Wildest 2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series yet? New LC300 4x4 gets seriously sporty body kit from M'z Speed to punish Nissan Patrol Nismo
Have you taken delivery of are you waiting for your new Toyota LandCruiser 300...
Browse over 9,000 car reviews
Ford has finally released the first details of the long-awaited six-cylinder version of its best-selling Ranger pick-up, along with information on other engines and transmissions destined for its most important release this decade in Australia.
Of course, the 3.0-litre V6 will be the jewel in the crown of what is the comprehensively redesigned and re-engineered T6.2 series truck when orders commence in the second quarter of next year, but we understand that only the highest-spec Wildtrak will get it in this first instance.
The controversial 2.0-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel (badged Bi-Turbo) will continue, but a single-turbo version in two power outputs will replace the old 2.2-litre four-pot turbo-diesel as the base engine in the base, workhorse 2022 Ranger grades.
No output, economy or other data has yet been released for any of these engines.
These all mark the end of the hoary old 3.2-litre in-line five-cylinder turbo-diesel that has served the T6 Ranger since 2011.
Others Ranger models will score the V6 diesel – notably the upcoming T6.2 Raptor that’s still under wraps as well as the closely related Everest SUV that is also still a secret – but for now, you’ll probably need to save up to $80,000 or more for the Wildtrak V6 privilege.
It was first seen in its latest incarnation in the 2018 F-150 truck. But this engine has been totally revised for Ranger, with different calibration and validation work bringing a redesigned turbo and lubrication system for improved performance in off-road conditions, according to T6 powertrain engineering manager Pritika Maharaj.
“It’s ideal for towing… it feels like a much bigger truck,” the veteran of 20 global engines and over a dozen vehicle programs revealed earlier this month.
Other details are scant, but we expect this 2993cc dual overhead cam 24-valve 60-degree V6 to use a variable-geometry turbo to help deliver around 190kW of power and nearly 600Nm of torque if the F-150 figures are anything to go by.
The V6 diesel is mated to the 10R80 Ford/GM 10-speed torque-converter automatic as per its larger American cousin, but Ms Maharaj states that it has been updated, is stronger and lighter, and features a new torque converter for more responsiveness, less lag, smaller gaps between ratios and a tow/haul 4x4 mode when loaded up. It also boasts real-time adaptive shift scheduling from F-150 and F-150 Raptor, and comes with six million kilometres of real-world testing and four million kilometres of sanctioned off-road testing.
Meanwhile, the 2.0-litre twin-turbo from the long-lived Panther engine family has come in for big revisions prior to its T6.2 appearance, though – again – what the final specs are remain a closely held secret for now. Expect outputs to stay steady at around 155kW and 500Nm, with a six-speed manual being the standard gearbox.
Ford T6 chief engineer, Ian Foston, admits the 10R80 10-speed auto has also been substantially modified for this application, to address performance and smoothness concerns in the current Ranger Bi-Turbo.
“Certainly, we listened to customers, and I'm hoping that when you get around to driving the vehicle closer to launch, you can make your own mind up about the improvements we've made,” he said.
“But we focused a lot on the durability of the powertrain, how customers are using trucks and the feedback they get from that in terms of how smooth it is, so clearly (these are) things we have listened and taken on board.”
Related to the 125kW/390Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel found in the popular Transit van series, the new single-turbo version will use the 6R80 six-speed torque-converter auto as an option to the standard five-speed manual. Both manuals are the new MT88 units, specifically designed for T6, with modularity and scalability, to provide what Ford says is best-in-class torque density, more torque ability, and a more car-like shift feel.
Finally, for now at least, there is the 2.3-litre EcoBoost in-line four-cylinder turbo petrol engine. Though it was first developed for the current North American T6 Ranger released in 2019, it won’t be offered in Australian-bound Rangers for now. It currently produces around 200kW and 420Nm.
Referring to these new or revised T6.2 engines as one of the most researched and customer-focus intensive programs of her career, Ms Maharaj said that there was a list of objectives that her team of engineers worked through to achieve their goals.
“It really comes from our development process,” she said.
“Because we’re engineering, and we’re looking at customer wants and where we are at with the product, it’s like an evolutionary process where we say: how could we make it better? That’s how we basically come up with a list of wants that we then go about trying to see how we can make it better.”
Stay tuned, as we'll have more Ranger engine details as Ford releases them.