In a move that will please Ford enthusiasts and standup comedians alike, the French army will purchase 1,000 Ford Ranger pickups to serve as off-road patrol vehicles. The jokes will practically write themselves.
The T6 Ranger, which is ironically not sold in the United States due to its F-150-like proportions, will replace the aging Peugeot P4 that went into French military service in 1983. The pickup is currently assembled in South Africa.
Two other vehicles were considered, The New York Times reports, including the PSA Peugeot Citroen Berlingo and the Dacia Duster, which is made by Renault. The new Ranger was chosen for its cargo and payload capacity as well as its ability to carry five adults easily, areas where the European vehicles simply did not stack up.
“It’s not a question of America versus France,” said French Defense Ministry spokesman Pierre Bayle, who was quick to point out that the Duster is made in Romania while the Berlingo is manufactured in Spain. Bayle also added that France’s fleet will be gradually replaced over the next few years, and French vehicles will continue to fill various military roles.
Peugeot declined to comment on the matter, but Renault spokeswoman Maya Vautier stated that because Renault does not make a pickup currently, Ford essentially won by default.
The Ford Ranger received a significant facelift for 2015, one that updated the pickup’s styling, tech options, and powertrain choices.
The Ranger’s Sync 2 infotainment system allows the driver to interface with the truck via natural voice commands like “temperature 20 degrees,” “I’m hungry,” or “play AC/DC.” Sync 2 also offers an 8-inch touchscreen.
Engine choices are a 3.2-liter five-cylinder diesel that makes 200 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque and a 2.2-liter diesel mill that makes 160 hp and 284 lb-ft. A 2.5-liter gasoline engine will be available as well, which produces 166 hp and 166 lb-ft. Transmission options remain a five-speed manual, six-speed manual, or six-speed automatic.