There’s a new Ranger in town, and it has a new V6 – according to Ford, after finally unveiling the hotly anticipated 2022 Ford Ranger, via international webinar yesterday evening.
This new generation Ranger marks the 4th iteration of Ford’s most global truck, which is sold across 180 different markets.
Criticism of being dated hasn’t stopped the current-gen Ranger from triumphing as New Zealand’s most popular vehicle.
This year, Ford has sold more than 10,265 Rangers, as of October 2021. The Ranger is performing so well on sales, Ford has beaten out the Toyota Hilux, NZ’s second most popular vehicle, by 3128 units – a 36% difference!
According to Ford, the full effects of customers rushing to secure their Ranger before the ute tax is also yet to be fully experienced, meaning numbers should continue to swell by before the end of the year.
Despite the obvious love for the outgoing Ranger, Ford says they’ve developed the smartest, most versatile and most capable Ranger yet. Proving their obsession with the Ranger, Ford says they started development years prior, spending more than 5-years’ compiling different customer research and interviewing over 5,000 customers to consult them for the new Ranger.
On the outside, the new Ranger has undergone a significant restyle, which mirrors the design of the Ranger’s North American truck relatives.
According to Max Tran, Ford’s chief designer of the Ranger, their objectives were to bring the Ranger into the future, whilst retaining their ‘Built Ford Tough” mantra.
The new ute has a 50mm longer wheelbase and a track 50mm wider than the prior Ranger. The F-150 resemblance is immediately noticeable up front. The bold new grille design features a prominent horizontal bar, intersecting with the new C-clamp headlights. The lower bumper connects to the bar, giving the Ranger a more rugged jawline. There are more changes down the sides and rear, with sculpted doors, more carved-out wheel arches, and RANGER stamped confidently on the back.
As part of the aesthetic make-over, Ford has also integrated some functional features into the new Ranger. The rear tray has been made 50mm wider. This mightn’t sound like much on paper, but according to Ford, it’s apparently enough to get a full-size pallet in the deck.
On the same subject, Ford has clearly been paying some attention to the rear tray. They’ve added an integrated sidestep, making it easier to assess from the side. There are also cut-outs to allow you to fit dividers in the tray, plus a capping or rail on the side of the tray for added protection and mounting points. The rear tailgate can also double as a work surface, with clamp pockets built into the tailgate so you can hold materials down. There’s also a 240V outlet, a built-in ruler and cupholders back there too.
For the lifestyle buyers amongst us, Ford has added space to install a second battery under the bonnet, you can keep your powered camping and work appliances going for longer. Ford has also integrated nifty zone lighting, which allows you to independently control the Ute’s exterior lighting via your smartphone.
Much like the outside, there’s more drastic changes on the inside too. The interior has undergone a complete redesign, which according to Ford includes “more comfort, technology and functionality along with more premium materials and more storage”. The interior uses more soft-touch materials, which are durable enough to weather daily barrage from tradies. Despite the redesign, there’s still some visual continuity with the out-going Ranger, in the form of vertical air vents.
The most striking change is the large portrait style infotainment screen, dominating the centre of the cabin. There are two sizes, a standard 10.1’’ display, or a larger 12-inch display. Both run Ford’s latest Sync 4 software, and are supported with over-the-air updates The display has integrated many controls, and includes a dedicated screen for off-road content, which features exterior camera views, vehicle angles and more.
Adding to the array of features inside are a digital dash cluster, 360-degree camera, a wireless phone charger and a new shift-by-wire gear stick.
Of-course, the big news is the changes underneath.
The new Ranger line-up is offered with three engine choices, these include two 2.0-litre turbo diesels in Single and Bi-Turbo configurations, and the new 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6.
The two-litre engines are expected to be similar in output to the current offerings. Meanwhile, Ford is being coy on the specs of the V6. Although, they have confirmed its an in-house unit, and confidently said that the V6 will put the Ranger into a class of its own.
If we’re to guess, we’d say this’ll be PowerStroke single-turbo V6 found in the F-150. In the F-150, it churns out 186kW of power and 597Nm of torque.
The Ranger now offers two choices of four-wheel drive systems, including an electronic shift-on-the-fly system, or advanced full-time 4×4 system, which Ford described as being “set and forget”. The 10R80 transmission has been updated to be stronger, lighter and has a new torque converter. New Rangers will also include four new driving modes, including a towing mode.
The Ranger engineers have also moved the front wheels forward by 50mm to allow for a better approach angle and outboard for better articulation, both of which improve the off-roading performance. They also shifted the rear suspension dampers outboard of the frame rails to give drivers and passengers better ride quality too.
So, how about Electrification? Will the new Ranger see it? Yes… sort-of.
According to Ford, the new platform can support it and one is anticipated to arrive for this generation of Ranger. No news on when, however.
How about a Ranger Raptor? Yes. Still no news on that yet, either.
However, in a more surprising turn of events, this new Ranger platform is due to be shared with the new Volkswagen Amarok, following a recently formed relationship between the two brands.
Although Ford is yet to release specs of the safety apparatus, the out-going Ranger has a 5-star rating. We could comfortably forecast that the new one will be safe as houses.
Ford has also confirmed that the new Ranger will be launched with a catalogue of ARB accessories ready to purchase straight from release.
Production of the new Ranger is set to kick-off in South Africa and Thailand early 2022, with first units due to arrive in New Zealand and Australian markets in mid-2022.
More information on models and pricing are due in the coming weeks.
Uhh, Ford. Send us the V6 when you’re ready… please?