Ford has put the global pick-up world on notice by revealing what it describes as the smartest, most versatile and most capable Ranger ever.
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.
“With Ranger, we’ve had a big extended family for decades,” said Jim Farley, president and chief executive officer, Ford Motor Company. “This truck has always been a trusted partner to small business owners, farmers, families, adventurers, commercial fleets and so many more in more than 180 markets around the world. And with the new Ranger, this is our moment to deliver. Not just a product our customers will love, but an always-on experience that will help us build strong and lasting relationships with them. This is the midsize truck people will want to own and experience.”
Order books for next-generation Ranger will open in Europe in late 2022 for customer delivery in early 2023. The current Ranger is Europe’s pick-up segment leader and recently set a new September year-to-date sales record of 45,539 units, with market share of 39.9 per cent.
“We’ve really packed a lot into the next‑generation Ranger to inspire owners to do more of what they love to do, with features that encourage them to explore new horizons,” said Gary Boes, Enterprise Product Line Management director, Global Trucks. “We’re truck owners too, and this passion for the Ranger lifestyle translates into a passion for the product. Ultimately, we want our customers’ experience with the pick-up to enable and enhance their lifestyles.”
Ford calls this “Living the Ranger Life,” and it’s something shared by every designer and engineer involved in creating the next-generation Ranger.
“Our team was focused on one goal – to make this Ranger the toughest and most capable we’ve ever created,” said Graham Pearson, Ranger vehicle program director. “They put it through one of the most exhaustive global testing schedules we’ve ever developed and would not rest until we were satisfied that it was Built Ford Tough.”
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 pick-ups 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 centre touchscreen with Ford’s signature SYNC connectivity and entertainment system.
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-litre V6 turbodiesel and developed it for the Ranger. It is one of three turbodiesel engine options available at launch.
The next-gen Ranger will also come with a choice of proven Single-Turbo and Bi-Turbo 2.0-litre in-line 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.
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.
“We have a really wide spectrum of customers,” Pearson said. “On one end, you might have small business owners looking for very work-oriented transportation. They want traditional two-wheel drive with a single cab and a load box to transport their goods.
“At the extreme other end, you have the serious off-roaders who really push their Rangers to the limit with endurance races like the Dakar Rally. The next-gen Ranger will meet the needs of both types of customers and everyone in between.”
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 an advanced new full-time four-wheel drive 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.
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 centre stack. It complements the fully digital instrument panel and is loaded with Ford’s latest SYNC system, which comes customer-ready with its voice-activated communications, entertainment and information systems. Additionally, there’s an embedded factory-fitted FordPass Connect 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, and remote lock and unlock functions via a mobile device.
Many of the traditional driving mode controls have been moved from the dash and centre 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. In addition, customers can control Ranger’s new exterior zone lighting system via the touchscreen or the FordPass app, which means they don’t have to work, camp or do anything in the dark. Ranger technology will also be future-proofed to accept Ford Power-Up wireless software updates thanks to the embedded FordPass Connect 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 centre 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.
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.