Ranger first NZ-market Ford confirmed for Sync3

Ford seems to seeking to synchronise - as much as possible - introduction of an improved version of its infotainment system.

LOCAL market introduction of the latest version of Ford’s infotainment system is apparently intended to be as coordinated as the set-up’s name.

Announcement that some editions of the brand’s hot-selling Ranger are to update to the latest version of the Sync technology pack has triggered the brand to assure this will in fact be a wider introduction, with the passenger lineup also due to enjoy the change.

While he was unable to cite the timing and availability for specific models, Ford New Zealand spokesman Tom Clancy said intention is to roll out the new Sync3 system “across the lineup, wherever we have SYNC2 currently but potentially more with upgrades.”

However, he added: “We are still confirming timing. Given we're a long lead market, importing from all over the world, the logistics of actually getting the vehicles here plays a key factor as to which (model) gets it first.”

So when might this start? One potential clue that isn’t mentioned but hangs large nonetheless: Even though this Ranger upgrade is described by Ford as being a ‘Model Year 2017’ revision, one signaled core change is that it meets compliance with Euro 5 emissions control legislation. Euro 5 enforces for new vehicles introduced from November 1. Does that mean the truck will lead the way, with cars to follow?

It is already known the brand’s only top 15 car in June, the Mustang, is also ramping up for Sync3.

Other models that currently offer Sync2 include Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo, Kuga and Everest. The Fiesta-based EcoSport, a budget crossover sourced from India, is thought to still be utilizing the first-generation Sync. The Falcon and Territory have Sync2, but since both are destined to end production in October, potential for these models being included in the update would seem to be non-existent.

The Ford Edge, which is widely rumoured to be set for introduction once the Territory goes, is also running Sync3.

As well as providing Ford product with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for the first time, Sync3 also has other improved facilities such as “more conversational voice recognition, intuitive smartphone-like touchscreen and an improved graphic user interface”.

Ranger’s latest improvements will surely only enhance the remarkable NZ-market status of a vehicle which, in achieving up to 600 sales a month, is not only the one-tonne utility sector top dog but in some months of this year has been the country’s best-selling new vehicle.

Only the models that achieve highest penetration as recreational choices, the XLT and Wildtrak, achieve Sync3, but some of more workhorse-tuned will adopt the added enhancements of a reversing camera and rear parking sensors.

Wildtrak seems set to further cement as a family-first wagon with Ford also set provision it with even more active safety technology.

The addition of Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Alert, Driver Impairment Monitor, automatic high beam control, Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Warning brings it up to level-pegging with the Ranger-derived top-line Everest Titanium wagon.

Meantime, Clancy says Ford here has still made no decision about adding the rear-drive Everest to the local lineup.

Ford has yet to disclose how it intends for the 3.2-litre turbo-diesel five-cylinder to meet Euro 5, a tougher emissions standard than exists presently, aside to suggest it will feature “a minor powertrain upgrade”. Conceivably, though, the best way is to enact the solution it used for the like-engined Everest, and introduce an AdBlue tank that implements the urea formulation in as requires.