New Ford Ranger pick-up truck to launch tomorrow morning
The new Ford Ranger will be revealed tomorrow morning, with sales of the fourth-generation version of the company’s best-selling pick-up truck expected to commence in early 2022. This new teaser image gives us an indication of how the new model will look when it does make its debut. The Mk4 Ranger is the newest vehicle born from Ford and Volkswagen’s platform-sharing deal for commercial vehicles, following the Caddy-based Tourneo Connect MPV into the showrooms.
The next-generation Volkswagen Amarok will become the new Ranger’s twin, and is set to be launched in 2022. During the past few months, Ford has been putting the finishing touches on the Ranger’s development programme. The brand says its test regime has entailed prototypes covering the equivalent of 1.25 million kilometres (around 770,000 miles), of which half were spent with the pick-up’s bed at maximum capacity.
John Willems, Chief Engineer for the Ranger, said: “Computer simulations have helped us speed up development, while lab testing has helped us refine and test specific components. But there really is no replacement for real-world testing to really see how it stands up to years of customer use.” Ford’s artistically shot teaser image gives us our first uncamouflaged glimpse at the new Ranger’s LED daytime running lights, but our spy shots offer a better look at the overall design of the new pick-up.
It’s clear that the pick-up’s styling won’t stray too far from its predecessor’s, blending the dimensions of the current model (which are more applicable to the European market) with the boxy front end and upright grille of the larger US-market Ford F-150. Judging by Ford’s off-road images, the company will look to build on the strengths of the current model and improve the Ranger’s off-road ability. The current pick-up already comes with selectable four-wheel drive and a choice of drive modes for different terrains such as mud, snow and sand.
Better versions of these systems are expected, along with a few suspension tweaks (such as new dampers and springs) to suit a broader range of off-road environments. It’s almost certain that the next Ranger will be powered by a diesel engine, at least to begin with. The powersliding test car in the company’s recent teaser video is accompanied by a soundtrack that we expect belongs to an updated version of the current pick-up’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder EcoBlue diesel unit.
There’s no word yet on whether we’ll get an electric version of the next Ranger, although it could happen during the pick-up’s lifetime. Ford has already set aside £22 billion (around GBP16 billion) to spend on electrification up to 2025. Ford has also launched an electric version of its stalwart Transit van, while an EV version of the larger F-150 pick-up truck has been revealed in the USA.
So, it’s entirely possible that the Ranger could join its siblings in Ford’s expanding line-up of pure-electric commercial vehicles. As the commercial and passenger vehicle segments draw ever closer in terms of technology and equipment, Ford could also improve the Ranger’s cabin by fitting some of the plusher trim from its passenger cars, such as the newer Kuga. Carry-overs could include the SUV’s switchgear, dashboard trim and sharper eight-inch touchscreen.
We’ll also get a new Raptor-badged performance version of the next Ranger. Our spy photographers have spotted the new flagship model tackling its development programme, and it shares the same roll-over hoop, chunky bumpers, flared wheelarches and raised ride-height as the current model. Ford also says it has sought the advice of its customers to make the new Ranger better than the old one.
The company conducted more than 5,000 interviews around the globe to get an insight into some of the day-to-day bugbears that could be rectified on the new model. Max Tran, Chief Designer for the Ranger, said: “As designers, we engaged with customers much earlier in the process, spent more time with them and got more insights than ever before. Interestingly, we found that no matter what market, our customers are doers.
They like solving their own problems, and they like to feel confident in their truck – not just the way the vehicle functions but the way they feel when they’re driving it.”
What does the new Ford Ranger have to beat?
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