Ford Ranger is a nameplate that has been used on multiple model lines of vehicles sold by Ford worldwide. Primarily in use for light trucks, the nameplate has been used for distinct model lines of vehicles worldwide since the 1983 model year. In North America, the Ranger is slotted below the F-150 in the Ford light truck range, serving as the smallest pickup truck marketed by the company. In markets where the F-Series and Super Duty trucks are not marketed by Ford, the Ranger is typically the only Ford pickup truck offering.
In the Americas, the model line is currently in its fourth generation, derived from the third generation of the Ranger marketed worldwide since 2011. Initially developed by Ford Australia, the current Ford Ranger T6 is the first version sold as a mid-size pickup truck.
Origin of name
Prior to its use on compact pickup trucks, Ford Motor Company used the Ranger nameplate on three different model lines. The Edsel division was the first to use the name, with the Edsel Ranger introduced in 1958 as its lowest-trim sedan; the model line lasted through the 1960 demise of the Edsel brand.
For 1965, the Ranger name returned to use by Ford as a trim package for F-Series trucks; in 1972, a corresponding Bronco Ranger was introduced. Offered through the 1981 model year, the Ranger trim served as the mid-level to high-level trim package.
Following the 1981 model year, the Ranger trim line was withdrawn from its light trucks, largely in anticipation of its 1983 compact pickup truck (introduced in early 1982).
North America compact pickup (1983–2012)
For the 1983 model year, Ford introduced the Ranger for the United States and Canada. The first compact pickup truck designed by Ford, the American-produced Ranger replaced the Mazda-produced Ford Courier. Produced across three generations using a single chassis architecture, the model line was marketed from the 1983 to the 2012 model years (ending retail sales after the 2011 model year).
The Ranger light-truck chassis architecture served as the basis for a wide range of vehicles over its production. Along with sharing body and powertrain components with the Ford Bronco II and Ford Explorer SUVs, the Ranger also shared components with the Ford Aerostar minivan and the Ford Explorer Sport Trac mid-size pickup truck. Through the use of rebadging, from 1994 to 2009, Mazda marketed the Ford Ranger in the United States and Canada as the Mazda B-Series (the reverse of the 1970s Ford Courier and also the reverse of the Ford Ranger outside of North America).
While among the highest-selling vehicles in the compact segment for nearly its entire 29-year production, an overall decline in demand for compact trucks led to its discontinuation after the 2011 model year (a short 2012 run was produced for fleet sales). On December 22, 2011, the final Ford Ranger produced for North America rolled off the Twin Cities Assembly line (as the final vehicle assembled at the facility).
North America mid-size pickup (2019–present)
For the 2019 model year, Ford returned the Ranger to its model range in North America (after an eight-year hiatus); the first example rolled off the assembly line on October 22, 2018. The first generation of the model line sold as a mid-size pickup truck, the fourth-generation Ranger is derived from the global-market Ranger T6 designed by Ford Australia. Sized closely to the 2001-2010 Ford Explorer Sport Trac, the model line was adapted to accommodate US government regulations with other modifications made to match local market demands.
The current generation of the Ranger is offered in two configurations on a 127-inch wheelbase, including a 2+2 door SuperCab (6-foot bed) and a 4-door SuperCrew (5-foot bed); the 2.3L EcoBoost twin-turbocharged inline-4 and 10-speed automatic is exclusive to North America. As of current production, the two-door standard cab is not offered for sale in North America (nor is the Ranger Raptor).
South American production (Ford Argentina; 1998–present)
In 1995, exports of the Ford Ranger began to select Latin and South American countries. To accommodate the demand for the vehicle, Ford Argentina commenced local production of the Ranger in 1998, introducing a four-door cab not sold in North America. During the 2000s, Rangers produced by Ford Argentina shared a common chassis with North American-produced vehicles (offering a diesel engine to meet local demand). For 2010, the locally-produced Ranger underwent a final exterior revision (exclusive to South America).
Ford Argentina ended production of the compact Ranger following the 2011 model year (slightly before the United States) to shift its production to the mid-size Ranger T6 (its current model line).
In 1971, Ford entered the compact truck segment as it marketed the second-generation Mazda B-Series under the Ford Courier nameplate; the Courier was sold worldwide. For 1983, the Ranger replaced the Courier in North America, but Ford continued to source the Courier from Mazda for global markets into the 1990s, following the development of the B-Series model line.
For 1998, Ford introduced the Ranger name on Mazda-sourced pickup trucks; in Australia and New Zealand, the Courier name continued through 2006. The first-generation Ranger was produced from 1998 to 2006, while the second generation was produced from 2006 to 2011; the latter was derived from the Mazda BT-50 (which replaced the long-running B-series). These Rangers were sold in Asian-Pacific, European, African, and several Latin American markets.
For 2011, Ford introduced the Ranger T6 generation. Designed by Ford Australia, the T6 replaced the American and Mazda-sourced Rangers with a single design (forming a basis of a redesigned Mazda BT-50). The first mid-size Ranger, the T6 is marketed worldwide (though excluded from sale in the United States and Canada by Ford from the 2011 to 2018 model years).
- Max, Josh (19 December 2011). "Ford Ranger, other cars, cease production in 2012". New York Daily News. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- "2019 Ford Ranger production starts in Michigan". Roadshow. 2018-10-22. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
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