Ford has revealed its all-new, smartest, most versatile and most capable Ranger ever. The company collaborated with customers globally with an aim to understand their needs and wants in a bakkie and with that, created the next-gen Ranger that owners can rely on for their businesses, family lives and adventure.
Ford also outlined its “always-on” commitment to customers, with a host of services centered around convenience on their terms. Depending on the market, these include service pickup and delivery, a Ranger Concierge program, and streamlined online service booking options, to name a few.
Ford calls this “Living the Ranger Life,” and it’s something shared by every designer and engineer involved in creating the next-generation Ranger.
New look, new capabilities
The input of customers worldwide was the key to developing the look of the next-generation Ranger’s rugged new look. Ford conducted more than 5000 interviews and dozens of customers workshops to understand how customers used their bakies and what they wanted and expected in the new Ranger.
The new Ranger is bold and confident, with an exterior that boasts Ford’s global truck design DNA. It has a new grille and signature C-clamp headlights at the front, while a subtle shoulder line down the sides incorporates a bolder wheel-arche that gives the Ranger a sure-footed stance.
For the very first time, Ford Ranger offers matrix LED headlights. The taillights are designed in harmony with the signature graphics on the front. Inside, the car-like cabin steps up, using premium soft-touch materials, and prominent portrait-style center touchscreen with Ford’s signature SYNC®i 4 connectivity and entertainment system.
The reveal models – the stylish XLT, rugged Sport and adventurer Wildtrak – reflect this customer input both inside and out.
The chassis has been upgraded, boasting a wheelbase 50mm longer and a track 50mm wider than the prior Ranger. Its wider front-end structure creates more space in the engine bay for its all-new V6 engine. The front of the pickup allows more airflow to the radiator, which helps keep running temperatures low when towing or carrying heavy loads.
New powertrain choices
Customers wanted a choice of more power and torque for towing heavy loads and extreme off-roading. The team added Ford’s 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel and developed it, especially for the Ranger. It is one of three turbodiesel engine options available at launch, depending on the market.
The next-gen Ranger comes with a choice of Single-Turbo and the Bi-Turbo 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder diesels. The Single Turbo comes in two different performance levels and delivers power, torque and fuel economy, which is important to small business owners or commercial vehicle fleets. The Bi-Turbo engine is a more sophisticated, performance variant for customers who want more power but need to maintain fuel economy.
The next-gen Ranger will also be available with a 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder that underpins a range of Ford global products and is a perfect choice for customers who prefer petrol propulsion. New transmission choices include an updated 10-speed automatic or six-speed manual.
Improved ride and handling
To develop the ride and handling expected of a truck customer’s use for a wide range of work, family and play – engineers focused on the fundamentals.
Engineers moved the front wheels forward by 50mm for a better approach angle and outboard for better off-road articulation, both of which improve the off-roading experience. The rear suspension dampers outboard of the frame rails to give drivers and passengers a better ride both on- and off-road, no matter if they’re carrying heavy cargo for work, or just taking the family out for dinner.
Customers will have a choice of two four-wheel drive systems, an electronic shift-on-the-fly system, or advanced full-time 4×4 system with a reassuring set-and-forget mode, designed for capability when and where customers need it. Off-road recovery is made easier with prominent dual recovery hooks in the front bumper.
Customer-focused interior features
Customers wanted a flexible, modern cockpit that caters to both work and family duties. The Ranger now serves as both a workspace and a haven, providing smart and connected features with more comfort and storage options than ever before.
The heart of the Ranger’s connective experience is the large 10.1-inch or 12-inch touchscreen in the center stack. It complements the fully digital instrument panel and is loaded with Ford’s latest SYNC4® system, which comes customer-ready with its voice-activated communications, entertainment and information systems.
There’s an embedded factory-fitted modem, allowing connectivity on the go when linked with the FordPass™ App, so customers can stay connected to their world. FordPass enhances the ownership experience with features like remote start, vehicle status check and remote lock and unlock functions via your mobile device.
Many of the traditional driving mode controls have been moved from the dash and center console to its own dedicated display on the SYNC screen. With one button press, drivers can go to Ranger’s dedicated screen for all off-road and drive modes where they can monitor the driveline, steering angle, vehicle pitch and roll angles and other controls.
The screen also is linked to a 360-degree camera to make parking a breeze in tight urban spaces or to assist when negotiating particularly tricky terrain while out exploring. Customers can control Ranger’s new exterior zone lighting system via the touchscreen or the FordPass App, which means they don’t have to work, camp or do anything in the dark. Ranger technology will also be future-proofed to accept software updates thanks to an embedded modem.
The design team also created clever storage and useful features for owners. There are not only places to store your phone or charge it wirelessly (where compatible), but there’s a large center console bin to stash things. The door pockets are designed to carry more, the wide dash conceals an upper glovebox and there are storage bins under and behind the rear seats.
Built to do more with better access, more functional space
That was the inspiration for creating an integrated side-step behind the rear tires of the next-generation Ranger, to create a strong, more stable way for them to access the box. The Ranger team worked to ensure that a wider variety of cargo could fit and stay secure in the load box.
Customer-focused touches include a new, tough plastic-molded bedliner that helps protect both the truck bed from scratches and owner’s knees from kneeling on a steel truck bed. Extra cargo tie down points – on strong steel tube rails – provide convenient points to secure loads. Durable, flexible load box caps around the sides of the box and across the tailgate conceal structural attachment points for canopies and other aftermarket accessories.
Ranger offers a new cargo management system designed with dividers to hold various sized items – like timber or toolboxes. Owners also can create smaller compartments to store objects, which would otherwise have to go in the cab, using a system of ultra-strong spring-loaded cleats that clip into rails bolted to each side of the cargo box. The tailgate can also double as a mobile work bench with an integrated ruler and clamp pockets to measure, grip and cut building materials.
Zone lighting – controlled via the in-cabin SYNC screen or through the FordPass App – provides 360-degree lighting around the truck to help give customers better visibility around the vehicle. Load box lighting is provided under the left- and right-hand rails and provides plenty of light for finishing up jobs in low light or finding things in the cargo box at night.
Improving the customer experience
Just like the versatility of Ranger itself, Ford is designing a more personalized customer experience. Depending on the market, Ford will offer customers a suite of services to do just that, including:
- Being “always on” – whether you have questions about the vehicle or need assistance. Ford has Ranger Concierges in key markets that will walk customers through whatever they need to know.
- FordPass – customers will be connected to their Ranger 24/7 via their smartphone. They’ll be able to remote start their vehicle – on hot or cold days, to ensure the temp inside is comfortable when they get in or be able to receive notifications that their vehicle is due for service.
- If they have a question or want to learn more about how to best use Ranger’s high-tech features, such as the Ford Pass app, Ford has them covered with its “Master your Ranger” virtual and hands-on education – whatever suits their needs.
- Stay connected to your world while in your Ranger – with Ford’s award-winning SYNC system.
If customers need service or have an issue:
- A Ranger Concierge, who will be their point of contact the whole way till their need is resolved.
- Convenient online service appointments – Ford dealers will even pick up and deliver a customer’s Ranger for them. Or, if they prefer, replace their vehicle while it’s being serviced with another Ranger, so they can continue with their business or family life.
- Coming soon, Ford also plans to offer over-the-air updates, so customers won’t even need to schedule a service for some things. We call it Ford Power-Up software.
Accessories to help you personalize
Customers will be able to personalize their next-gen Ranger with a range of almost 600 fully factory-backed work, urban and adventure accessories, depending on the market. These accessories include those developed in collaboration with global off-road icon, ARB 4×4 Accessories.
The ARB 4×4 Accessories and Ford collaboration will initially be rolling out in select markets.
The next-generation Ranger will be built at Ford’s plants in Thailand and South Africa at the beginning of 2022, with other markets to be announced at a later date. Market launch details will be announced closer to the time.