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Exclusive: Up to four new engines for Ford Ranger

Under test: Ford engineers test the next-generation Ford Ranger’s chassis at the company’s Australian proving ground in Victoria.

Powertrains, chassis, brakes and safety tech all set for a lift on 2019 Ford Ranger


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21 Mar 2017

FORD’S new-generation Ranger ute is set for a total heart transplant, along with a major chassis makeover and upgraded features such as rear disc brakes and more electronic driving aids when it arrives in about 2019.

Spy photographs taken over the fence at Ford’s You Yangs proving ground in Victoria show a right-hand-drive Ranger Supercab pick-up chassis-test mule with a substantial metal crossmember supporting the front suspension visible under the front.

Test equipment wiring can be seen running from under the car and along the side sills.

Ford Australia has declined to discuss the testing regime, beyond the usual confirmation that the all-new Ranger development is underway under a massive program that this year will soak up a large chunk of a $450 million budget allocated to Melbourne-based Ford Asia-Pacific Product Development.

Two new-generation turbo-diesel engines – a 2.0-litre EcoBlue four-cylinder and a 3.0-litre Powerstroke V6 developed in collaboration with Peugeot and Land Rover – are expected to replace the ageing Duratorq 2.2-litre four-cylinder and 3.2-litre five-cylinder powerplants.

As well, engineers have the task of including at least two turbo-petrol engines in the mix for overseas markets that this time includes North America.

These petrol engines most likely will include a version of the 2.0-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder that Australians are already familiar with via the now-defunct Ford Falcon and other cars, including some Volvos, Jaguars and Land Rovers.

Potentially, Ford will also include a twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost engine, possibly the 2.7-litre unit lifted from the 2015 Ford F-150 pick-up in which it makes a healthy 242kW of power and 508Nm of torque.

For the United States, these petrol engines will almost certainly also be slotted into the born-again Bronco wagon that is set to be revived on the Ranger’s new-generation T6 ladder chassis from 2020.

As Ford is planning to introduce diesel versions of its Ranger alongside petrol power in North America to counter General Motors’ diesel Colorado, it might also be tempted to try one or both of the two new diesels in the Bronco as well, especially as Ford executives have promised a true off-road vehicle.

Ford’s Powerstroke diesel V6 is also set to make its Ford pick-up debut in the latest F-150 later this year. While large F-Series trucks have offered big-bore diesel power for some years, this will be the first time the “light-duty” F-150 – America’s top-selling vehicle – has come with an oiler alternative.

Ford is yet to release details of the engine beyond confirming its 3.0-litre capacity, but it is thought to be a collaboration with Peugeot and Land Rover under the Lion codename.

This engine is the replacement for the 2.7-litre unit employed in Ford’s Australian-built Territory. Because that unit could only manage Euro 4 emissions standards, it went out of use in Europe some years ago and has now disappeared altogether with the demise of the Territory in October last year.

In the Land Rover Discovery and Range Rover, the latest V6 diesel engine pumps out a handy 190kW of power and 600Nm of torque.

This would not only make it considerably more grunty than the 147kW 3.2-litre unit currently employed in the Ranger and its SUV spin-off, the Everest, but well above the recently launched V6 Volkswagen Amarok (165kW/550Nm).

Interestingly, a Range Rover has been spotted running around Ford’s proving ground in the past week.

Ford’s new 2.0-litre EcoBlue four-cylinder diesel has cutting-edge technologies that make it up to 13 per cent more fuel efficient than its 2.2-litre diesel predecessor but deliver up to 20 per cent more torque while cutting noise by half and reducing exhaust emissions to Euro 6 levels.

Announced in April last year, the direct-injection turbo four-cylinder engine made its debut in the Transit Custom van in Europe and the UK, but it is said to be suitable for both light-commercial and passenger car applications.

In Transit, it makes up to 125kW of power and 405Nm of torque, but can be boosted to 147kW. The current PX Ranger’s 2.2-litre unit produces 118kW/585Nm.

While the F-150 is set to employ a 10-speed automatic transmission behind the 3.0-litre diesel V6, it is unclear if Ranger or its SUV siblings will go that far.

Current options in Ranger are six-speed manual and six-speed automatic.

The current Ranger makes do with drum rear brakes, but all the Ranger test mules we have spotted have been equipped with rear disc brakes, bringing the Ford ute into line with the Amarok V6.

As we reported in December, new semi-autonomous driving technologies also loom large in vehicles being developed at the proving ground where a special track is being installed to test such electronic devices right up to the Level 2 autonomous driving standard.

It is unclear what level the Ranger, Everest and Bronco will be as they are rolled out about 2019 and 2020, but it is safe to assume the technology will be a step above current levels.

Ford confirmed at the Detroit motor show in January that the Ranger for America will be built in the US alongside the new Bronco.

For Australia and other markets, the Ranger and Everest will continue to be sourced from Thailand.

It is yet unclear if the American-built Bronco will head Down Under to slot in beside the Everest, although Ford has described it as a global model.

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