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, Ford’s next step in the electrification process for the Ford Ranger will be a hybrid, which could also go on sale in 2022. A few years later, the lineup will also include a Ford Ranger EV to complete its options.

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

Video Source: YouTube/Ford Australia

Design

Prototypes confirm that the next-gen Ford Ranger will be just as impressive as the 2021 Ford F-150. It seems to have large LED headlamps with C-shaped daytime running lights, just like its American cousin.

A taller and wider radiator grille will reside between the headlamps, emphasizing the pickup width and making it look more aggressive. Like on the F-150, the radiator grille will feature a two-bar portion in the center protruding into the headlamps. However, we doubt the Australian-designed one-tonne ute will have active grille shutters like the all-American full-size pickup.

The side profile and rear of the next-gen Ranger will be very similar to the current Ranger. The teasers above show it featuring a new sports bar and new tail lamps that have a straighter outer section and are likely partly LED units.

Interior

Ford says that the 2022 Ranger will be the smartest and the most connected Ranger ever. Professional spy photographers have snapped the interior of the next-gen Ranger, revealing some crucial details. A set of spy pics on Motor1 have revealed the usage of a rotary/dial-type gear selector instead of a traditional gear lever and a new drive mode selector.

More recent shots, which you can view on Ranger6G.com, have revealed the upgrade to a larger and more advanced touchscreen infotainment system. It’s a portrait unit similar to the F-150 Lightning’s 15.5-inch SYNC 4A unit. However, it’s not a free-standing display, as Ford has integrated it into the dashboard, achieving a lower positioning. Two vertical AC vents positioned at the same height will likely flank this display. Designers have integrated the engine start/stop button into the steering column.

Development

Ford has engineered the T6.2 Ford Ranger (T6 is Ford’s rear- and all-wheel drive architecture that underpins mid-size pickups and SUVs) at its Melbourne-based Asia Pacific product development center, but it’s not a regional model. One of the world’s best-selling pickup trucks, the Ranger has built a solid reputation in APAC and African markets. Ford sells the Ranger in over 180 countries.

Next-gen Ford Ranger specifications

While designers in Australia 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. This model will debut Ford’s first-ever use of electrification on the 37-year-old Ford Ranger nameplate.

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.

2021 Ford F-150 design highlight
The Ranger’s big brother, the all-new Ford F-150, influences the design direction for the mid-size truck. Image Source: 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 Automotive News Europe published in June 2021.

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. 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

Ford has confirmed that it will unveil the next-gen Ranger in the coming months. The next-gen Ranger may not be available in America immediately after its global launch, as the current truck debuted in America just in 2018.

Australia, Thailand, and other main one-tonne ute markets would get the next-gen Ford Ranger before the U.S., where larger pickups like the Ford F-150 are more popular and higher priority. The right-hand drive version is likely to enter production first, at the AutoAlliance plant in Thailand. As you can see in the design section of the story, test mules are already undergoing road-testing in Thailand. The Michigan Assembly Plant may continue making the T6 model for some time, as that version is still relatively new in North America.

Ranger6G.com has received some insider information about next-gen Ranger’s production and release dates. The global next-gen Ranger is internally called Ford P703, and it will go on sale in Thailand first and later in Australia in May 2022. The U.S. model’s internal coding is Ford P703N, with the ’N’ letter likely denoting North America. It will arrive as the 2023 Ranger. Production of the 2023 Ranger will begin at the Michigan Assembly Plant on May 1, 2023, and its launch will take place on July 3, 2023. Ranger6G.com claims to know even the EOP (End Of Production) date of the U.S.-spec next-gen Ranger – April 2031.

Next-gen Ford Ranger prototype
Australia, Thailand, and other main one-tonne ute markets would get the next-gen Ford Ranger before the U.S. Image Source: Ford

The current Ford Ranger line in the United States kicks off at USD 25,070, 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 available in North America, reports suggest the next-gen Ranger Raptor will make it to the U.S.

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 started the groundwork for the Ranger EV, but it will likely take at least two years before the company shows a prototype to the media.

Ford Ranger & Ford xEV sales soar in the United States

In H1 2021, Ford’s Ranger and electrified vehicles made new first-half sales records 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 for the first half in 2021 stood at 56,570 units. Compared to H1 2020, sales increased by 117%. The YTD xEV sales count stands at 83,579 units as of September 2021. These stats together make a Ranger Hybrid all the more compelling as a potential product.

Ranger ICE model to run alongside the BEV/Hybrid

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 U.S. launch of the next-gen Ford Ranger will reportedly take place in the U.S. in July 2023. A hybrid variant could be part of the line-up right from launch.

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 Source: Ford