Ford has announced that its top-selling 4×4 ute, the Ranger, will soon be equipped with a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain. While specific details about the powertrain have not yet been revealed, previous reports suggest a maximum torque figure of around 800Nm, surpassing the current diesel and petrol variants in the Ranger lineup.
The Ranger PHEV is expected to have a targeted electric-only driving range of at least 45km and will feature a newly developed heavy-duty rear suspension setup to support the additional weight of the lithium-ion battery pack located under the tub. Furthermore, the vehicle will come with a reinforced rear frame, recalibrated power steering system, and a bespoke tune for the internal combustion engine to handle both traditional loads in the tray and the new motive hardware.
Similar to other plug-in hybrid vehicles, the Ranger PHEV will offer vehicle-to-load (V2L) functionality called ‘Pro Power Onboard’, with three-pin power points in the tray and cabin. This allows owners to power their tools or use various accessories and appliances. The system is expected to produce a maximum output of at least 1500W, and the charging port for the battery will be located next to the fuel filler.
Ford executives believe that the plug-in hybrid system strikes a balance between different forms of electrification, such as 48V mild-hybrid and full-electric. They see it as the best solution for Australian customers who require towing capability, payload capacity, and off-road capabilities without relying heavily on charging infrastructure.
The Ranger PHEV will come with a suite of 10 different drive modes, including EV-specific modes that allow for autonomous switching between petrol and electric power, full-electric operation, battery-saving, and battery-charging modes.
While pricing and trim levels for the Ranger PHEV have not been confirmed, the vehicle is expected to launch at the top end of the range. However, Ford also recognizes the fleet market as a significant target audience and may offer a more affordable variant.
The Australian engineering and design team has played a crucial role in the development of the Ranger PHEV, conducting all physical testing at Ford’s Victoria proving ground.