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Ford confirms new Ranger tech specs

Upgrades to Blue Oval’s ute benefit driveability, off-road aids and towing ability

24 Mar 2022

FORD Australia has announced full technical details of the next iteration of its top-selling Ranger ute, which will be available to order from next month. The top-spec turbo-diesel engine – a 3.0-litre V6 – will produce peak outputs of 184kW and 600Nm.


Revealed late last year, the next-gen Ranger – designed and developed in Australia – is equipped with updated engines and transmissions, a greater variety of drive modes, two four-wheel drive systems and various technologies that improve its ability to tow trailers.


Ford Australia says that in terms of powertrains, the highlight of the range is the new 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel, which will power top-end variants of the Ranger and Everest large SUV.


“Whether a customer’s priority is fuel economy, refinement, towing or hauling, the next-gen Ranger’s powertrains provide customers with compelling performance and capability,” said Ranger and Everest program manager Pritika Maharaj. 


 “We’re offering (the 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel) specifically because some customers told us they wanted more power and torque for towing and extreme off-roading,” said Ms Maharaj.


The V6 engine’s block is said to be made compacted graphite iron, which “around 75 per cent stronger and 75 per cent stiffer” than the iron used in traditional diesel motors. The V6 develops 184 kW at 3250rpm and 600Nm from 1750-2250 rpm in both Ranger and Everest. 


“We did a lot of application calibration and validation work in both the US and Australia to make sure it would meet the needs of Ranger and Everest customers,” she said.


“The 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel delivers. When you drive a Ranger with the V6 turbo-diesel, it feels like a much bigger truck. And it feels strong in the sense that it's got plenty of power and torque, which is exactly what our customers told us they wanted.” 


In addition to the 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine, the next-gen Ranger will offer the choice of the single-turbo 2.0-litre and the bi-turbo 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder diesels. The single-turbo diesel will offer 125 kW at 3500rpm and 405Nm from 1750-2500 rpm and the bi-turbo will produce 154kW at 3750rpm and 500Nm from 1750-2000 rpm. 


Transmissions include the 10-speed auto, which will feature on the 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel and 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engines, while the six-speed auto will be paired with the 2.0-litre single-turbo diesel motor.


“Our customers told us that one of the reasons they love Ranger is because it’s one of the best vehicles on the road for ride comfort and car-like performance. So, retaining that and balancing it with off-road performance has been key throughout the development of next- gen Ranger,” said the Ranger’s dynamic experiences supervisor, Rob Hugo. 


By widening the track (by 50mm) and lengthening the wheelbase, Ford had improved the ute’s vehicle stability on- and off-road, plus its unladen approach and departure angles. 


What’s more, “the outboard dampers have allowed us to tune a more controlled ride whether the vehicle is carrying a heavy load or not and solve a complaint of pickups with inboard mounted dampers that they can bounce or skip when unladen,” he said. 


In terms of four-wheel-drive configurations, the Ranger’s base 4WD is a “part-time” system with a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case offering 2H, 4H and 4L modes. 


Higher-end variants have an on- demand 4WD system (2H, 4A, 4H, and 4L) that allows the ute to be driven in four-wheel drive on high-traction surfaces via its 4A (automatic) mode. If needed, the electronic rear differential lock can be activated via the infotainment screen. 


“This means a Ranger driver can just leave the truck in four-wheel drive (4A) and head off down the highway, down a country road, over a snowy mountain or across a sand dune without having to do anything else,” said Mr Hugo.


What’s more, a dedicated off-road screen on the SYNC4 touchscreen infotainment system shows driveline and diff lock settings, steering angle, vehicle pitch and roll angles. 


Selectable drive modes used to be exclusive to the flagship Raptor, but variants of the new Ranger will offer up to six of them, including Normal, Eco, Tow/Haul (auto only), Slippery (for on-road), and Mud/Ruts and Sand (for off-road). These modes adjust the settings of the throttle response, transmission shift pattern, traction and stability controls, ABS and more. 


“These selectable drive modes are a very simple way of getting advanced traction to the wheels the way it needs to be delivered without having to be an expert,” he said. 


The Tow/Haul drive mode (on XLS variants and above – excluding Raptor) was designed for users who tow with, or transport heavy cargo in, their Rangers. Ford says the new mode optimises the gear shift timing to maintain power when you’re climbing up a hill or deliver the right amount of engine braking when ascending a hill. 


The maximum braked towing capacity remains 3500kg with a 350kg tow-ball download limit. Ford claims suspension upgrades and standard rear disc brakes (on XLT and above) endow the ute with better ride control and comfort whilst towing or hauling heavy loads.


Depending on the variant, the new ute also features an integrated trailer brake controller, -connection checklist and -light check in the SYNC4 infotainment system to simplify the process of hooking up trailers; thanks to the innovation, drivers no longer have to rely on another person to act as a spotter, or for the driver to have to get out of the vehicle. 


For added peace of mind, Ranger’s BLIS2 driver-assistance technology will allow drivers to programme the size of their trailer for added coverage of their blind spots.


To make towing heavy loads easier and safer, Ford’s factory fit tow pack now includes an integrated trailer brake controller. The integrated trailer brake controller ensures smooth and effective trailer braking by powering the trailer's electric brakes with a proportional output based on the towing vehicle's brake pressure. 


The controller adapts its output based on the status of the ABS. When the ABS module senses the towing vehicle's brakes are approaching lockup, the controller's braking strategy changes to compensate for traction conditions, reducing the risk of trailer brake lockup. The system also provides instant visual/audible warning in case of accidental trailer disconnect. 


BLIS2 with Cross-Traffic Alert and Trailer Coverage is a first for Ranger and offers blind-spot Information System coverage for the Ranger and the trailer it is towing. Using sensors built into the tail lamps, BLIS2 can alert the driver when a vehicle in an adjacent lane is detected in the blind spot, which helps avoid collisions when switching lanes. 


In vehicles fitted with Ford’s factory Tow Pack, the Trailer Coverage system can be set to the length of the trailer, supporting trailers up to 2.4 metres wide and 10 metres long. The system also allows you to store your trailer’s dimensions for quick setup. Once set, it re-adjusts to account for the trailer, picking up vehicles in the customer’s blind spot sooner. 


GoAuto expects new vehicle pricing for the new Ford Ranger to be revealed soon.

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