Kicked off in 1982, the Ranger has long been a staple of American farming and rural life. It was originally a compact pickup to compete with Chevrolet’s S10, and grew over the years as Americans and their perceived needs grew. The current/outgoing Ranger was actually launched internationally in 2011, but was not made available for American and Canadian markets until 2018.
The new Ranger, launched tonight, is a massive redesign of the old truck. It’s not quite a clean-sheet, but the truck received an impressive re-skin with F150-aping LED strip headlights and grille to give it a modern look that fits the corporate DNA. It’s not unattractive, I’ll say that much.
The big news comes in the form of the powertrains you can order for the new Ranger. While the old Ranger was available with the 2.3-liter Ecoboost in the U.S. and two diesel options for the rest of the world, you can now get a choice of three different diesel engines, including the top-spec 3-liter V6 turbodiesel and a single- and twin-turbo variant of the 2-liter inline four. It doesn’t seem like the U.S. market will get these diesel options, but we’ll have to wait and see. All engines will be mated to either an updated 10-speed automatic, or the tried-and-true 6-speed manual. Obviously engine and transmission combos will depend on the market.
There was a rumor that there would be a plug-in hybrid or potentially even an all-electric BEV version to match what Ford is doing with the F150 lineup. Honestly, I could see a Ranger PowerBoost fitting the lives of most American pickup buyers, so it’s a shame no such truck was even so much as teased in this launch. Ford says it made the engine compartment larger for this truck to “futureproof” it, so expect a hybrid model to come soon.
There was a little bit of a tease in the video for the next-gen Ranger Raptor, however, and it seems likely this one would be coming to America finally. Potentially with 2.7 Ecoboost power?
Ford is pretty proud of the new additions to the Ranger design. There are some neat toe-holds in the rear quarter behind the wheel to help step up. The bed is much more versatile with a slew of racking and tie down accessories, plus an integrated workbench in the tailgate and plenty of places to plug in the equipment for 110v outlets. Inside you get wireless charging spots and a huge new vertical touchscreen for the infotainment.
There’s no word yet on pricing or availability of the “next gen” Ranger, but considering the fact that Ford sells this truck in 180 different countries around the world, it’s a pretty important launch for them, and we can only hope they don’t screw it up like they have been doing recently with F150 and Bronco (to name two).