In all fairness, the newly announced FX2 Package does boost the off-road cred of the two-wheel drive Ford Ranger, albeit modestly. If memory serves this writer correctly, RWD trucks can be a load of fun in the rough, assuming that backcountry trail isn’t too slick, greasy, or soupy.
An obvious ploy to capture the hearts and minds of those enamored by Ford’s popular (4×4) FX4 Off-Road Package, the FX2 seeks to slightly improve the off-roadability of rear-drive Rangers while elevating the truck’s visual brawn.
While Ford admits the FX2 has urban buyers in its sights, the physical alterations that come with the package — mainly, a front underbody guard and air dam delete — should lower the risk of Ranger owners scraping their chin whilst tackling inclines. Seventeen-inch wheels shod in off-road-rated rubber come standard, with 18-inchers optional.
Chunky mud & snows will have to be purchased separately, assuming you’re really keen on playing the part.
Further nodding in the direction of the Oregon Trail comes in the form of a standard electronic-locking rear differential and a suspension setup tweaked for off-road use. When you’ve only got two drive wheels, you’d best make full use of the available traction. Inside the cabin, drivers can check out (and perhaps Instagram) the pitch and roll angles displayed on the off-road cluster screen — another transplant from the FX4.
According to the automaker, two out of every three Ranger buyers springs for a dressup package, making the FX2 a no-brainer. Cost for this package is $595.
“We’re seeing sales trends that tell us to grow Ranger’s capability and appearance options even further,” said Chad Callander, Ford Ranger consumer marketing manager, in a statement. “The FX2 Package is a result of us listening to our customers and what they’re demanding from their trucks.”
Don’t expect the FX2 to be the final word on Ranger customization. Recent trademark applications point to further Ranger variants.