We suspected it was coming but this could be our first look at the ground-breaking Ford Ranger plug-in hybrid. As we reported back in February the Ranger is set to add a hybrid variant and spy photos from Europe appear to confirm that.
Website Motor1.com has published a series of images of the Ranger undergoing testing in the European summer. While not much of the vehicle can be seen thanks to all the camouflage, what is clearly visible is a yellow sticker on the windscreen which is typical of PHEV prototypes.
This fits with the blue oval’s European plans because the company committed in February to offering all-electric or PHEV variants of every model by 2024. By extension that means the Ranger will need a PHEV powertrain to European markets and that opens the door for it to come to Australia too.
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It would be a major boost to Ford Australia’s green credentials, allowing it to become the first major car brand to offer a PHEV ute in our market.
While details of the powertrain remain unconfirmed, it’s expected that Ford will pair its 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with at least one electric motor to create the Ranger PHEV. A similar set-up is already used in the Escape PHEV where it makes 167kW of power and has an EV-only range of more than 50km.
It won’t be the only engine offered though with the Range getting a revamped line-up which will include a new 130kW/420Nm single-turbo four-cylinder diesel, 157kW/500Nm twin-turbo diesel and a pair of V6 engines with the flagship packing 230kW/540Nm.
Hybrid and electric utes are set to become more common in the coming years. Ford in the USA has already unveiled the F-150 Lightning and the Maverick hybrid, while the Rivian R1T and Tesla Cybertruck are both expected to eventually make their way to Australian roads.