Ford is pushing the fourth-generation Ranger through the final stages of development and has teased the new pick-up ahead of its global release in 2022.
When it arrives it will be another model born of a platform sharing deal between Volkswagen and Ford for commercial vehicles, meaning that in essence it will be a Volkswagen Amarok twin. VW’s pick-up truck will also be renewed in 2022.
Ford is still putting the new Ranger under extensive testing off and on-road. The brand says that Ranger prototypes have covered the equivalent of 1.25 million kilometres (around 770,000 miles), with half of those miles racked up with the pick-up bed at maximum capacity.
“There really is no replacement for real-world testing to really see how it stands up to years of customer use,” said chief Ranger engineer John Willems.
These Ranger prototypes still wear heavy camouflage, but it’s clear that the pick-up’s styling won’t stray too far from its predecessor, blending the dimensions of the current model (which are more applicable to the European market) with the boxy front end and upright grille of the larger US-market Ford F-150.
Judging by Ford’s rather heroic off-road images, the company will look to build on the strengths of the current model and improve the Ranger’s off-road ability. The current pick-up already comes with selectable four-wheel drive and a choice of drive modes for different terrains such as mud, snow and sand.
Better versions of these systems are expected, along with a few suspension tweaks (such as new dampers and springs) to suit a broader range of off-road environments.
It’s almost certain that the next Ranger will be powered by a diesel engine, at least to begin with. The powersliding test car in the company’s recent teaser video is accompanied by a soundtrack that we expect belongs to an updated version of the current pick-up’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder EcoBlue diesel unit.
There’s no word yet on whether we’ll get an electric version of the next Ranger, although it could happen during the pick-up’s lifetime. Ford has already set aside $22 billion (around £16 billion) to spend on electrification up to 2025.
Ford has also launched an electric version of its stalwart Transit van, while an EV version of the larger F-150 pick-up truck has been revealed in the USA. So, it’s entirely possible that the Ranger could join its siblings in Ford’s expanding line-up of pure-electric commercial vehicles.
As the commercial and passenger vehicle segments draw ever nearer in terms of technology and equipment, Ford could also improve the Ranger’s cabin by fitting some of the plusher trim from its passenger cars, such as the newer Kuga. Carry-overs could include the SUV’s switchgear, dashboard trim and sharper eight-inch touchscreen.
We’ll also get a new Raptor-badged performance version of the next Ranger. Our spy photographers have spotted the new flagship model tackling its development programme, and it shares the same roll-over hoop, chunky bumpers, flared wheel arches and raised ride-height as the current model.
What does the new Ford Ranger have to beat? Click here for our list of the best pick-up trucks on sale now…
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