Finally, a new Ranger has arrived. The T6-generation midsize pickup has been on the market for more than 11 years, and Ford is finally replacing it. The new truck features an evolutionary design with a Maverick-inspired front fascia and C-shaped LED headlamps, concealing a number of significant alterations beneath its familiar skin.
To begin with, the wheelbase has been expanded by nearly two inches to provide more legroom for the rear passengers. That was largely facilitated by shifting the front wheels forward by the same amount, which will also help the Ranger’s approach angle, making it more capable off the beaten path. A new hydro-formed structure in the front end also allowed engineers to make room in the engine bay for a larger V6 turbodiesel engine.
According to Ranger vehicle engineering manager Anthony Hall, the rear track has been widened by two inches to provide a more spacious cargo space, large enough to handle a sheet of building plywood or a full size pallet. If you look closely, you’ll discover built-in side steps behind the rear wheels that make accessing the bed easier.
The loading area features a durable plastic-molded bedliner that Ford claims will withstand the test of time due to its tough construction. Additional cargo tie-down points set on steel tube rails are added to the 2022 Ranger to help secure the items you’re carrying. The truck also gets 360-degree lighting and a smart tailgate that can act as a mobile workstation with a built-in ruler, just like the Maverick and F-150.
The cabin has been completely changed. The SYNC4 infotainment system can be observed front and center, with either a 10.1- or 12-inch touchscreen, as seen on the current Edge. To keep up with the trends, the new pickup features a fully digital instrument cluster. The previous generation’s large gear lever has been replaced by a nicer controller with a far more modern design. As you’d expect from a truck arriving in 2022, you’ll also get a revised driving modes selection and an electric handbrake. Soft-touch materials and a wide range of amenities will make the driver and passengers feel like they are in a conventional automobile rather than a utilitarian vehicle, according to Ford. The rear suspension dampers have been placed outboard of the frame rails for a smoother ride.
The truck has been updated with new technology, such as matrix LED headlamps and a 360-degree camera. The new Ranger will be compatible with over-the-air upgrades (also known as Ford Power-Up) and will allow owners to control the all-around lighting via a smartphone app. Customers will have the option of choosing between two four-wheel-drive systems: an electronic shift-on-the-fly system or a more advanced full-time 4×4 system.
The former inline-five 2.5-liter diesel is replaced by a new 3-liter V6 unit. Although no output figures have been released, Ranger program manager Pritika Maharaj claims that the truck feels bigger when mated with the beefier engine. For comparison, the full size F-150’s Power Stroke produces 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet (597 Newton-meters) of torque. Ford claims that the oil-burner has been modified expressly for the new application, thus the figures may differ.
A pair of smaller four-cylinder 2-liter diesels with single- and twin-turbochargers will also be available. The former will come in two tuning options, while the latter may be tied to the outgoing Ranger Raptor’s twin-turbo diesel engine, which produces 210 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Ford will also offer its new truck with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost gasoline engine.
Because not all powertrains will be available in the 180+ countries where the Dearborn manufacturer plans to sell the new Ranger, availability will vary. A six-speed manual transmission or an automatic with the same number of gears, as well as the current 10-speed automatic, will be available depending on the engine fitted under the hood.
The official photographs show the XLT alongside the Sport and the Wildtrak trim levels. The first is available in the US, but the other two are only available outside of the country. Ford says that the US version is going to be unveiled in the near future. Most likely, it won’t be drastically different but it may have different engine choices available, as well as different model lines. The first deliveries in the US will take place late next year.
A Raptor version has also been teased today by Ford during the online presentation of the ‘regular’ Ranger. The world premiere of the Raptor version will take place in February 2022 and a short tidbit published by Ford on their Australian website shows great potential. That’s because the sound in the footage seems to come from a V6, not a diesel or a four-cylinder. That’s great news and it’s quite possible to see the Raptor Ranger using the same V6 offered on the Bronco, with over 300 HP.