Ever since the Ranger has been discontinued from the US market people have been wondering when a successor will be released. Well, not that long ago the 2018 Ford Ranger has been finally confirmed but the details are still scarce. The truck will be made alongside the Bronco at Ford’s Michigan plant where the Focus has been made up until a few months ago. The truck will retain its body on frame construction which has been used in all generations so far. However, it seems that this time around it won’t be any different from the International version.
The Ranger test mule has already been spied around Dearborn and the changes are not as impressive as we first thought. In fact the test mule looked pretty much identical to the ongoing International version which is not that unusual. Why? Well, Ford is likely testing the underpinnings of the new truck so they don’t really have to showoff the bodywork to the general public.
The truck will likely receive quite a few modifications over what was seen a while ago in order to bring it closer in design to their F-150 trucks. The Ranger’s price is still unknown but considering the competition, we wouldn’t be surprised if Ford decides to set a starting point of around $23,000.
2018 Ford Ranger design
As we said, the 2018 Ford Ranger will more than likely borrow quite a few design cues from the larger trucks. While the International model is fine, it doesn’t really have the design traits needed for it to succeed in the US.
On top of that, the current truck’s design is rather old so it would be a good move to change it. In the front the truck will likely receive the sculpted headlights and a similar grille to those found on the F-150. The cabin on the other hand as well as on the sides the Ranger will likely have quite a few more design traits in common with the International version.
Inside the cabin
There is no reason to believe the new Ranger will not be identical to the International version on the interior. This would allow Ford to improve the materials and base trim level of equipment without having to raise the price of the truck due to increased research and development costs.
In terms of looks we can expect an upright design more similar to what the current European version of the truck sports. This would give the new Ranger a small lead over some of its rivals. A high end version offering leather upholstery, ventilated seats and even things like real wood inserts might also be added to the range.
Under the hood
The base engine of the 2018 Ford Ranger will more than likely be either Ford’s 2.0 or 2.3 liter EcoBoost. Either of these will easily offer over 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. Further up the range the truck should be available with one twin-turbocharged V6 which will power the premium trim levels and possibly a sports version. A 6 speed manual is likely at least on the base model.
The others will likely receive Ford’s new 10 speed automatic which is one of the more refined gearboxes on the market. A diesel is also a big possibility, especially all of its main rivals will offer one. Here Ford could offer either their 3.2 liter inline 5 known to make around 185 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque or their new 3.0 liter turbocharged V6. The latter will also power the F-150 where it is expected to make north of 240 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Either of these would be more than enough to make the Ranger a highly capable compact truck.