The other day we had a chance to study the upcoming replacement for Ford's mid-size Ranger. Of course, Torque News didn't have a clean unobstructed view of the changed vehicle. We did get enough of a view to discuss some comments about the Ranger.
Ford Ranger Newish In U.S.
To fill in a bit about the Ranger, though it is relatively new to this country – the platform has been available about three years – it has been available in Europe for some years. Though the Ranger is an older platform in the rest of the world, it is a relatively new model here about 2011, so the updated Ranger, due in 2022 as a 2023 model, will be an update of a new platform across the globe.
For the most part, the Ranger's camo on the test mule we saw was quite effective. However, it could not conceal the fact that significant changes are due for the Ranger. For instance, the front end will receive a significant restyling as the vehicle undergoes a major makeover. We have seen the spy shots show that the next Ranger will likely have a more upright grille, and it will feature a taller nose. Plus, like F-150s, the headlights will likely wrap around the center grille bar. The grille is likely to feature a double horizontal cross-member.
Test Mule Featured Single Rear Exhaust
On the other end, the rear-end featured only a single exhaust. As noted, the camo covering on the Ranger was quite extensive. Since there was only one exhaust tip visible, we figured the standard powerplant was likely to be Ford's updated 2.3-liter EcoBoost four. The other powerplant that will likely be available will be the 2.7-liter V-6. Since there is another V-6 available – a high-output 3.5-liter twin-turbo version – it is more than likely that the high-output version will also be available. But, we will have to wait until more information is available about engine availability before making other judgments. We do know that the transmission will be Ford's 10-speed automatic.
Here are some other interesting tidbits that jumped out at us as we did our research on this piece:
- The rear suspension is likely to feature leaf springs
- The headlights are likely to be C-shaped and wrap into a dual set of cross-members that were pretty visible on the test mule
- There was a set of round foglights at the bottom of the front fascia
- There will be a forward-looking camera – to match a rearward looking camera – that will give operators a full range of Ford safety features
- Much of this information courtesy Hegarty Media, the information arm of Hegarty Auctions
Ford, VW Likely To Sell Versions
Switching gears a bit, do you remember that Ford and VW signed an agreement to offer a Ford-sourced and VW-built vehicle to be produced by Ford for both companies. One of the vehicles that many Ranger owners thought should be for sale on this side of the Atlantic was the VW Amarok, a very creditable all-wheel-drive midsized pickup. The critical drawback has been the fact that the Amarok has been a diesel-only vehicle. That fact looks to be changing as the next-gen Ranger will reportedly become VW's new version of the Amarok. Like its Euro-predecessors, the updated VW offering will likely be diesel-powered.
Incidentally, the 2023 Ranger is also likely to be the basis of a Ranger Raptor, which European buyers have been able to purchase for the last several years. The Ranger Raptor will likely be a 2023 model.
Marc Stern has been an auto writer since 1971. It was a position that filled two boyhood dreams: One that I would write, and two that I write about cars. When I took over as my newspaper's auto editor, I began a 32-year career as an automotive columnist. There isn't much on four wheels that I haven't driven or reviewed. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. Today, I am the Ford F150 reporter for Torque News. I write how-to and help columns for online sites such as Fixya.com and others. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Most of Marc's stories are part of Torque News Ford coverage. Check back again and search for Torque News Ford F-150 news for more F-150 truck news coverage.