The internet is currently exploding with anticipation of the upcoming Ranger release. For months now the rumour mills have been churning out renderings with discussion on important topics. How many cup holders will it have? How big will the tv in the dash be? Will it have leather or premium fabric on the interior in the top spec models? All things 4x4ers flat out couldn’t care less about. The things we’re concerned about? Can I get upgraded suspension? Will I be able to put a bull bar on it straight from the dealership? What size tyres can I run and what are my options for a touring fit out. To get to the bottom of it we’ve dug deep to see what is more or less confirmed for the platform, and what that’ll mean for you if you’re looking to deck one out straight away.
Under the bonnet
While Ford won’t officially announce anything yet it’s all but confirmed the top-spec variants will come sporting the 3.0L V6 twin-turbo-diesel AJD-V6 engine. Land Rover fans may recognise it as the powerhouse in the SDV6 Land Rover Defenders pushing out 302hp and 700Nm. F150 fans might recognise it as the 3.0 Powerstroke where it’s rated to tow 6,350kg and chews less than 10L/100km. In short. It’ll tow whatever you hook behind it and drink sparingly in the process. It’s a common engine for upgrading too with many U.S. tuners bumping it up to 350hp with an exhaust and tune so Aus tuners won’t take long to give it more grunt. It’s expected it’ll be backed by the current 10 speed AWD setup in the Everest.
While some pundits are talking about the Ranger being an all new platform, there’s a few design cues in the cab that indicate it’s a heavy facelift on the existing T6 platform rather than a whole new ute. It means pending any shocking revelations the tubs inner dimensions and top cap should remain the same. Fibreglass tub topper canopies from the previous generation Rangers should still fit, as should current tub drawer options. The cab shape remains the same so stretched wheelbases to suit space cab tubs or larger canopies like the below will still be an affordable drive in drive out option.
Early renders hint at the new tubs including a rear step to aide in access so don’t bet on any current off the shelf steps bolting on. Roof racks should be identical as the cab appears to be the same PX cab they’ve used since 2012. Bash plates and rock sliders are a question mark. The dimensions should remain the same but may require modifications to the new rear suspension. It’d be surprising to see the new engine’s sump hang below the crossmember so shouldn’t foul on bash plates.
Bull bars remain a large question mark. While the front light and grille setup looks to be vastly different, the lights don’t appear to drop below the normal cut line for most bull bars so shouldn’t require any major re-working apart from aesthetics. The grille dips lower than the outgoing PX3 but grill cuts are nothing new when designing or fitting bars. Expect to see front bars from the usual suspects updated quickly but the more specialty brands may take some time to tweak their designs to suit.
With the chassis changes from PX2 to PX3 Ford brought the Ranger into line with the U.S. offerings, a model that’s only recently been released. The upcoming PX4 appears to have adopted the U.S. fender striping as well further aligning the Aussie ranger with the Yank version. It’s a pretty safe assumption that the new model won’t see any major revisions in suspension up front. Current PX3 struts should bolt in, and if not should only require minor tweaking so won’t take long to hit the market. In the rear it’s expected top-tier models to pick up coil springs instead of the lower-tier leaf springs. Odds are on it being a similar setup to the Everest but may require tweaking for ideal lengths and load carrying capacity from manufacturers.