2017 NAIAS – Ford presented the latest news and confirmed rumors, Ford Ranger will be available by 2019. year. After any rumors regarding the International version of the Ranger, it finally seems that the truck will be available in the US after not being available since 2012. So far it seems that the upcoming 2018 Ford Ranger is going to be based on the same truck than can be currently had in Europe. There will be differences, though. Just like GM did with their Colorado, the US version is expected to look. Differently, it will have different engines, and it should provide a nicer cabin as well.
So far the truck has yet to be confirmed by Ford, but they did start tooling up for a couple of new models which seem to be the upcoming Ranger and its SUV counterpart, the future Bronco. The release date is expected to be sometime in the mid of 2018, right in time for the 2019 model year. The pricing, while not official, should stay well under $25,000 for a base model.
The platform – is it safe enough?
One of the problems of the ongoing Ranger is the safety rating. As we all know, the current truck can’t match the safety rating needed to be sold in the US market. Because of that, it is expected that the upcoming 2018 truck will go through a few changes. Some rumors suggested a new crash-box in the front as well as new materials for its rear end. Also, the front end of the truck will now be slightly better of pedestrian safety.
However, one of the largest problems was the rollover-prone behavior. The US model is expected to get slightly wider as well as it should have a different suspension configuration in order to alleviate these problems completely.
Over the European model, the 2018 Ford Ranger will definitely become more aggressive, at least regarding design. Also, it is quite safe to assume that most of these changes are going to be carried over to the European model as well. While some rumors did say that the Ranger would get an aluminum construction, similar to the F-150, this has been dismissed by Ford insiders a while ago.
This would simply make it too expensive to be competitive with the Colorado or the Canyon. Like these two, the Ranger will likely be available in two or three cab configurations and a couple of bed sizes. The top end crew-cab will be longer than the two-door F-150 which will make for a very interesting choice for those looking for a truck.
2018 Ford Ranger Design
So far there are only renders of the upcoming Ranger which have been based on rumors, so nothing is certain. However, it seems that even though the truck will be sold in the US, which usually requires a different and more striking design, it will still be based on the regular Ranger. For starters, the mid-section of the truck consisting out of the cabin and part of the bed will be identical to the ongoing generation. This will only get slightly wider and possibly lower. The front end, on the other hand, will be all new.
Even though so far Ford hasn’t released anything about it, the 2018 model might share a few design traits with the current F-150. This would allow Ford to create a family of trucks, but it might create confusion among their buyers. Some also suggested that the Ranger would benefit from an entirely new design scheme which would be shared with the upcoming Bronco.
The interior and the features available here.
The 2018 Ford Ranger is going to be a more civilized truck than the F-150, and that’s a given. The truck will be sold as a truck for those wanting a single vehicle in their life. The four-door version of the Ranger should benefit from quite a bit more room than the equivalent F-150. This should be possible thanks to its revised chassis, which will sit lower, and also the wider body. Also, the general equipment level and quality should be quite similar to that of a car, at least on the higher end models.
Things like Ford’s latest Sync infotainment system, sporty seats, and all the safety equipment someone would want in a truck. The only drawback we see here would be the Colorado which is already great, and it might be a bit tough to dethrone.
The powertrain: “Is it really new?
So far most rumors point out at the 3.2 liters turbocharged inline five diesel which Ford has been using in the Ranger for quite some time. More recently this engine has also been available in the US Transit where it makes a hefty 185 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque on a wider rpm range. It seems that the 2018 Ford Ranger will get this engine in one form or another. Some rumors did suggest for Ford’s upcoming 3 liters turbocharged V6, but this will most likely be available only in the F-150.
The Ranger will have to do with the larger, but less powerful, 3.2 liters inline five which has proven its reliability multiple times so far. On top of this diesel, which will be available only as an option, the new Ranger is also expected to make use of two additional petrol engines. The base truck is expected to receive either a 2 or 2.3 liter turbocharged inline 4. In any case, it should make around 245 to 260 horsepower and close to 275 to 300 lb-ft of torque.
Further up the range, a naturally aspirated V6 is also a real possibility. However, Ford doesn’t really have a suitable option for this. The 3.5 liter V6 has been discontinued from most of their applications while the 3.7 liter V6 might be too large. Instead, a 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 tuned for 300 horsepower and around 350 lb-ft of torque might be a real possibility as well. In any case, unlike with the F-150, the Ranger is expected to receive a six-speed manual gearbox as standard.
The option will very likely be a six-speed automatic and not the ten-speed unit which has been seen in tests on the F-150 and the new Raptor. The towing capacity, at least for the diesel, might be quite close to that of the F-150 which will definitely make people think twice about getting it.