Brand allegiance aside, it’s hard to argue against Ford’s innovation of late. From one end of the market to the other, they’re kicking goals. For those after the convenience of a ute and the practicality of a cross over the U.S.-based Maverick has been a game changer. On the other end of the scale, the F-Series just keeps growing from strength to strength. And that’s without even looking at the affordable sports cars and off-road racers they keep producing. Try finding another ute on the level of the Raptor. But here on home soil, their insanely popular Ranger just took another giant leap forward. They’ve just pulled the covers off an all-new Plug-In Hybrid Ranger, and it looks like an absolute ripper. Let’s take a closer look.
Under the bonnet
Kicking off at the pointy end of the new Ranger is a unique proposition with a 2.3L 4-cylinder turbo ‘EcoBoost’ engine. This donk has been used in the next-gen Amarok as well as the high-po Mustang. Depending on the model it punches out an impressive 232kW or 316hp in the old talk. On the grunt side of things, it pushes out 448Nm. That puts it on par already with most other dual cab utes on the market, yes, even the diesels. But Ford promises more. Paired up with a hybrid electric system they’ve said it’ll offer more torque than any other Ranger. So expect north of 600Nm to get it on par with their class-leading V6 diesel.
According to Andrew Birkic, President and CEO of Ford Australia and New Zealand, “The Ranger Plug-In Hybrid is a best-of-both-worlds solution for work, play, and family – offering customers zero-tailpipe emissions EV driving for short trips, or hybrid performance that delivers incredible on- and off-road prowess.”
For those doing the daily commute, or looking to do fair-dinkum travel the hybrid powertrain is a godsend. The new hybrid Ranger will feature four driving modes. EV Auto will swap back and forth between petrol or electric power on demand. You can drive solely on electric power with EV Now. EV Later will preserve the battery (handy if you need a little extra range to get you to the next truck stop), and EV Charge which will use the petrol engine to move you forward, and charge up the battery.
It’s understood that EV Now will provide a conservative 45km all-electric range. It’s not going to get you across the Nullabor on a charge, but it’ll mean for plenty of Aussies the work commute can be tackled without spending a dollar at the pump. Handy when the prices are sky high.
Details are still light on the ground about the specifics of the hybrid-Ranger, but Ford have come out and stated it’ll retain its full 3500kg braked towing capacity. What will be different though is the addition of a handy feature called Pro Power Onboard. Something already available in various F-150 trims. It’s essentially a built in power system complete with a 10a 240V outlet in the cabin and two 10a 240V outlets in the tub. In the F-150 it’s available with a range of options from a 2000W setup up to a 9600W setup, effectively allowing the hybrid-Ranger to operate as a generator running powertools on a worksite.
Andrew Birkic said, “The Ranger Plug-In Hybrid will help our customers move into an electrified future, with the confidence and capability that only Ranger can provide.” Joining the Ford Australia line-up as the fifth electrified vehicle. It proudly stands alongside the Mach-E, E-Transit, E-Transit Custom, and Puma BEV, solidifying Ford’s commitment to a diversified power plant lineup.
The future is electric, and with the Ranger Plug-In Hybrid leading the charge, adventure seekers and practical enthusiasts alike can now experience the best of both worlds. Electrifying their journeys and navigating the tracks ahead with confidence.