Ford Ranger (Americas)
2019 Ford Ranger
Ford of Argentina
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Compact pickup truck (1983-2012)|
Mid-size pickup truck (2012-present)
|Layout||Front-engine, rear- / four-wheel drive|
|Successor||Ford Ranger (T6)(South America)|
The Ford Ranger is a range of pickup trucks manufactured and marketed by Ford in North and South America. The replacement for the Mazda-sourced Ford Courier, the Ranger was the first compact truck developed by Ford. Introduced in 1982 for the 1983 model year in North America, the Ranger was introduced by Ford of Argentina in South America for the 1998 model year.
After three generations were produced by Ford (two by Ford Argentina), the Ranger was discontinued during the 2012 model year; in South America, the global-market Ranger T6 served as its replacement. For the 2019 model year, the Ranger T6 was introduced for North America, where it has been sold as a mid-size truck for the first time. The best-selling compact truck from 1987 to 2004 in the United States, the Ranger served as a close rival to the Chevrolet S-10, its Chevrolet Colorado successor, and its GMC counterparts.
During the production of the first three generations, the Ranger was produced at Louisville Assembly (Louisville, Kentucky), Edison Assembly (Edison, New Jersey), and Twin Cities Assembly Plant (Saint Paul, Minnesota); the final 2012 Ranger marked the end of production of Twin Cities Assembly.
The current fourth-generation Ranger is manufactured by Ford at Wayne Stamping & Assembly (Wayne, Michigan). South American Rangers have been produced by Ford Argentina since 1998 in its General Pacheco facility.
- 1 Development
- 2 Production
- 3 First generation (1983–1992)
- 4 Second generation (1993–1997)
- 5 Third generation (1998–2012)
- 6 Fourth generation (2019-present)
- 7 Variants
- 8 Sales
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Ford Courier (1972–1982)
For the 1972 model year, the Ford Courier was introduced as the first compact pickup truck sold by Ford. Following the rise of the compact truck segment during the 1960s, Ford entered into a partnership with Mazda to market the Mazda B1800 in North America; the Courier would become the first of several jointly manufactured vehicles between the two companies from the 1970s into the 2000s. Along with minimizing the risk for Ford of developing a vehicle in an unfamiliar market segment, the partnership provided Mazda with critically needed funds.
While sharing the cab and chassis with its Mazda counterpart, to increase its sales potential in North America, the Courier adapted design elements of the Ford F-Series, with twin round headlamps, silver grille, and "FORD" lettering on the hood above the grille. In 1977, the Courier and B1800 (later B2000) were redesigned with a larger cab, redesigned pickup bed, and tailgate. While closer in appearance to its Mazda counterpart, the Courier was given signal/parking lamps inset in the grille (rather than the bumper); an optional 2.3L Ford engine was not available the Mazda pickups.
From 1972 to 1982, the Ford Courier was manufactured alongside the Mazda B-Series in Hiroshima, Japan. To avoid the 25% Chicken tax on imported trucks, both vehicles were imported as cab-chassis trucks (taxed at 4% tariff). Following their importation to United States, pickup-truck beds shipped separately from Japan were installed before shipment to dealers.
Project Yuma: Ford Ranger development (1976–1982)
In 1976, Ford commenced development on "Project Yuma" as a replacement for the Courier. In addition to designing the first domestically-produced compact truck, another key factor driving the $700 million project was compliance with the fuel economy standards of the mid-1980s. At the launch of the project in 1976, Ford predicted that for the company to properly comply with 1985 CAFE standards, nearly 50% of pickup trucks sold in the United States would require a 4-cylinder engine. In 1976, compact trucks held a 5% share of pickup truck sales, with Ford predicting an expansion to 50% by 1985, equaling nearly a million sales per year.
Project Yuma was centered around quality and fuel efficiency. At the beginning of the project, Ford researched additional elements that were valued by potential compact truck buyers. Along with flexibility for both work and personal use, Ford found that buyers desired additional interior room, including three-across seating, comfortable seats, and headroom and legroom for a six-foot tall driver; other minor details were discovered such as five-bolt wheels and a larger ashtray.
During design, the body underwent extensive wind tunnel testing, to meet a planned 20 MPG fuel efficiency target (on its own, the standard front bumper spoiler added 1 MPG); its 0.45 drag coefficient bested that of the two-door Ford Mustang. To further improve fuel economy, the Ranger increased the use of high-strength steel and other lightweight materials, including a magnesium clutch housing, aluminum transfer case (for four-wheel drive), and a magnesium clutch/brake pedal bracket. To further save weight, the design of the front suspension was computer-optimized, rendering the front stabilizer bar optional. Though narrower than the F-Series and other full-size competitors, the cargo bed of the Ranger was given the capability to transport a four-foot wide sheet of material (considered an industry measure of space in pickup truck bed design) through the use of recesses to insert supports across the bed, allowing such material to be placed above the wheel wells.
The 1979 fuel crisis nearly doomed the Yuma/Ranger project, as it occurred between launch of the 1979 Ford LTD and 1980 Ford F-Series. After selling nearly one million F-Series trucks in 1978, in 1980, Ford had yet to gain a profit from its redesign of the F-Series. Ford President Don Petersen kept the compact truck project alive for several reasons. By 1980, General Motors was developing its own domestically-produced compact truck, with the Chevrolet S-10/GMC S-15 providing a potential competitor. Peterson also felt, if equipped correctly, buyers would pay nearly the same for a compact truck as a full-size truck (such as the F-100).
Around 1980, the Project Yuma truck took on the Ford Ranger name, adopting the name of the mid to upper-level trim used by the Ford F-Series and Bronco since 1965. In anticipation of the compact truck line, 1981 marked the final use of the Ranger trim for the F-Series and Bronco (replaced by XLS for 1982).
The Ranger was produced at the Louisville Assembly Plant in Louisville, Kentucky from 1982 to 1999. From 1993 to 2004, production also was sourced from Edison Assembly in Edison, New Jersey. For its entire production run until 2011, the Ranger was produced at Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St Paul, Minnesota. The final 2012 Ranger produced on December 16, 2011, ended 86 years of production at Twin Cities Assembly as well as the production of all compact pickups in the United States.
In 2008, Ford made its first plans to end production of the Ranger in North America; although its high productivity spared it from The Way Forward, Twin Cities Assembly (built in 1925) was the oldest Ford factory worldwide. Ford later extended the closure date of the factory to 2011, but in June 2011, a final closure date was announced. As Twin Cities was the sole production location of the Ranger in North America (from 1982), its closure brought the production of the Ranger to an end after 29 model years. The 2011 model year was the final model year for retail sales, with a shortened 2012 model year for fleet sales; the final North American-market Ranger (a white SuperCab Sport produced for pest-control company Orkin) was produced on December 16, 2011.
Over its production life, the chassis and suspension of the Ranger would be used for several compact Ford trucks and sport-utility vehicles. During the 1990s and 2000s, Mazda adopted a badge-engineered version of the Ranger, for their B-Series nameplate (the reverse of the Ford Courier produced by Mazda).
In 2015, as part of contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers, leaked reports over the future of the Michigan Assembly Plant included the potential decision of replacing Ford Focus and Ford C-Max production with an American-market version of the global Ranger. Along with the revival of the Ranger nameplate, the UAW negotiations also included a potential revival of the Ford Bronco SUV. At the 2017 North American International Auto Show, Ford confirmed the return of the Ranger and Ford Bronco, with the Ford Ranger as a 2019 model-year vehicle.
First generation (1983–1992)
1983–1988 Ford Ranger XLT
|Production||January 1982 – 1992|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door pickup truck|
2-door extended-cab pickup truck
107.9 in (2,741 mm)
113.9 in (2,893 mm)
125 in (3,175.0 mm)
1983–1988:175.6 in (4,460 mm)
1989–1992:176.5 in (4,483 mm)
1983–1988:187.6 in (4,765 mm)
1989–1992:188.5 in (4,788 mm)
1983–1988:192.7 in (4,895 mm)
1989–1992:193.6 in (4,917 mm)
|Width||1983–1988: 66.9 in (1,699 mm)|
1989–1992: 66.8 in (1,697 mm)
The first Ranger rolled off the Louisville assembly line on January 18, 1982. While initially slated for a traditional autumn release, to more closely compete with the introduction of the Chevrolet S-10, Ford advanced the launch of the 1983 Ranger several months, with the first vehicles reaching showrooms in March 1982.
Initially sold along its Courier predecessor, the first 1983 Ranger was priced at $6,203 ($16,570 in 2018). While far smaller in exterior size than the F-Series, 4x4 Rangers offered a payload of 1,600 pounds, matching or exceeding the F-100 in payload capacity. For 1984, the Ford Bronco II two-door SUV was introduced. Similar in size to the 1966–1977 Bronco, the Bronco II used a shortened version of the Ranger chassis, along with much of its interior components.
For the 1989 model year, the Ranger underwent a major mid-cycle revision to improve its exterior aerodynamics and interior ergonomics. For 1991, the Ford Explorer SUV was derived from the facelifted Ranger, sharing its front fascia, chassis, and interior components.
The first-generation Ranger uses a body-on-frame chassis design; while using a chassis developed specifically for the model line, the Ranger adopts many chassis design elements from the F-Series. Along with traditional leaf-spring rear suspension, the Ranger is fitted with Twin I-Beam independent front suspension. To minimize unsprung weight, the Twin I-Beams were constructed of stamped high-strength steel (rather than forged steel).
Rear-wheel drive was standard, with part-time four-wheel drive as an option (never offered in the Courier). Dependent on configuration, the Ranger was produced in three wheelbases: 107.9 inches (6-foot bed), 113.9 inches (7-foot bed), and 125 inches (SuperCab, introduced in 1986).
From 1983 to 1992, the first-generation Ranger was powered by 2.0L and 2.3L versions of the Ford "Lima" inline-4, the 2.8L, 2.9L, and 4.0L Ford Cologne V6, the 3.0L Ford Vulcan V6, and four-cylinder diesel engines sourced from Mazda (Perkins) and Mitsubishi. Two long-running engines associated with the Ford light trucks made their debut in the first-generation Ranger; the twin spark-plug version (with distributorless ignition) of the Pinto engine was introduced in 1989, remaining in use through 2001. In 1990, the 4.0L Cologne V6 was introduced; in modified form, the engine was used through the 2012 model-year discontinuation of the Ranger in North America.
A four-speed manual transmission was standard on all engines for 1983 and 1984, with a five-speed manual as an option; a three-speed automatic was offered on 2.3L and 2.8L engines. For 1985, the five-speed manual became the standard transmission, with a four-speed automatic offered on non-diesel Rangers. For 1989, the Mazda M5OD-R1 transmission became the standard transmission.
|1983–1992 Ford Ranger engine specifications|
|Ford Pinto LL20 I4||121 cu in (2.0 L) SOHC I4||1983–1988||73 hp|
|Ford Pinto LL23 I4||140 cu in (2.3 L) SOHC I4||1983–1984 (1-bbl)
|1983–1984: 80 hp1984–1988: 90 hp
1989–1992: 100 hp
|Ford Cologne V6||170 cu in (2.8 L) OHV V6
177 cu in (2.9 L) OHV V6
244 cu in (4.0 L) OHV V6
|2.8L: 115 hp
4.0L: 160 hp
|Ford Vulcan V6||182 cu in (3.0 L) OHV V6||1991–1992 (RWD only)||140 hp|
|Mazda S2 I4 diesel
|135 cu in (2.2 L) OHV I4
naturally aspirated, IDI
|Mitsubishi 4D55 I4 diesel||143 cu in (2.3 L) SOHC I4
Slightly larger than the Courier, the first-generation Ranger was approximately 18 inches shorter and 11 inches narrower than an equivalently configured F-100/F-150. While proportioned similar to the Chevrolet S-10 and Japanese-sourced compact trucks, adopted exterior design elements from the F-Series, including its twin headlamps, chrome grille, tailgate lettering, taillamps, and cab proportions. In line with the Courier, the Ranger was offered with two pickup bed sizes; a standard 6-foot length and an extended 7-foot length. In 1986, a third configuration was introduced, as the Ranger SuperCab extended cab was introduced. Stretched 17 inches behind the front doors for additional cab space, the SuperCab was offered with the 6-foot bed length; four-wheel drive SuperCabs were sold only with V6 engines.
During its production, the first-generation Ranger was offered with several seating configurations. A three-passenger bench seat was standard, with various types of bucket seats offered (dependent on trim level). As part of the 1989 mid-cycle update, a 40/60 split-bench seat was introduced. The SuperCab was offered with a pair of center-facing jump seats, expanding capacity to five.
From 1983 to 1988, the interior saw few major revisions. In 1986, the instrument cluster was revised, allowing the fitment of a tachometer. To streamline production, the Ranger shared interior components with other Ford vehicles, sharing the steering column, door handles, and window controls from the Ford Escort, Ford F-Series, and Ford Bronco; nearly the entire driver's compartment of the Ford Bronco II was directly sourced from the Ranger.
For 1989, the Ranger underwent a mid-cycle redesign with new front fenders, a restyled hood and grille, and flush-mounted composite headlamps (with larger marker lamps). To further improve aerodynamics, the front bumper was redesigned and enlarged to fit more closely with the front fenders. The interior was given a redesign, including new door panels, new seats, and an all-new dashboard (introducing a glovebox). To improve ergonomics, the instrument panel was redesigned for improved legibility, with automatic transmission Rangers receiving a column-mounted gearshift; manual-transmission versions saw the removal of the key-release button from the steering column.
The first-generation Ranger was marketed in five trim levels: S, Ranger, XL, XLS, and XLT. Intended largely for fleet sales, the Ranger S (introduced in 1984) was offered with virtually no available options. While still largely a work truck, the Ranger XL offered color-keyed trim, floor mats, and chrome bumpers. The XLS was marketed as the sportiest version of the Ranger, offering bucket seats, blackout trim, and tape stripe packages (essentially the successor to the 1970s "Free Wheeling" trims) while the XLT was offered with two-tone exteriors, chrome exterior trim, and upgraded interior trim.
The Ranger STX was introduced in 1985 for Ranger 4x4s on the West Coast of the United States, becoming fully available for 1986. Offering a "sport" suspension and larger tires, the STX was denoted by the offering of a bucket-seat interior and model-specific two-tone paint scheme.
- S - Included: Vinyl upholstery, tachometer (only on 4x4 models), halogen headlamps, black foldaway mirrors, and manual transmission.
- Sport - Added: power steering, tachometer on 4x2 and 4x4 models, rear step bumper, an AM stereo with digital clock or an AM/FM stereo with cassette player and clock, and aluminum rims.
- Custom - same as S.
- XLT - Added: cloth upholstery, sliding rear window, chrome rear step bumper, and deluxe wheel trim.
- STX - Added: tachometer on 4x2, floor console, fog lamps, an AM/FM stereo with clock, and sport cast aluminum rims.
Following an initial late 1986 introduction in California, Ford marketed the Ranger GT option package from 1987 to 1989. Marketed as a "sport pickup", the Ranger GT was offered only for regular-cab two-wheel drive Rangers. Powered by a 140 hp 2.9L V6 (paired with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission), the Ranger GT was equipped with front and rear anti-roll bars, a limited-slip differential, and performance tires. Initially offered for short-bed Rangers, the Ranger GT package became available for long-bed two-wheel drive Rangers.
The Ranger GT was available in either red, white, or blue paint colors; chrome trim was painted body color. In 1988, the exterior was modified, with a ground effects package, including a redesigned body-color front bumper, allowing for integrated fog lamps.
For 1990, the Ranger GT was discontinued; a one-off prototype was constructed in 1989 by the Ford Truck Public Affairs office, using a V6 from a Ford Taurus SHO and a 5-speed transmission from a Mustang GT.
Second generation (1993–1997)
|Also called||Mazda B-Series|
|Production||August 1992 – July 1997|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door compact|
|Engine||2.3 L OHC I4|
3.0 L Vulcan V6
4.0 L Cologne V6
5-speed Mazda M5OD-R1
|Wheelbase||107.9 in (2,741 mm)|
113.9 in (2,893 mm)
125.2 in (3,180 mm)
|Length||184.3 in (4,681 mm)|
196.3 in (4,986 mm)
198.2 in (5,034 mm)
|Width||69.4 in (1,763 mm)|
After a ten-year production run, Ford introduced the second generation of the Ranger for the 1993 model year with much of its chassis carried over from previous generation. Sharing no body panels with its predecessor, the redesigned Ranger shifted from a smaller-proportioned F-Series to a more aerodynamic design, no longer sharing its front fascia with the Ford Explorer. For the first time in the compact segment, the Ranger offered a stepside-style bed with the Ranger Splash.
For the 1994 model year, Ford commenced production of the Ranger for Mazda, who began to sell the model line as the B-Series pickup truck (effectively in reverse of the 1972-1982 agreement that produced the Ford Courier).
For 1995, the second-generation Ranger underwent a mid-cycle revision; in 1996, the model line became the first compact pickup to offer dual airbags.
The second-generation Ranger carried much of its chassis design from its predecessor, with a leaf-sprung rear suspension and a Twin I-Beam independent front suspension. Two wheelbases were carried over from the previous generation: 107.9 inches (short bed), 113.9 inches (long bed), with the SuperCab lengthened to 125.2 inches (0.2 inches longer).
Rear-wheel drive remained standard, with four-wheel drive as an option; a Dana 35 TTB front axle was used. With four-wheel drive Rangers, a manually-shifted transfer case was standard; a "Touch Drive" electronically-shifted transfer case was an option, using automatic-locking front-wheel hubs.
For 1995, the front brakes were revised, adopting two-piston brake calipers from the Ford Explorer; four-wheel anti-lock brakes were standardized on Rangers with 4-wheel drive and/or the 4.0L V6.
The standard engine on the second-generation Ranger was again the 2.3L inline-4 (retuned to 98 hp). The 2.9L V6 was retired, with the Ranger sharing two optional V6 engines with the Aerostar. The 140hp 3.0L V6 became standard on STX trim and SuperCab 4x4s (retuned to 145 hp in 1995). The 160 hp 4.0L V6 (also shared with the Explorer) remained an option.
The Mazda M5OD 5-speed manual remained the standard transmission for all three engines. In 1995, the A4LD 4-speed automatic was replaced by two electronically-controlled transmissions: the lighter-duty 4R44E (for the inline-4 and 3.0L V6) and the heavier-duty 4R55E (for the 4.0L V6). In 1997, the latter was replaced by the 5-speed 5R55E automatic, marking the first 5-speed automatic of an American manufacturer.
|1992-1997 Ford Ranger powertrain details|
|Ford Pinto LL23 I4||140 cu in (2.3 L) SOHC I4||1993-1997||1993-1994:
98 hp (73 kW)
133 lb⋅ft (180 N⋅m)
112 hp (84 kW)
135 lb⋅ft (183 N⋅m)
|Mazda 5-speed M5OD-R1 manual
Ford A4LD 4-speed automatic
Ford 4R44E 4-speed automatic
|Ford Vulcan V6||182 cu in (3.0 L) OHV V6||1993-1994:
140 hp (104 kW)
160 lb⋅ft (217 N⋅m)
145 hp (108 kW)
165 lb⋅ft (224 N⋅m)
|Mazda 5-speed M5OD-R1 manual
Ford A4LD 4-speed automatic
Ford 4R44E 4-speed automatic
|Ford Cologne V6||244 cu in (4.0 L) OHV V6||160 hp (119 kW)225 lb⋅ft (305 N⋅m)||Mazda 5-speed M5OD-R1 manual
Ford A4LD 4-speed automatic
Ford 4R55E 4-speed automatic
Ford 5R55E 5-speed automatic
The second-generation Ranger saw major changes centered around the exterior, sharing no body panels with its predecessor. In line with the Aerostar and Explorer, the Ranger adopted more aerodynamic body contours, with flush-mounted door glass, a lower hoodline, taller and wider doors (exterior rain gutters were eliminated, in line with the Ford Taurus); sideview mirror brackets were eliminated. In a major departure from other compact pickup trucks, the cab was widened nearly three inches, matching the mid-size Dodge Dakota in width.
The interior of the second-generation underwent a smaller degree of change (compared to the exterior). While the seats and door panels were new, the dashboard was nearly carryover from 1989-1992. For 1994, the instrument panel saw the introduction of a six-digit odometer; the doors saw the addition of side impact guard beams. In a functional change, the 1994 Ranger adopted R134a Freon (CFC-free) air conditioning.
For 1995, the Ranger underwent a mid-cycle revision for the exterior and interior. Distinguished by a revised grille (common for both rear-wheel drive and 4x4 Rangers), the 1995 Ranger shared its dashboard with the second-generation Explorer, with more ergonomic controls and a double DIN radio head unit. Alongside the introduction of a standard driver-side airbag, a power-operated driver seat became an option (for SuperCab Rangers). For 1996, a passenger side airbag was introduced as an option; to allow the use of a child safety seat, a key-operated lockout was supplied with the airbag option.
As with the first generation, the second-generation Ranger was offered in three basic body styles: a standard cab with 6 or 7-foot bed lengths, or a SuperCab extended cab (with short bed). In 1992, Ford introduced the first FlareSide bed for the Ranger with the Splash trim (see below); in 1996, the FlareSide bed became an option for all short-bed Rangers. In a break from its predecessor, rear-wheel drive and 4x4 Rangers were fitted with different grille designs, with a 6-hole design for 2WD models; 4x4 models were given a single-slot design. For 1995, all Rangers adopted a four-hole grille.
The second-generation Ranger largely carried over the trim lines from its predecessor. The base Ranger S (meant largely for fleets) was discontinued, with the XL becoming the standard Ranger trim. Alongside the standard XL was the XL Sport, Splash, XLT, and STX. For 1995, the STX trim became exclusive to 4x4 Rangers.
- XL - Included: Vinyl upholstery, bench seat, tinted glass, tachometer on 4x4, and steel rims.
- XL Sport - Added: sport tape stripe.
- XLT - Added: Floor consolette, cloth upholstery, an AM/FM stereo with clock, and full-faced steel wheels.
- STX - Added: cloth upholstery, captains chairs with floor console, power steering, an AM/FM stereo with cassette player and clock, and tachometer.
Introduced for the 1993 model year, the Ranger Splash was a sub-model of the second-generation Ranger. Alongside the FlareSide pickup bed, the Splash was fitted with a lowered suspension (1 inch in rear, 2 inches in front for 2WD versions); all versions were fitted with 4x4 Ranger grilles. The monochromatic exterior was fitted with special vinyl "Splash" decals on the sides and the tailgate.
Rear-wheel drive Splashes were fitted with chrome steel wheels while 4x4 versions were fitted with aluminum wheels.
|Ford Ranger Splash exterior details|
Third generation (1998–2012)
|Also called||Mazda B-Series|
|Production||August 1997 – December 16, 2011|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door compact|
2-door extended (1998–2011)
2+2-door extended (1999–2011)
4-door crew cab (South America)
|Related||Ford Explorer Sport Trac|
5-speed Mazda M5OD-R1
|Wheelbase||111.6 in (2,835 mm)|
117.6 in (2,987 mm)
125.9 in (3,198 mm)
|Length||188.5 in (4,788 mm)|
200.5 in (5,093 mm)
202.9 in (5,154 mm)
|Width||70.3 in (1,786 mm)|
|Height||68.3 in (1,735 mm)|
69.4 in (1,763 mm)
In 1997 for the 1998 model year, the Ranger got a major update to the same body design, by giving it a longer wheelbase and a 3.7 in (94 mm) longer cab for the regular cab models (part of which provided more room in the interior). The 1995 to 1997 model year interior look was retained. The Twin I-Beam front suspension was replaced by the wishbone-style system found on the Explorer and the front half of the frame was of "boxed", rather than C-channel construction. Rack and pinion steering was also added. The four-cylinder engine was increased to a 2.5-liter SOHC I4, giving it a 6% increase in power over the old 2.3-liter. It produced 117 hp (87 kW) and 149 lb⋅ft (202 N⋅m) of torque. Also, for the 2000 model year, amber rear turn signals were discontinued. 4x4 models were equipped with a PVH lockout system for the front axles. This system proved to be rather unreliable and was changed to a live axle setup in mid-2000.
The 2.5-liter engine was replaced by a new DOHC 2.3-liter Duratec inline-four in mid-2001. 2001 also saw the pushrod 4.0-liter V6 replaced by the SOHC version from the Explorer, bringing with it a more durable M5OD-R1HD manual transmission. Also in 2001, the five-speed automatic transmission that was introduced in 1997 for the 4.0-liter V6, was now also available with the 2.3- and 3.0-liter units. The Ranger received a facelift, including a new grille, hood, and front bumper, as well as updated headlights and taillights. SLP produced a version of the Ranger, called "Thunderbolt". This model included different options, such as a unique front and rear bumper, air intake, exhaust and even a spoiler.
In 2004, the Ranger received minor updates to the grille, hood, and front bumper. New front bucket seats were also added in 2004 to meet the new U.S. Federal safety requirements. It retained the dashboard lines of the previous years trucks with an instrument cluster change. In 2006, the Ranger received more minor updates to the grille, front side markers and taillights, along with a bigger rear Ford logo that was now centered in the tailgate. It also received new larger mirrors similar to those found on other Ford trucks and SUVs.
The latest Ranger offered a 143 hp (107 kW) 2.3-liter inline-four and a 207 hp (154 kW) 4.0-liter V6. The 3.0-liter Vulcan V6 was discontinued as of the 2009 model year. Ford uses code "R10" through "R19" in the fifth, sixth, and seventh VIN positions for all Rangers; R10, R14, and R18 are all rear-wheel drive; regular cab, two-door SuperCab, and four-door SuperCab respectively. R11, R15, and R19 are four-wheel drive; regular cab, two-door SuperCab, four-door SuperCab respectively.
In December 2009, Ford announced that specially designed custom graphics would be applied to the Ranger, beginning with the 2010 models. The feature was exclusive to Ford Dealers and allowed customers to pick a design that they wanted customized for their Ranger trims.
For the 2011 and 2012 model year, the level trims were adjusted. The XL trim has the standard level, followed by the XLT and Sport trims. The latter two included Sirius radio as an optional feature.
The Ranger was the first small pickup to introduce dual airbags as safety features. It received an "acceptable" frontal crash test rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety when they were first tested in 1998, while many of its competitors received "marginal" or "poor" ratings at that time. The exception was the Toyota Tacoma, which also got an "acceptable" rating.
The 2010 model year brought the addition of front seat combination head and torso airbags to improve passenger safety in a side-impact collision and earned "good" rating through the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's side impact test. Also, electronic stability control was added for the 2010 models as standard equipment.
- FX4 Level II
The FX4 Level II version comes with a special 31-spline 8.8-inch (223.5 mm) Ford 8.8 rear axle equipped with a Zexel-Torsen limited-slip differential, three skid plates, upgraded tow hooks, 31" BFGoodrich All Terrains, 15-inch forged Alcoa wheels, and Bilstein shocks. Inside, the Level II package added two-tone cloth seats, optional leather and rubber floors along with a six-CD MP3 headunit as standard options. The FX4 level II package was first available in 2003, though, in 2002 the very first "FX4" package, however, not the Level II, was available. The 2002 FX4 off-road package is identical to the 2003+ FX4 Level II package, since there wasn't a FX4 Level II package offered. The FX4 off-road package did differ from the FX4 Level II package after 2002. The 2002 FX4 off-road and 2003 FX4 Level II are often referred to be the "Holy Grail" of Rangers,[by whom?] since there were limited production of these trucks with both a manual transmission and manual 4x4. According to Ford, 17,971 Level IIs were built from 2002 through 2007 (including the 2002[clarification needed]), and 45,172 of the Off Roads were built from 2003 to 2009. The FX4 Off Road was available into 2009, but the Level II was stopped after 2007, though many Level II features could be ordered individually. In 2010 the Ranger discontinued the FX4 trim level for the U.S. market, but it remained available in the Canadian market.
The above pictures are of a 2006+ FX4 level 1. A Level II has a special "Level II" decal just behind the front wheels in the secondary paint color, as well as chrome "J" tow hooks.
- 1998– 1999 – 2.5 L (2507 cc) OHC I4, 117 hp (87 kW), 149 lb⋅ft (202 N⋅m)
- 2000– early 2001 – 2.5 L (2507 cc) OHC I4, 119 hp (89 kW), 146 lb⋅ft (198 N⋅m)
- late 2001–2002 – 2.3 L (2300 cc) Duratec I4, 135 hp (101 kW), 153 lb⋅ft (207 N⋅m)
- 2003–2010 – 2.3 L (2300 cc) Duratec I4, 143 hp (107 kW), 154 lb⋅ft (209 N⋅m)
- 1998–1999 – 3.0 L (2957 cc) Vulcan V6, 145 hp (108 kW), 178 lb⋅ft (241 N⋅m)
- 2000–2001 – 3.0 L (2957 cc) Vulcan V6, 150 hp (112 kW), 190 lb⋅ft (258 N⋅m)
- 2002 – 3.0 L (2957 cc) Vulcan V6, 146 hp (109 kW), 180 lb⋅ft (244 N⋅m)
- 2003–2004 – 3.0 L (2957 cc) Vulcan V6, 154 hp (115 kW), 180 lb⋅ft (244 N⋅m)
- 2005–2008 – 3.0 L (2957 cc) Vulcan V6, 148 hp (110 kW), 180 lb⋅ft (244 N⋅m)
- 1998–2000 – 4.0 L (4025 cc) Cologne V6, 160 hp (119 kW), 225 lb⋅ft (305 N⋅m)
- 2001–2010 – 4.0 L (4025 cc) Cologne V6, 207 hp (154 kW), 238 lb⋅ft (323 N⋅m)
Fourth generation (2019-present)
In January 2018, one year after announcing the production return of the Ranger to North America, Ford introduced the fourth-generation Ranger at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, marking the first Ford entry into the mid-size pickup truck segment. In place of commercial use, Ford seeks to market the Ranger to private buyers using the truck for recreation; creating a vehicle for those who seek a vehicle smaller than a full-size truck, along with F-Series owners seeking a vehicle with a smaller exterior footprint. The 2019 Ranger began production on October 29, 2018, and went on sale in January 2019. The North American market 2019-present Ford Ranger is produced at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant (formerly Wayne Stamping and Assembly). The plant most recently produced the 2012-2018 Ford Focus and 2013-2018 Ford C-Max. When production of the Ford Focus ended in May of 2018, the plant was retooled to produce the new Ranger.
Ford Ranger EV (1998–2002)
The first battery electric vehicle produced by Ford in North America, the Ford Ranger EV was produced from 1998 to 2002. Originally fitted with lead-acid batteries, Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries were introduced for 1999. While using the frame of a 4x4 Ranger, the Ranger EV was rear-wheel drive with a rear-mounted driveline. It is also the only rear-wheel drive American-produced Ford fitted with a de Dion rear suspension. Externally, the Ranger EV is primarily distinguished from a standard Ranger by its grille; the Ranger EV has a grille-mounted charging port on the right third of its grille.
During its production, 1,500 Ranger EVs were produced; as with most electric vehicles of the 1990s, it was offered exclusively through lease. While most fleet-leased Ranger EVs were returned to Ford after the end of the lease and dismantled, some Ranger EVs leased by individuals were purchased and remain in use.
Mazda B-Series/Mazda Truck (1994–2010)
For 1994, Mazda North America ended imports of the B-series from Japan, entering into an agreement with Ford to market a rebadged version of the Ranger as the B-series in the United States and Canada. For Mazda, whose 1986-1993 B-series had struggled in North America, the new B-series was a variant of one of the highest-selling compact trucks. In addition, selling a truck produced in the United States allowed Mazda to entirely circumvent the 25% "chicken tax".
While Mazda continued sales of the previous-generation B-series for global markets, for the United States and Canada, the B-series adapted the body configurations and powertrains as the Ranger; two-wheel drive and 4x4 versions were offered. As with previous generations, badging was related to engine displacement; versions with the 2.3L inline-four were the B2300, the 3.0L V6 as the B3000, and the 4.0L V6 as the B4000.
To distinguish Ford and Mazda trucks from one another, stylists gave the B-series its own front fascia and pickup truck bed; the extended cab (Cab Plus) was styled with blacked-out and chrome window trim. At its launch, Mazda sold the B-series in two trim lines, SE and LE (equivalent to Ranger XL and XLT, respectively). For 1997, the trim levels were revised, as the LE was dropped in favor of SE-5 and SE-5+; for 1998, SX became the base trim, with SE becoming the highest trim. For 2002, the B-series was renamed Mazda Truck, though all fender badging denoting engine size remained.
During its production, the B-series/Truck largely followed the development of the Ranger in its body and chassis. For 1997, Mazda dropped the B3000 (separately from Ford); the model returned for 1998. For 1998, the B-series underwent the same body and chassis redesign as the Ranger, with a new front fascia, redesigned pickup bed (with vestigial fenders), and a larger-displacement standard engine (creating the B2500). During 1998, rear-hinged doors were added to Cab Plus models, a first in the pickup truck segment (alongside SuperCabs of the Ford Ranger and F-Series). For 2001, the B2300 returned (with a Ford Duratec DOHC engine) and the B4000 received a SOHC 4.0L V6 engine.
As the B-series became the Mazda Truck for 2002, it underwent its final exterior update, introducing a centered Mazda badge to the grille. After 2007, the B3000 was discontinued (as production of the 3.0L Vulcan V6 ended within a year). As Mazda North America began to shift away from pickup truck sales, the Mazda Truck was withdrawn from the United States after the 2009 model year. Sold in Canada for 2010, the final Mazda Truck rolled off the Twin Cities Assembly Plant assembly line on December 11, 2009.
South American production (1996-2011)
In 1995, Ford began exports of the Ranger from the United States to Argentina; initial exports started with two-door SuperCab equipped with the 4.0-liter gasoline Cologne V6. As demand increased, Ford made the decision to produce it locally in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the Ford General Pacheco Assembly Plant for the local market and subsequently for the rest of Latin America.
The first Rangers produced at General Pacheco were built in 1996, with Ford offering single cab versions with gasoline engines. By November 1997, supply was increased with both diesel and gasoline engines, two-wheel and four-wheel drive, and different levels of equipment. After two years of local production, Ford of Argentina introduced a redesigned version of the Ranger for 1998. Featuring the same updates as its counterpart in the United States, a new four-door double cab body variant exclusive to South America made its debut. As Ford was developing the functionally similar Ford Explorer Sport Trac at the time, the double-cab Ford Ranger was not produced or marketed in the United States or Canada.
Starting in 1998, Ford began to phase out the Ford Courier name on its Mazda-produced compact pickups sold globally in favor of the Ranger nameplate (though the Courier remained in use in Australia). Consequently, exports of the North American-produced Ranger were primarily limited to South America, including Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. To better match the needs of local buyers, Ford of Argentina offered three different turbodiesel powertrain options, including a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel with 115 hp (85 kW) starting in 1998, a 2.8-liter with 135 hp (99 kW) starting in 2002 and a 3.0-liter with 163 hp (122 kW) and 280 lb⋅ft (380 N⋅m) of torque mated to an Eaton FSO-2405-A five-speed manual transmission starting in 2004.
The 2001 exterior facelift given to North American Rangers was not carried over to South American versions, with the 1998 front bodywork remaining until the 2003 model year. For 2004, both versions were given the same grille (though Argentine-produced versions were designed with projector-style headlamps). Following a US$156.5 million upgrade to the General Pacheco factory in 2007, several upgrades were made to the South American Ranger; a number of them would diverge the model from its US counterpart. For 2008, the Ranger received a makeover with a grill and headlights similar to the 2006 North American version; bed extenders became available for all boxes.
For 2010, Ford of Argentina gave the Ranger its largest facelift since 1992. Exclusive to South America, the update replaced the hood, front fenders and bumper with a more aggressive design; to allow for a more aggressive stance, large wheel arches were included. For the first time, the Ranger adopted the Ford three-bar corporate grille; the door handles were redesigned, shifting to a loop-style design. The interior was largely unchanged, as were the powertrain offerings. A new option (for Argentina and Brazil) included an engine powered by compressed natural gas, making it the first pickup truck to offer a factory-built natural gas vehicle (NGV) commercially available in those countries.
In 2012, Ford of Argentina replaced the US-derived Ranger with the larger Ranger T6. Designed by Ford of Australia, the Ranger T6 consolidated the Ford- and Mazda-based versions of the Ranger onto a single platform sold globally, introduced to North America for 2019.
Ford Ranger (Argentina) wheelbases and bed lengths:
- 1998–2012 – 111.5 inches (2,831 mm) – 6 ft. bed (1,732mm) Single Cab
- 1998–2012 – 117.6 inches (2,987 mm) – 7 ft. bed (2,129mm) Single Cab
- 1998–2012 – 125.7 inches (3,192 mm) – 5 ft. bed (1,467mm) Double Cab
|2.3 L Duratec HE gasoline I4||2004–present||148 hp (110 kW)||159 lb⋅ft (216 N⋅m)|
|3.0 L Power Stroke diesel I4||2004–present||163 hp (122 kW)||280 lb⋅ft (380 N⋅m)|
|Ford Ranger sales (1985-2012)|
|Calendar year||US sales|
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