It was a little more than a year ago that we saw renders that looked like they could be the next Ford Ranger. After Ford’s lawyers kindly confirmed that they belonged to the company, we knew they might have some bearing on how the next Ranger will look. Now we think we know what will be under the hood, too.
Motor1 has cited a report from Australian outlet CarExpert which claims that Ford’s mid-sized pickup will feature a new plug-in hybrid powertrain never seen before in another production model when it arrives sometime next year as a 2022 model.
The drivetrain will allegedly see the Ranger receive a version for ford’s well-known 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder which, when combined with a ten-speed automatic transmission and an electric motor, should be good for 362 horsepower and more than 227 kg-ft of torque. Those are serious numbers for a mid-sized pickup and if the mileage numbers are similarly impressive, Ford will have quite the package on their hands. Though there are similar plug-inn hybrid systems already implemented in the new Explorer and Escape, this system is expected to be distinct, perhaps to provide power delivery that is more in line with what truck buyers expect and require.
CarExpert’s report goes on to detail a number of other powertrain options including another two-litre four-cylinder turbo and a three-litre diesel V6 that will likely not make it to the American market. That engine could provide power for the Australian-market Ranger Raptor, a model we likely won’t see at all.
Though these reports come from Australia, the Ranger badge, in recent years, has been harmonized from a set of similarly-sized but unrelated pickups sold in different markets to a more standardised largely global platform. Though there are some substantial differences under the skin between the Rangers available here in the United States and those that the Australian market, for example, receives, the trucks are more similar than they have ever been before, lending a degree of credence to these rumours.
Aside from outside competitors like the Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, Jeep Gladiator and others, the Ranger will have to contend with losing sales to other Ford pickup offerings. By 2022, Ford is expected to launch a (frunk-equipped) electric F-150 as well as a smaller pickup that will slot under the Ranger. With stiff competition from above and below its segment, this new PHEV Ranger will have to be mighty special to make a name for itself. We’ll just have to watch and find out if the Ranger name can survive another generation or get retired in America once again.