• Ford's all-new Ranger will be revealed later this year and will debut in 2022.
• The current bakkie has been around since 2011, with a facelift in 2015.
• Keeping the Ranger fresh, Ford has launched several special edition bakkies.
• For more motoring stories, visit Wheels24
Towards the closing stages of 2021, Ford will reveal its all-new Ranger, with the bakkie set to be launched locally in 2022. Details on the new Ranger is still sparse at this stage, but the video released today shows that Ford has gone to great lengths in putting its upcoming bakkie through its paces.
According to Ford, the next-generation Ranger, at its core, "will be the ideal bakkie partner for work, family and play."
The upcoming Ranger will again be built at Ford's Silverton Plant in Pretoria. This time, it will be built alongside the all-new Amarok that will share architecture and engines with the Blue Oval's bakkie.
Series of special editions
Though the current Ranger has been in the twilight years of its lifecycle for the last few years, the bakkie has remained an evergreen product for Ford South Africa. Almost singlehandedly, the bakkie ensures that Ford counts among the leading automakers monthly and is it the second best-selling bakkie in the country.
What's made the Ranger so popular - apart from its good driving dynamics and punchy engines - is the fact that Ford's managed to churn out special edition models. Granted, the bakkies are all based on existing models and the architecture these are based on, but it adds exclusivity and desirability to what the bakkie line-up offers.
The most recent of these special editions include the Ranger Thunder and XL Sport. As you might recall, the Thunder was part of the Wheels24 long-term garage from September 2020 to March 2021 and did the 4x4 impress on several levels. Of course, the bi-turbo 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine (157kW/500Nm, 10-speed automatic) was a gem, but the ride comfort and driving characteristics over various road conditions impressed most.
Ranger in 2021
2021 is effectively the last production year of the current Ranger that's been on sale since 2011, with a facelift coming around in 2015. Since then, the Ranger saw minimal changes, and the suspension setup saw mild updates over the years to help the bakkie keep its admirable ride quality.
This year, Ford launched the special edition FX4 in the first quarter, with the Stormtrak (September) and special edition Ranger Raptor (October) also on the cards. It is assumed that one - or two - special editions might be on the cards before the final curtain is drawn on this generation Ranger.
Parked in the Wheels24 garage is a black Ranger FX4 4x4 double cab automatic. Forming part of our long-term fleet, the Ranger has come to the party as a daily driver for the team. The bakkie has not put a single tyre wrong, from meandering over weekends to completing the school run. The single-turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine (132kW/420Nm) is mated to Ford's 10-speed automatic transmission, ensuring smooth gear changes and lively performance when called upon.
The Ranger FX4 double cab 4x4 automatic retails for R712 300. It comes with a six-year or 90 000km service plan and a four-year or 120 000km warranty.