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New Ranger to help Ford through supply shortage

Ford Australia’s reliance on Ranger increases amid supply struggles for other models

19 Jul 2022

FORD has finally released the most anticipated new model of 2022, the P703 Ranger pick-up, though not all grades are arriving at once.


The first of three redesigned and re-engineered versions of the T6 pick-up series to hit dealerships in Australia this year, the Ranger launches initially in higher-series Double (or dual) Cab four-wheel-drive-only specification, as the Thailand factory source struggles to ramp up production in time to meet runaway demand.


With the outgoing Ranger accounting for two-thirds of all Ford sales in Australia last year (and over 80 per cent when combined with the belatedly popular U375/UA Everest), the company’s future likely depends on the success or otherwise of the T6.2 models.


However, continuing supply woes, combined with low stocks of other in-demand models like the Transit van, have resulted in a 25 per cent sales slide in the first six months of this year compared to the same time in 2021, putting even greater pressure on Ranger and Everest to fire.


“It is very critical, and right now it is more critical, because we haven’t necessarily achieved the supply out of Europe … which has meant our overall numbers have come back,” Ford Australia president and CEO, Andrew Birkic revealed to GoAuto at the recent Ranger launch. 


“And that makes Ranger and Everest the greater percentage (of overall volume).


“We’re looking for that to improve in 2023, but 2022 is still tough … Transit is the one we have pretty strong orders in fleet that we’d love to meet, but we just can’t get them right now.”


That said, the Ford Australia boss is confident that, once supply does improve, the Ranger will help reverse the sales decline and propel the company ahead. 


“I think we’re in a good position because we have an amazing truck,” Mr Birkic said. 


“The other part is supply: if we can get sufficient supply, we’re confident based on the pre-orders, the write-ups we’ve been getting, dealer feedback we’ve been getting who’ve driven the vehicle at the proving ground, that we’ve got a pretty strong player in the market.”

According to Mr Birkic, there is no silver bullet for the supply woes brought on by the worldwide shortages in semiconductors, and that is affecting the P703 rollout on a global scale.


“We can’t guarantee the supply arrangement right now because it is fluid,” he told GoAuto at the Ranger launch near Geelong in Victoria last week. “We’d obviously like to be fairly fluid and fairly sequential in what we deliver, and that’s what we’re aiming to do.


“But the chips are the issue.”


A Ford spokesperson added that other grades, including the fleet-oriented XL rear-wheel drive two-seater cab-chassis, as well as the 2+2-seater Super Cab, will follow in several weeks, while the other two T6.2 models – the U703 Everest SUV and P703 Raptor performance truck flagship – are still “on track” for an August release in Australia.


On sale now from $35,930 and topping out at $70,190 (all before on-road costs), the T6.2 Ranger finally arrives after more than six years in development, with Ford Australia’s design and engineering centre in the north of Melbourne again being the mid-sized pick-up’s global home room.


Excluding the Raptor, prices rise on average by just over $1100, with the biggest being by about $2000, though the XLT – expected to be the best-selling grade – remains the same.


Three body styles are again offered – two-door/two-seat Cab chassis, two-door/four-seat Super Cab chassis or pick-up as a $2500 option, and four-door/five-seat Double Cab chassis or pick-up that will set buyers back $4500. 


Inside, the cabin has been completely redesigned, with the adoption of a reach-adjustable steering column at last, as well as an all-new dashboard offering a choice of portrait touchscreens, digital instrumentation, revamped storage, an overhauled heater/ventilation system for more effective climate control.


Buyers also score new seats and different cabin trim offering higher-quality materials. 


The fleet-focused XL carries on as the base grade, with halogen headlights, vinyl floors, cloth seats and 16-inch steel wheels.


It is far from sparse though, with nine airbags including a segment-first airbag between the front-seat occupants, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, lane-keep assist and – on pick-up models – blind spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert.


There is also a digital instrument cluster, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, Ford’s latest SYNC 4A multimedia system and air-conditioning.


Next up is XLS, adding fog lights, side steps, carpet and alloy wheels.


Both fleet and private buyers are the XLT’s target, so it gains LED headlights, a chromed grille bar, rear bed-liner and illumination, a sports bar and 17-inch alloys. Dual-zone climate control, satellite navigation, keyless entry with push-button start, ‘intelligent’ adaptive cruise control with full stop/go, traffic-sign recognition and Ranger-first rear-seat air vents are also included. 


With its darkened visual themes, the Sport is next up the ladder, doubling the number of front tow hooks (to two), and offering wireless charging, an Off-Road screen with 4WD information, leather seats, a powered driver’s seat and 18-inch alloys.


Until the Raptor launches in August, the Wildtrak is the flagship, identified by its unique front-end styling, sports bar and tub rails, as well as powered roller shutter.


It also comes with a trailer brake controller, zone lighting, ambient lighting inside, a 12.0-inch touchscreen, pull-out cup holders, front seat heaters, a 360-degree camera, active park assist and more.   


Under that boxy new bonnet are three engine choices, two of which are new to the Ranger.


The XL is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder single turbo-diesel. Usurping the old 2.2-litre unit, it makes 125kW of power at 3500rpm and 405Nm of torque between 1750-2500rpm, and is only available as a six-speed torque-converter automatic (6R80).


From the XLS up is the 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel version of the above, badged BiTurbo. Producing 154kW at 3750rpm and 500Nm from 1750rpm to 2000rpm, it is mated to a completely revised 10-speed torque-converter auto (10R80). It employs a fly-by-wire mechanism known as ‘e-shifter’.


Perhaps the most eagerly awaited single item on the new Ranger is the new 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel. Optional for $3000 extra in the XLT, Sport and Wildtrak, it delivers 184kW at 3250rpm and 600Nm at 1750-2250rpm, and also employs the 10R80 gearbox. 


The 2.0-litre four-pot Ranger 4WDs employ updated versions of the old part-time 4x4 set-up with 4x2 (rear-drive), 4x4 Low range and 4x4 High range, but the 3.0-litre V6 steps things up with a new electronic on-demand four-wheel-drive system, with full-time 4WD that varies drive to the front or rear wheels as required. It includes Normal, Eco, Tow/Haul and Slippery modes for on-road driving, and Mud/Ruts and Sand for use off-road.


Official combined-cycle fuel consumption figures are down model-for-model, with the 2.0-litre single turbo-diesel returning 7.6L/100km (translating to 199 grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide emissions); the BiTurbo betters that with 7.2L/100km, for 189g/km, while the 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel manages 8.4L/100km, for 222g/km.


The latter is 0.5L/100km better than the old 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel’s corresponding figure. Fuel tank size remains the same as before, at 80 litres.


Ford’s engineers revealed that the Ranger is more economical than before despite the bluffer front end for a number of reasons, including better cooling properties, detailed aero work on and underneath the body, as well as inherently more efficient engines and transmissions.


It is also part of an improved customer experience. Taking in extensive research from most major markets around the world, the goal was to improve everyday useability, comfort, refinement, safety, durability, on-road driveability, off-road capability and overall efficiency.


Among many engineering highlights, everything from the windscreen forward is new, and includes a hydroformed front end to accommodate the V6 engine options. For the same reason, the front tracks are 50mm wider, the front wheels pushed forward by 50mm and overhang is reduced.


This in turn led to the redesign of the front suspension, as being further outboard means longer-travel springs and components can be used, benefitting off-road traction.


The all-new front end also allowed the designers to increase the width of the front part of the body, broadening the Ranger’s stance for a tougher appearance. The blockier bonnet, larger grille and C-shaped lighting elements were all inspired by the North American F-150 full-sized truck. Design work commenced in 2017. 


Around the side and rear, all sheetmetal is new, and aerodynamically optimised, though the old Ranger’s roof, door apertures and glass areas are basically the same as before. With wider rear tracks, this gave the stylists the opportunity to continue the vehicle’s beefier look. 


The Ranger’s load area also came in for a rethink: a full-sized Euro palette can now be accommodated in the pick-up, the sides have box caps and load bearing bars for increased practicality and security, there are multiple tie-down solutions for cargo, illumination is improved, a 12-volt outlet is fitted, along with a moulded bed-liner with divider locators, and the weight-assisted tailgate can be used as a workbench.


All Rangers bar the Raptor offer a maximum towing capability of 3500kg (the Raptor’s is 2500kg). Payloads vary from 934kg to 1441kg, depending on model.


As before, the latest Ranger is a body-on-chassis design, but the frame is different to the proceeding P375, discarding the old one-piece construction for a variation of the old Everest and Raptor’s three-piece frame, allowing for differentiation in the front, middle and rear sections as required, allowing for modularity in engines, wheelbase lengths, suspension and other properties.


One example of this is how the Ranger differs from the Everest, which in turn is different from the related North American market Bronco.  


Suspension changes include a redesigned independent wishbone coil-sprung front end, with dampers moved further outboard for a greater tuning range and a comfier ride, while the rear has new leaf springs (four per side).


Only the Raptor and Everest gain a (varying) coil-sprung rear end. Four-wheel disc brakes replace the rear drum brake set-up from XLT upwards. Steering is via electric rack and pinion and is also an all-new system.


Finally, Ford offers a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, with five-years’ roadside assistance. Service intervals are every 12 months or 15,000km, while capped-price servicing is available. Rising $30 over the old Ranger, it is now at $329 for the first four general services for up to four years or 60,000km.



2022 Ford Ranger 4x2 pricing*:

XL HR Single-Cab Chassis 2.0SiT (a)


XL HR Super-Cab Chassis 2.0SiT (a)


XL HR Double-Cab Chassis 2.0SiT (a)


XL HR Double-Cab Pick-Up 2.0SiT (a)


XLS HR Double-Cab Pic-Up 2.0BiT (a)


XLT HR Double-Cab Pick-Up 2.0BiT (a)



2022 Ford Ranger 4x4 pricing*:

XL Single-Cab Chassis 2.0BiT (a)


XL Double-Cab Chassis 2.0SiT (a)


XL Super-Cab Chassis 2.0BiT (a)


XL Double-Cab Pick-Up 2.0SiT (a)


XL Double-Cab Chassis 2.0BiT (a)


XL Super-Cab Pick-Up 2.0BiT (a)


XL Double-Cab Pick-Up 2.0BiT (a)


XLS Double-Cab Pick-Up 2.0BiT (a)


XLT Super-Cab Pick-Up 2.0BiT (a)


XLT Double-Cab Pick-Up 2.0BiT (a)


XLT Double-Cab Chassis 2.0BiT (a)


XLT Double-Cab Pick-Up V6 (a)


Sport Double-Cab Pick-Up 2.0BiT (a)


Sport Double Cab Pick-Up V6 (a)


Wildtrak Double-Cab Pick-Up 2.0BiT (a)


Wildtrak Double-Cab Pick-Up V6 (a)


Raptor Double-Cab Pick-Up V6 EcoBoost (a)


 *Pricing excludes on-road costs.

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