Next-gen Ford Ranger series could be hybrid, EV, or both [Update]

While the Ford F150 goes all-electric with the Ford F150 Lightning (Ford F-150 EV) in 2022, the Ford Ranger may progress cautiously in the area of electrification. While the hybrid version is expected next year, a few years down the line, there would also be a Ford Ranger EV to complete the lineup.

The Ranger Hybrid would go to markets worldwide where emission norms are tightening, but the EV charging infrastructure is nascent. Take a look at what lies ahead for Ford’s mid-size pickup truck.

Design

The Ford Ranger Hybrid is a step closer to reality, as road-testing of the next-gen Ford Ranger began earlier this year. The new Ranger is being developed in Australia, where a CarsGuide reader snapped it on test close to the company’s validation and testing ground near Melbourne in January 2021. The spy shot is set as the featured image of this article.

The 2022 Ford Ranger prototype is reminiscent of the 2021 Ford F-150. Like the American pickup truck, it appears to feature tall headlamps with C-shaped LED DRL. According to the person who photographed the test mule, it likely had the 8-inch SYNC 4 touchscreen infotainment system, which would be another item in common with its bigger brother.

Development

The T6.2 Ford Ranger is developed in Ford’s Melbourne-based Asia Pacific product development center, but it’s not a regional mode. Ford sells the Ranger in over 180 countries. One of the world’s best-selling pickup truck models, the Ranger has built a solid reputation in APAC and African markets.

2021 Ford F-150 design highlight
The Ranger’s big brother, the all-new Ford F-150, will influence the design direction for the mid-size truck. Image Source: Ford

Next-gen Ford Ranger specifications

For the first time, a Ford Ranger Hybrid will be available, in addition to conventional gasoline and diesel engines (the latter for other markets outside North America).

While designers are giving the rugged pickup – which competes with the ‘unbreakable’ Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Navara, and Mazda BT-50 models in Asia Pacific and European countries – a redesigned exterior and interior, reports suggest that engineers are hard at work on a Ford Ranger Hybrid variant, which will debut electrification on the Ranger nameplate which is 37 years old and has seen four model generations.

The powertrain likely in question is the 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost unit with a 10-speed automatic transmission combined with an electric motor to deliver 270 kW (362 hp) and 502 lb.-ft (680 Nm) of torque. This will reportedly be an all-new Plug-in Hybrid system that hasn’t featured on a Ford vehicle to date. Hence, it will be different from the 3.0-liter and 2.5-liter PHEV systems on the Ford Explorer and Ford Escape SUVs.

Ford Ranger Raptor USA
The T6.2 Ranger Raptor is expected to make its way stateside. The current Ranger Raptor (pictured) is not sold in the United States. Image: Ford

Hans Schep, General Manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford (Europe), has also discussed a rechargeable Ranger. He said that the company plans to release a Ranger plug-in hybrid before 2025, as per a report from Automotive News Europe published in early June.

The T6.2 Ford Ranger will lend its chassis and internal components to Volkswagen for the next generation VW Amarok. VW will clearly differentiate (visually and otherwise) its offering from the Ranger, and the VW Group acknowledged that there wouldn’t have been a successor to the Amarok had it not been for the collaboration with Ford. The Blue Oval will also manufacture the next-gen Amarok at its Silverton plant in South Africa from 2022, alongside the new Ranger.

Release Date

The commercial launch of the next-generation Ford Ranger, or the T6.2 Ranger (T6 is the name of Ford’s rear- and all-wheel drive architecture that underpins mid-size pickups and SUVs), is expected in 2022 for the global market. It may not be available in the U.S. immediately after the global launch.

The current Ford Ranger line in the United States kicks off at USD 24,000, and we expect prices to remain more-or-less the same when the T6.2 goes on sale. However, where the current Ranger Raptor – the sporty variant of the pickup truck – is not offered for North American markets, reports suggest the T6.2 generation will see the ‘Ranger on steroids’ in American showrooms too.

On the Ford Ranger Electric

On February 17, 2021, Ford announced that all commercial vehicles in Europe would be zero-emissions capable – all-electric or plug-in hybrid – by 2024. The company expects two-third of commercial vehicle sales in the region to come from PHEVs and EVs by 2030. Given that the Ranger is Europe’s best-selling pickup truck, a pure electric powertrain (besides hybrid) should be a priority for the model. In 2020, the Ranger enjoyed a record 34.9% share in Europe’s pickup truck segment.

Ford Ranger EV teaser
Ford has confirmed that the new Battery Electric Vehicle architecture would underpin mid-size pickup trucks. The Ford Ranger EV could go on sale around 2024. Image Source: Vimeo/Ford

On May 26, 2021, Ford’s announcements at the “Delivering Ford+” themed 2021 Capital Markets Day may have uncovered the first detail of a Ford Ranger EV. The company revealed that it plans to introduce BEVs with RWD/AWD drivetrain layout on a new dedicated BEV platform. Hau Thai-Tang, Chief Product Platform and Operations Officer, Ford, confirmed that the platform would spawn a mid-size electric pickup truck. Ford markets the Ranger as its mid-size pickup truck in the United States.

Our new rear-wheel drive/all-wheel drive BEV flexible architecture will underpin a range of emotive vehicles slated for production between now and 2030, including active lifestyle vehicles with great driving dynamics, cargo vehicles for those whole value space and versatility for their commercial needs, pickups delivering legendary Built Ford Tough capability on mid-size trucks, rugged SUVs for our adventure-seeking customers, and high-margin, high-demand larger two- and three-row SUVs for families around the world, like Explorer, and Lincoln Aviator.

Hau Thai-Tang, Chief Product Platform and Operations Officer, Ford (Delivering Ford+/Capital Markets Day 2021)

Ford may have begun the Ranger EV groundwork, but it could be at least two years before a working prototype is unveiled to the media.

Ford Ranger & Ford xEV sales soar in the United States

Ford has announced that its Ranger and electrified vehicles have made new first-half sales records in 2021 in the United States. For the Ranger, H1 2021 was the best first half since 2005, with a total sales of 58,371 units. Compared to H1 2020 (45,988 units), this is an improvement of 26.9%. Ford’s electrified vehicle sales made a new all-time high for the first half in 2021 – 56,570 units. Compared to H1 2020, the electrified sales increased by 117%. These stats together make a Ranger Hybrid all the more compelling as a potential product.

James Farley Jr., President & CEO of Ford, told The Verge Editor-in-Chief Nilay Patel on a Decoder podcast that Ford is a leader in markets like South Africa, Australia, and Europe with the Ranger. Ranger customers in some regions do 700-800 mile journeys. The technology (and the charging infrastructure in these societies) needs to evolve to deliver an extended EV range without compromising the Ranger’s affordability, capability, or usability. Hence, the combustion model will continue alongside the electrified Ranger versions for the foreseeable future.

Ford Ranger Hybrid FAQs

What is the Ford Ranger Hybrid release date?

The Ford Ranger Hybrid is expected to launch in the USA in 2023, following the global introduction in 2022.

Which pickup trucks would rival the Ford Ranger Hybrid?

The Ford Ranger Hybrid will rival the Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma, and Nissan Frontier on price.

What will be the price of the Ford Ranger Hybrid?

The Ford Ranger Hybrid is expected to cost around USD 30,000.

Featured image: CarsGuide