Ford touched on the new-generation Ranger’s clever pallet-swallowing tub at the world premiere in November last year, but as the launch gets closer it’s talking about some of the standard or optional features once again.
Much like the bigger F-150 in the States, the Blue Oval has decided a simple open space with some tie-downs and a counterbalanced tailgate doesn’t cut the mustard.
UPDATE, 25/01/2022 – Ford Australia has provided more details on availability of the new Ranger’s tub features. We’ve updated this article accordingly.
Given the Ranger is Australia’s second biggest-selling vehicle, and given it was once again developed right here in Victoria, a revisit seems in order.
An explainer piece first appeared on Ford of Europe’s media site, but most of the features detailed will also be present on the Australian-spec Ranger.
So, what are we talking about?
- An access step as pictured above that saves you stepping on a slippery tyre.
- The ‘easy-lift’ tailgate can be raised and lowered with one hand, and doubles as a workbench with clamp pockets concealed by spring-loaded caps, plus a built-in ruler with 10mm increments.
- The wider moulded profile on the bedliner is said to be more comfortable on your knees, thereby easier to clean and gripper.
- Drop-in bedliner with divider sections to make compartments in Double Cab models, although Ford says the actual dividers need to be custom-made from timber at home and then installed. That’s odd.
- An internal rail with spring-loaded, adjustable cleats on either side of the cargo box which slide and lock into nine locations along the rail. There are also six fixed tie-down points. Very Nissan-Navara-like, and available only on the Wildtrak.
- External tie-down rails designed to fit ratchet straps and ropes. Wildtrak variants are fitted with aluminium extrusions that double as tie-down rails that run the full length of the cargo box.
- Load box access caps, or removable plastic bits that cover attachment points for accessories such as canopies and equipment crossbars.
- A powered roller shutter run from the key fob, a switch inside the cargo box, or from the instrument panel is optional. The powered shutter includes accessories channels, and ice break and anti-pinch functions.
There’s still a 12V socket in the tub in all bar the XL and XLS, but sadly the 400W inverter available overseas won’t be coming here.
Zone lighting is new and will be standard on the Wildtrak and optional on the XLT and Sport.
This uses a combination of the headlights, puddle lamps, numberplate lamps and box lighting, which can be set to illuminate a 360-degree area, or just zones. This is controlled via the touchscreen or the FordPass app.
There are under-seat stowage tubs in the rear of the cabin, while up front the Wildtrak can be specified with a pre-wired overhead auxiliary switch panel to facilitate fitment of light bars, winches, or more complex conversions such as tipper bodies and towing equipment.
Under the bonnet, there’s added space for a second battery.
Beyond these features, there’ll also be a range of as many as 600 factory-backed accessories developed in collaboration with ARB.
We don’t know final specs and market details at this stage, save that the new and again Thai-sourced Ford Ranger will hit Australian dealerships from the middle of 2022.
- Three engines will be offered at launch: single- and bi-turbo four-cylinder options, and a 3.0-litre V6. They’re all diesels
- Five trim levels will be available at launch, ranging from XL to Wildtrak. A Ranger Raptor will follow
- Top-spec cars will have a 12-inch vertical touchscreen inside, cheaper cars get a 10-inch unit
- Sales will start in the middle of 2022 for Australia