The Ford Ranger, the biggest selling vehicle in New Zealand for many years, departed the US market back in 2011, but like all good things, the Ranger will again be returning to the US.
The reborn Ranger will be built on Ford’s global T6 platform and will share a lot of its hardware with Rangers from other markets like New Zealand and Australia. However, the 2024 Ford Ranger will launch alongside the new Raptor next year.
If you’re a Ford Bronco or Ford Ranger fan, this next-generation Ford Ranger’s specification sheet won’t be a surprise. The base model Ranger will have a 2.3L EcoBoost I4 engine, which is the same as the base-model Bronco.
This Ranger will have a 2.3L, with 201kW’s and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Another version will come with a 2.7L turbocharged V6 which sends 235kW’s through the same transmission. There will, be a third option with the Ranger Raptor’s 3.0L turbocharged V6 that offers 302kW’s also using the same 10-speed automatic.
While the entry level Ranger is available as 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive trucks, the Ranger Raptor is only available as a 4WD.
The new Ranger is wider and gets wider as you move up the options. That width hides a wider suspension track. Although, moving up the Ranger Raptor options nets you extra width, it’s only 12mm’s narrower than the front track width of the 2021 Ford F-150.
he new Ranger takes advantage of that wider track width for the deck behind the cab. According to Ford, the Ranger can flat carry a standard 1.2M wide sheet of plywood or gib sheet between the wheel wells. The Ranger’s payload for the 2WD is 819Kg’s, with four-by-four models dropping to a still useful 776Kg’s. That weight drops further with the Ranger Raptor, to 640Kg’s, though that’s just the cost of having an off-road vehicle.
Underneath the Ranger is a new, boxed high-strength steel frame. Hanging off that frame, and controlling the front wheels, is a short-long-arm suspension. At the rear, leaf springs control the Ranger’s stick axle. With the wider track width, Ford was able to move the shocks at the rear outward, which should give better ride control on the road. The Ranger Raptor also has a short-long-arm front suspension, though it has forged aluminium control arms.
At the rear, Ranger Raptor ditches the leaf springs and replaces them with coil springs to handle the load while a pair of trailing arms work with a watts link that now controls the rear axle. Fox Live Valve shocks also give the Ranger Raptor the dampening you’d expect for aggressive off-roading.
The Ranger’s only cab option is the SuperCrew, which can seat five. If you don’t need to use the rear seats for friends or family, you can flip the seat back down to reveal a flat storage area. Lifting the rear seat’s base up reveals a pair of storage cubbies to keep your prized possessions out of the bed, and out of a stranger’s view.
Also joining the interior’s new features is an alternate shifter. While standard Rangers will have a traditional automatic gear selector, Lariat four-by-four models will get what Ford calls its E-Shifter, which electronically selects the gears for the 10-speed automatic.
Joining the new consumer-facing tech, the Ranger also has a selection of driver assistance features. Joining the new Ranger is blind-spot monitoring with trailer coverage, adaptive cruise control with stop and go and active park assist.
Also available is a 400W inverter and power outlet, if you want to power up some electronics while you’re camping.