Throwing open the parts and accessory catalog to members of the general public has been a popular new pastime for many OEMs. Ram will gladly sell you all manner of 4×4 kit for its pickup trucks, Chevy worked with AEV to develop the Bison, and Jeep’s list of factory-approved accessories is longer than your favorite tow rope.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ford wants in on this action. While the Bronco and its ilk are still a ways off, the Blue Oval is planning an accessory catalog of their own. One of the first fruits of this effort? A collab with none other than ARB, one which resulted in the production of a natty and stout bumper.
We’re going to hazard a guess that more than a few of you lot have an ARB locker underneath your rig, so Ford’s off to a good start right off the bat. This new bumper certainly looks the part, with its corners chopped and shaped for maximum rock-crawling or dune-busting angles of attack. Certainly, a lot more of Ranger’s tire tread is visible from the front than on stock trucks.
“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.
Beyond the marketing dross, we can tell you that this bumper was designed to accept one of a number of winches from Warn Industries. Built from welded sheet steel up to 3/16ths of an inch thick and sprayed with a layer of powder coating, the bumper attaches to the truck using existing chassis mounting points and is said to be compatible with any example of the current model Ranger. Your author can’t wait to see a silver XL-trimmed truck with steelies rock this bumper.
Beyond the obvious off-road benefits, the unit is said to play well with Ford’s suite of driving nannies such as adaptive cruise control. This is no small feat, given the amount of engineering that goes in to such equipment. Ford promises further products from this tie up with ARB, saying additional components designed to work with other Ford trucks and SUVs will be announced soon.
The winch-capable front bumper will be available in 2020 through Ford dealers and Ford Performance Parts distributors for $1495 before installation.