Now pick-ups are getting hip and trendy! For real? Every time a new SUV with a flatbed starts, the pick-up boom is proclaimed. In Asia, South America and Australia they are real mass models, but in Europe they are still lagging behind. As a lifestyle mobile, they have not really caught on either. After all, they are the first choice for craftsmen, foresters and off-road freaks.
In the dirty dozen of European pick-ups, Ford’s Ranger is leading the way with an impressive 40 percent market share – and will be completely new in mid-2022. It is getting bigger, even if it still looks small next to the F-150, which has been sold millions of times in the USA: Europe’s pick-ups are one of the so-called monotonous vehicles – meaning: a good ton of payload and space on the flatbed for at least one euro pallet.
Beefy look, finer interior
Because the new generation has to do more off-road than the dirt road to the alp, prototypes were rushed through Australia’s desert. 10,000 kilometers of desert are as hard as a million kilometers on paved roads or over 600,000 kilometers on off-road slopes. Because many developers drive a ranger themselves, they immediately knew what could be improved. That is why there is 50 millimeters more wheelbase and a wider track for more driving stability and larger slope angles in the field. In addition, the new platform creates space for the fat V6 turbo diesel and later electrification.
The Ranger looks beefy at the front, the front is reminiscent of the F-150. Inside it looks much more modern than before with a new portrait touchscreen like in the Mustang Mach-E, digital instruments and the new “Sync 4” operating system. Much more important, however, are functional details: There is a new integrated step on the rear wheel arch – no more pull-ups to get onto the loading area. It is now coated with plastic against scratches and is five centimeters wider – practical because it gives more tolerance when loading with a forklift. In addition, tubular steel rails and cover caps on tarpaulin attachment points.
Ford is only fully relying on diesel
In terms of drive, Ford reaches into the diesel shelf with a two-liter basic diesel with probably 130 hp and manual or automatic with six gears each. In addition, there is a four-cylinder double turbo with probably 170 hp and the top model, the three-liter V6 diesel that has been in demand for a long time, which is only available with a ten-speed automatic. It also powers the F-150, has 250 hp and 597 Nm of torque. The new Ranger is available with a switchable all-wheel drive or in the more powerful versions with a permanent 4×4. What will become of the Raptor sports version? Still unknown.
The prices have not yet been determined, but should start at about the same level as the predecessor that is still available. That would be around 34,000 francs including VAT, which is not due when a commercial person makes a purchase. What should help with the calculation: At the beginning of 2023, the Ranger will get a twin – at VW, because the new, currently not built Amarok is based on the Ford pick-up.