Ford unveils the next generation, versatile Ranger
Ford today put the global pickup world on notice by revealing the smartest, most versatile and most capable Ranger ever – delivering an even more desirable pickup partner for customers.
Using years of Ford truck expertise and deep understanding of truck customers, the company collaborated with customers around the globe to create a vehicle and ownership experience that next-gen Ranger owners can rely on for their businesses, family lives and adventure.
In addition to revealing the next-generation Ranger, Ford also outlined its “always-on” commitment to customers, with a host of services centered around convenience on their terms. Depending on market, these include service pickup and delivery, a Ranger Concierge program, and streamlined online service booking options, to name a few.
Living the Ranger Life
Ford calls this “Living the Ranger Life,” and it’s something shared by every designer and engineer involved in creating the next-generation Ranger.
The next-gen Ranger project was led by Ford’s Product Development Center in Australia. Its international team of dedicated designers and engineers worked with teams around the globe to not only incorporate the very latest in Ford technology, capability and safety, but to also engineer and test the Ranger to Ford’s toughest standards.
New Look, New Capabilities
Customer input was key to developing the next-generation Ranger’s rugged new look. Ford spent a lot of time with owners around the globe, conducting more than 5,000 interviews and dozens of customer workshops to understand how customers used their pickups and what they wanted and expected in the new Ranger.
Visually, the next-generation Ranger is bold and confident, with a purposeful exterior that shares Ford’s global truck design DNA. The design features a defined new grille, and signature C-clamp headlight treatment at the front while a subtle shoulder line down the sides incorporates bolder wheel-arches that gives Ranger a sure-footed stance. For the first time, Ford Ranger offers matrix LED headlights. At the back, the taillights are designed in harmony with the signature graphics on the front. Inside, the car-like cabin steps up, using premium soft-touch materials, and prominent portrait-style center touchscreen with Ford’s signature SYNC 4 connectivity and entertainment system.
The reveal models – the stylish XLT, rugged Sport and adventurer Wildtrak – reflect this customer input both inside and out.
Beneath the new bodywork is an upgraded chassis riding on a wheelbase 50mm longer and a track 50mm wider than the prior Ranger. A hydro-formed front-end structure creates more space in the engine bay for the new V6 engine and helps future-proof the Ranger for other propulsion technologies. It also opens up the front of the pickup to allow more airflow to the radiator, which helps keep running temperatures low when towing or carrying heavy loads.
New powertrain choices
Customers wanted a choice of more power and torque for towing heavy loads and extreme off-roading, so the team added Ford’s proven 3.0-L V6 turbodiesel and developed it for the Ranger. It is one of three turbodiesel engine options available at launch, depending on market.
The next-gen Ranger will also come with a choice of proven Single-Turbo and the Bi-Turbo 2.0 inline four-cylinder diesels. The Single Turbo comes in two different performance levels and delivers power, torque and fuel economy, which is important to small business owners or commercial vehicle fleets. The Bi-Turbo engine is a more sophisticated, performance variant for customers who want more power but need to maintain fuel economy.
In addition, the next-gen Ranger will be available with a tried and tested 2.3-L EcoBoost four cylinder that underpins a range of Ford global products and is a perfect choice for customers who prefer petrol propulsion.
New transmission choices include an updated 10-speed auto or six-speed manual, complementing the current six-speed automatic.
Improved ride and handling
To develop the ride and handling expected of a truck customer’s use for a wide range of work, family and play – engineers focused on the fundamentals.
Engineers moved the front wheels forward by 50mm for a better approach angle and outboard for better off-road articulation, both of which improve the off-roading experience. They also shifted the rear suspension dampers outboard of the frame rails to give drivers and passengers a better ride both on- and off-road, no matter if they’re carrying heavy cargo for work, or just taking the family out for dinner.
Customers will have a choice of two four-wheel drive systems, an electronic shift-on-the-fly system, or advanced full-time 4×4 system with a reassuring set-and-forget mode, designed for capability when and where customers need it. Off-road recovery is made easier with prominent dual recovery hooks in the front bumper.
Customer-focused interior features
Customers wanted a flexible, modern cockpit that caters to both work and family duties. So, Ranger needs to serve as both a workspace and a haven, providing smart and connected features with more comfort and storage options than ever before.
The heart of the Ranger’s connective experience is the large 10.1-inch or 12-inch touchscreen in the center stack. It complements the fully digital instrument panel and is loaded with Ford’s latest SYNC4 system, which comes customer-ready with its voice-activated communications, entertainment and information systems. Additionally, there’s an embedded factory-fitted modem, allowing connectivity on the go when linked with the FordPass App, so customers can stay connected to their world. FordPass enhances the ownership experience with features like remote start, vehicle status check and remote lock and unlock functions via your mobile device.
Many of the traditional driving mode controls have been moved from the dash and center console to their own dedicated display on the SYNC screen. With one button press, drivers can go to Ranger’s dedicated screen for all off-road and drive modes where they can monitor the driveline, steering angle, vehicle pitch and roll angles and other controls.
The screen also is linked to a 360-degree camera to make parking a breeze in tight urban spaces or to assist when negotiating particularly tricky terrain while out exploring. Ranger technology will also be future-proofed to accept software updates thanks to an embedded modem.
The design team also created clever storage and useful features for owners. There are not only places to store your phone or charge it wirelessly (where compatible), but there’s a large center console bin to stash things. In addition, the door pockets are designed to carry more, the wide dash conceals an upper glovebox and there are storage bins under and behind the rear seats.
Built to do more with better access, more functional space
That was the inspiration for creating an integrated side-step behind the rear tyres of the next-generation Ranger, to create a strong, more stable way for them to access the box.
In addition, the Ranger team worked to ensure that a wider variety of cargo could fit and stay secure in the load box.
Additional thoughtful, customer-focused touches include a new, tough plastic-molded bedliner that helps protect both the truck bed from scratches and owner’s knees from kneeling on a steel truck bed. Extra cargo tie down points – on strong steel tube rails – provide convenient points to secure loads. Durable, flexible load box caps around the sides of the box and across the tailgate conceal structural attachment points for canopies and other aftermarket accessories.
In addition, Ranger offers a new cargo management system designed with dividers to hold various sized items – like timber or toolboxes. The tailgate can also double as a mobile work bench with an integrated ruler and clamp pockets to measure, grip and cut building materials.
Zone lighting – controlled via the in-cabin SYNC screen or through the FordPass App – provides 360-degree lighting around the truck to help give customers better visibility around the vehicle. Load box lighting is provided under the left- and right-hand rails and provides plenty of light for finishing up jobs in low light or finding things in the cargo box at night.
The next-generation Ranger will be built at Ford’s plants in Thailand and South Africa beginning in 2022, with other markets to be announced at a later date. Specific market launch details will be announced in due course.