Ford confirms new Ranger, issues hint images & video. We speculate further

Ford South Africa today released its first official glimpse of the next generation Ranger bakkie. They promise it will be revealed later this year and launched in 2022, with “superior off-road credentials and dynamic driving DNA in its toughest, most capable and connected Ranger pickup yet.”

They promise it will be built Ford Tough

“The ideal pickup partner for work, family and play, this is not just a Built Ford Tough truck, but the smartest, most capable and most versatile Ranger yet,” Ford suit Minesh Bhagaloo promised as he mailed us the grainy images of “the highly capable next-gen Ranger in its natural habitat” in the video and the gallery below. The images of the gold bakkie are our own Auto concept renders.

This is the first news from Ford on Ranger since the local division confirmed a US$686 million or R10 billion investment in its facilities earlier in the year. The deal will see the next Ford Ranger built built side-by-side with kissing cousin next Volkswagen Amarok on a common platform at its Silverton, Pretoria plant.

The new bakkies will continue on a much revised current-generation Ranger’s platform dubbed T6.2. As the latest official pictures confirm, the Ranger will get a butch Ford F-150-like design.

Turbo V6 petrol and diesel flagships?

Talk is cheap, but there remains speculation that T6.2 Ranger will gain a pair of 185 kW 600 Nm single-turbo 3-litre diesel and a 230 kW 540 Nm 2.7-litre biturbo petrol V6s. Also expect hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions in the longer term, with a turbo petrol four-cylinder petrol coupled to at least one electric motor. The existing choice of a six-speed manual and 10-speed torque-converter automatics will also likely continue.

We do not expect the 118 kW 385 Nm 2.2-litre four-cylinder and 147kW 470Nm 3.2-litre five-pot single-turbo diesels to continue, in the leisure market at least. The Raptor’s modern 157 kW 500 Nm 2-litre four-pit biturbo diesel and 130 kW 420 Nm single-turbo units are set to continue.

Another poser is whether the vehicle will adopt the Amarok’s permanent all-wheel-drive without a low range in 4×4 models. Or if the newcomer will use the current 10-speed Ranger 4x4s with its traditional selectable off-road 4×4 system and low range transfer case.

Safe as houses

Pretoria’s bakkie twins are also expected to pack an expanded suite of advanced driver-assist systems chasing five-star safety ratings. They will include intersection assist, a centre airbag, more advanced autonomous emergency braking and lane support systems.

This new Ford-VW alliance promises formidable combination. Considering its Ranger’s strong sales in SA and the likes of Australia and New Zealand. It’s also the market leadership in Europe and is strong in most other countries. Amarok has found particular favour in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as in South America.

This international deal will also spread across both companies’ light commercial portfolios. Including a likely ‘half-ton’ bakkie to play where Ford’s Bantam and the the original VW Caddy once did.

Yours next year

As now promised, new Ranger will break cover later this year, with Amarok expected to follow in ’22. – Michele Lupini

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