All-new Ford Ranger series could gain hybrid, EV, or both [Update]

  • Electrified Ranger will use plug-in hybrid with enough EV mode range to complete city trips
  • Expected to employ a 2.3L PHEV system, but availability in the U.S. is unconfirmed
  • An all-electric Ranger has been teased by the company & could debut mid-decade
  • Multiple electrified variants ensures global compliance and power of choice for buyers

Update: ‘U.S. Release Date’ section revised.

While the F-150 has gone all-electric with the Ford F-150 Lightning, Ford’s next step in the electrification process for the Ford Ranger will be a hybrid, which could also go on sale within two years. Shortly after, the lineup will include a Ford Ranger electric to complete the 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.

Design

Unveiled in late 2021, the new-generation Ford Ranger looks as impressive as the new F-150. It sports large matrix LED headlights with ‘C-clamp’ daytime running lights, just like its American cousin. A taller and broader radiator grille emphasizes the pickup’s width and adds aggression. Like the F-150, the radiator grille features a two-bar portion in the center, cutting into the headlights. However, the Australian-designed one-tonne ute doesn’t have active grille shutters like the all-American full-size pickup. The all-new model features muscles on the hood for an imposing appearance.

The side profile is similar to the current Ranger but not identical. Sophisticated, concave surfacing on the door panels and a subtle shoulder line down the sides bring the truck’s design freshness. Moving to the rear, like the headlights, the taillights are available in a choice of halogen and LED units, and they feature the signature graphics on the front. Thousands of existing Ranger owners worldwide influenced the design of the next-gen Ranger. Product chief designer Max Tran explains:

Interior

The interior design of the T6.2 Ford Ranger has become contemporary and more car-like. The dashboard still has a familiar truck-like appearance, but the AC vents, steering wheel, and center console have slimmed down. Reduced switchgear and other physical controls, a 12-inch SYNC 4 portrait touchscreen infotainment, and a fully digital instrument cluster give the interior a cleaner and more sophisticated styling.

2022 Ford Ranger interior dashboard
The all-new Ford Ranger has a more car-like cabin. Image Source: Ford

Ford says that the 2022 Ranger is the smartest Ranger ever, and with SYNC 4 available, we wouldn’t argue that statement. Remote Start, Vehicle Status, and remote lock and unlock functions are available on a mobile app, and Ford Power-Up wireless software updates should allow expanding the list of connected vehicle features conveniently in the future. Tech highlights include a 360-degree camera and a Qi wireless phone charger.

Technical changes

The all-new Ranger is the toughest and most capable Ranger Ford has ever made. The company has brought extensive technical changes that improve its performance, ride and handling, strength, and efficiency.

An upgraded chassis lies beneath the new bodywork. The wheelbase is 50 mm longer, and the track is 50 mm wider. The longer wheelbase means improved space for the occupants. As for the 50 mm wider track, Anthony Hall, Ranger vehicle engineering manager, says that it makes a huge difference, especially in the cargo box. For some basic items, such as a sheet of building plywood or a full-size, it will be possible to load them flat.

The engineers pushed the front wheels of the Ranger forward by 50 mm for a better approach angle and outboard for improved off-road articulation. They moved the rear suspension dampers outboard of the frame rails for an improved ride. Customers can choose from two 4WD systems – an electronic shift-on-the-fly system or a more off-road-focused full-time four-wheel drive system. Dual recovery hooks in the front bumper now make off-road recovery easier.

Ford says that a hydro-formed front-end structure frees up space in the engine bay and helps future-proof the Ranger for other propulsion technologies. This way, it hints that it has developed the new-generation Ranger keeping alternative powertrains in mind.

DimensionMeasurement
Length5,350 mm/5,370 mm (210.6 in./211.4 in.)
Width1,910 mm/1,918 mm (75.2 in./75.5 in.)
Height1,777 mm/1,884 mm (70.0 in./74.2 in.)
Wheelbase3,270 mm (128.7 in.)
Box Length1,564 mm (61.6 in.)
Box Width1,584 mm (62.4 in.)
Box Height540 mm (21.3 in.)
Next-gen Ford Ranger Dual Cab dimensions in Thailand (Source: Ford)

U.S.-spec technical changes

On July 9, 2022, based on sightings of covered test mules spotted near Ford’s Dearborn facilities, Carscoops reported that the U.S.-spec next-gen Ford Ranger will have a longer wheelbase and that its bed will also be longer compared to the global model. The prototypes spied in the U.S. had more space between the rear wheel arch and the rear door.

Compared to the previous generation Ranger, the global next-gen Ranger has a 50 mm longer wheelbase of 3,270 mm (128.7 in.). Stretching the U.S.-spec next-gen Ranger and adding a bigger bed would ensure it’s at a safe distance from the Ford Maverick, a model Ford doesn’t offer in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania.

On the Ford Ranger Hybrid

Ford hasn’t formally confirmed an electrified variant for the new Ranger, but there are strong indications that the project has advanced. On September 2, 2022, Wheels reported that Ford plans to launch a Ranger plug-in hybrid in Australia in 2024.

Previous reports suggested that the official reveal of the Ranger plug-in hybrid may take place much earlier, in 2023. On February 2, 2022, Drive published a news report stating that the Ranger PHEV could land in Australian showrooms as early as late 2023.

Lars Krause, the BoM responsible for marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWN), has indirectly confirmed a plug-in hybrid system for the Ranger is under development. “We’re not satisfied with the electric range of the (Ranger’s) plug-in hybrid (system),” Krause told media during the next-gen Amarok presentation in April 2022, as per a Drive report dated April 26, 2022.

Ali Jammoul, Ford’s program director for icons and Ford Performance, told Wheels on April 7, 2022, that electrification would play a major role for the next-generation Ranger. Jammoul said every vehicle has compromises; an electrified Ranger would be heavier because of the battery. He added that using lightweight materials elsewhere could offset batteries’ weight penalty.

Future-proof platform

During an Australian media roundtable in 2021, an engineer behind the development of the all-new Ranger confirmed that the upgraded platform allows electrification. The new, redesigned chassis had helped “future-proof” the Ford Ranger for other propulsion technologies.

The new Ford Ranger’s chief engineer, Ian Foston, also spoke to Drive during a media briefing. He said that they had gathered two big driving factors for electrification. The first is interest from customers who have used EVs before and are asking about the technology in Ford pickup trucks. Secondly, new legislation has been brought in for a number of markets that require it.

In 2021, Hans Schep, General Manager, Ford Pro (Europe), discussed a rechargeable Ranger. He said that the company plans to release a Ranger plug-in hybrid before 2025, as per the report Automotive News Europe published in June 2021.

2.3L PHEV system reported

The powertrain in question is likely 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 is an all-new Plug-in Hybrid system that hasn’t been featured on a Ford vehicle and will be quite different from the 3.0-liter and 2.5-liter PHEV systems on the Explorer and Escape SUVs.

Jammoul told Wheels that the brand could electrify the 2.3-liter, 2.7-liter, and 3-liter gas engines in its portfolio. He added that Ford is currently evaluating which of these options would be the most suitable, considering the electrified Ranger’s goals of being fuel-efficient and adequately powerful. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost unit is likely to be the most suitable.

U.S. Release Date

Ranger6G.com received inside information about the new-generation Ranger’s production and release dates. The global model is internally called Ford P703, while the U.S. model’s internal coding is Ford P703N, with the ’N’ letter likely denoting North America. The latter will likely arrive as the 2024 Ford Ranger.

Production of the P703N Ranger will begin at the Michigan Assembly Plant on May 1, 2023, and the launch is programmed on July 3, 2023. Ranger6G.com also claims to have seen the EOP (End Of Production) date of the U.S.-spec next-gen Ranger – April 2031.

The current Ford Ranger lineup in the United States kicks off at USD 26,400, so expect prices to remain more or less the same when the T6.2 goes on sale. However, where the previous Ranger Raptor – the sporty variant of the pickup truck – is not available in North America, reports suggest the all-new Ranger Raptor introduced on February 22, 2022, will make it to the U.S.

On August 28, 2022, Automotive News published a report detailing Ford’s future product plans for the U.S., and said that the company is expected to introduce a Ford Ranger Hybrid in 2025. Perhaps buoyed by the demand for the Maverick Hybrid, Ford is considering partial electrification for the Ranger program in the American market.

On the Ford Ranger Electric

We’ve gotten many indications already that a Ford Ranger Electric is coming. According to a report Autohome released on November 10, 2022, Ford indeed has a Ranger Electric in the pipeline. The report shows a presentation in which one of the slides is about the increasing potential of new energy pickup trucks in China. This unofficial presentation mentions a JMC-built Ranger Electric (“江铃-Ranger纯电”) among the upcoming models in the category. Jiangling Motor Corporation (JMC) is Ford’s joint venture partner in China.

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-thirds 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, and by the end of 2021, that had increased to 38.1%.

Ford Ranger Electric teaser
Ford has confirmed that the new Battery Electric Vehicle architecture would underpin mid-size pickup trucks. The Ford Ranger electric could go on sale by 2025. 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)

In related developments, on July 11, 2022, Ford submitted a trademark application for a ‘Ranger Lightning’ name at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The company also applied for a ‘Maverick Lightning’ trademark at the EUIPO the same day.

Ford Ranger Electric design

Ford may have started the groundwork for the Ranger EV, but it will likely take a couple of years before the company shows a prototype to the media. In the meantime, we have presented our imagination of a Ranger electric in an exclusive rendering (below).

Ford Ranger Electric rendering
TopElectricSUV.com’s rendering of the Ford Ranger electric inspired by the F-150 Lightning.

Inspired by the 14th-gen F-150 Lightning, we envision the Ford Ranger Electric with a slightly high-tech appearance at the front. The C-shaped LED DRLs are linked with an F-150 Lightning-style light strip above the upper grille. A closed radiator grille supports drag reduction and improves efficiency, and so does a specially designed bumper. A charge port above the front wheel arch and the alloy wheels featuring a special, aerodynamic design complete the look.

Ford Ranger Electric Production

For global demand, the Blue Oval should keep production plans simple. “Thailand is going to be a hub for manufacturing zero-emission vehicles,” Ford CFO John Lawler told journalists at the 2022 Detroit Auto Show (September 14-25, 2022), as per a Drive report dated September 15, 2022. The Ranger and Everest are the Blue Oval’s most successful vehicles in Thailand.

Ford’s joint-venture Auto Alliance Thailand (AAT) truck plant or its wholly-owned Ford Thailand Manufacturing (FTM) plant is likely to build the first-generation Ranger Electric. Located in Rayong, both Thai factories are responsible for the gas- and diesel-powered new-generation Ranger. If and when the company launches the Ranger Electric in the U.S., it may have to manufacture the units intended for the domestic market within North America to qualify for subsidies and price it competitively.

Ranger gas & diesel models will run alongside the BEV & Hybrid

James Farley Jr., President & CEO of Ford, told The Verge Editor-in-Chief Nilay Patel on a Decoder podcast in 2021 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 Ford Ranger’s affordability, capability, or usability. Hence, the combustion model will continue alongside the electrified Ranger versions for the foreseeable future.

TopElectricSUV says

The Ford Ranger is already dearly loved in the Eastern part of the world, and with the introduction of hybrid and electric powertrains, it could win the hearts of the western markets. In the U.S., specifically, the Range Hybrid and Ranger Electric could be attractive low-cost alternatives to the F-150 PowerBoost and F-150 Lightning, respectively. If done right, they could entice customers who don’t need F-150 levels of space and capability.

Ford Ranger Hybrid FAQs

What is the Ford Ranger Hybrid release date?

The U.S. launch of the next-gen Ranger (Gas) will reportedly take place in July 2023. A hybrid variant could join the line-up in 2025.

Which trucks would rival the Ford Ranger Hybrid?

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

What will be the price of the Ford Ranger Hybrid?

If it gets the go-ahead, the Ranger Hybrid is expected to cost around USD 30,000.

Featured Image Source: Ford