Listening to customers – that is Ford’s opening salvo during a virtual press conference, hosting the next-generation Ranger’s reveal. Finally, after a decade of riding atop the T6 platform, an all-new Ford Ranger is upon us. Nothing could ever go wrong, except that the new-generation truck actually uses the same T6 platform, albeit now on its third iteration.
While that information could already spoil the Ranger’s arrival even before its official birth, it shouldn’t. Because just like Toyota’s IMV platform (Hilux, Fortuner, and Innova) that has been around since 2004, why replace something that doesn’t need fixing? So much so that the T6 platform has been widely used by Ford for its models, including the rebirth of the Bronco nameplate.
And besides, the new-generation Ford Ranger has a multitude of things to offer beyond the revamped T6 platform. Here are the things that you should expect; take this as a precursor of what’s to come next year when the new model finally arrives on our shores.
New engine option
The incoming Ford Ranger will retain the current 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel engine with either a single turbo or bi-turbos. The US market, which has the 2.3-liter EcoBoost gasoline engine in its current model, will likely get the same powertrain for the revamped model.
What’s new is a powerful 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6, which will likely power the top-spec Ranger. It will most likely power the Ranger Raptor, as well, but this is more of a speculation than a confirmation as Ford wasn’t keen on sharing stiff details for upcoming models.
Transmission options are six-speed manual or auto, and a 10-speed automatic transmission.
A few things to note, though – powertrain availability varies per market, but it’s safe to say that V6 diesel will reach the Philippine shores to power the flagship models. Moreover, power figures were not disclosed just yet; Ford will share more specific details at each corresponding market’s launch.
Ford also confirmed that the turbodiesel V6 is a Ford power plant, refuting the speculations that it adopted Volkswagen’s six-cylinder coming from the automakers’ collaboration.
Enhanced off-road capability
Ford said that the Ranger has an enhanced off-road capability, thanks to two different four-wheel-drive systems and six selectable drive modes. If you can recall, the selectable drive modes are only endemic to the Ranger Raptor, which won’t be the case in the new-generation model.
Ford also added that rear dampers are moved outboard, which means customers will experience a more consistently comfortable ride regardless of the load.
Ford went on to explain every detail of the exterior design but one thing’s for sure, the new Ford Ranger still looks imposing and authoritative. Not surprising, though, as that has always been the midsize truck’s appeal, especially for Filipino buyers.
What’s notable is the addition of C-clamp DRLs and the mesh design for the Wildtrak. While that design execution reminds me of the new Maverick compact pickup for the US market, it actually works better with the bigger Ranger frankly because the proportions are better.
At the rear, the Ranger wordmark is proudly stamped on the tailgate but the previous block-type taillights have been replaced by LEDs with more character than ever.
Ford wasn’t exact with the Ranger’s overall increase in size, though the Blue Oval said that the new model is 50mm wider, giving the truck a wider stance and more functionality, bringing us to the next point.
More functional than ever
Ford is keen on keeping the Ranger’s DNA as a work truck, therefore more functions were added to the bed and all over the truck.
The 2022 Ranger gets a tailgate work surface, while clamp pockets are available to hold materials down for clean cuts and precision work. There’s also a nifty load box access step for easier reach-ins, plus an onboard inverter that offers power to the box, with 400W of available power and an AC outlet in the tray.
By default, the Ranger’s box top and tailgate should have capping to protect them from damage from gear and cargo. The bedliner has molded slots to fit dividers to customize the load box. Lastly, the new Ranger also has zone lighting that allows owners to control individual exterior lights, either through the Sync 4 screen or from the FordPass smartphone app.
The Ford Ranger gets a redesigned interior, though there are elements from the outgoing model that transcends into the new one. These elements include the vertical A/C vents, claimed by Ford as something that current customers love.
However, one can’t miss the massive 12-inch vertical touchscreen right at the center of the dashboard. I can already hear detractors not loving this layout even before trying them; as reviewers, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Then again, Ford said that it has a high-resolution display and it allows for split-screen viewing, hosting the new 360-degree camera – a feature that’s becoming apparent in many new cars these days. And oh, there’s wireless charging and over-the-air updates, as well – again, two things that keep the Ranger up to the times.
For the driver, a new customizable digital instrument panel is available, claimed to have impressive graphics and animations. It also displays off-roading information and turn-by-turn navigation. As for the gear lever, Ford moved on to a shift-by-wire, short-throw e-shifter that’s partnered with an electronic parking brake. I have yet to see if that’s paired up with auto brake hold, but I do wish it does in the production model.