice touches, like the integration of the fog lamps, parking sensors, and frame-mounted jacking and recovery points. When zoomed in, both the recovery points and jacking positions are clearly affixed to the frame and bumper mounting structure, not just to the bumper fascia. These are both worth complimenting. “The goal of the relationship between ARB and Ford Performance is to provide Ford customers premium and functional off-road accessories that inspire personalized vehicle customization, improve off-road capability, and empower customers to feel comfortable using their vehicles–even in remote areas,” said Lachlan McCann, ARB chief operating officer.
This cropped photo shows the frame-mounted recovery points and the reinforced jacking points, along with the parking sensors and fog lamps.
Further digging into the specification sheet on the bumper reveals particular attention toward the finish and corrosion resistance, including the durable Integrit powder coating. The bumper is bent and welded from sheet up to 3/16 of an inch thick. The unit attaches to the Ranger frame, while also ensuring proper airbag deployment, something often neglected with aftermarket bumpers. It meets all regulatory crash ratings.
Ford also listed compatible dealer available accessories for the bumper, which include:
1. Warn winches
2. Rigid SR-Series lightbars
3. Antenna and sand flag mounts
4. Jacking points
The press materials also hint that this is the first of many projects with Ford and ARB. Fingers crossed for a factory Ranger “ARB Edition” with an Old Man Emu suspension, and Safari snorkel. The bumper will be available in 2020 at Ford dealers and has an MSRP of $1,495. ford.com and arbusa.com