Ford Considering Unibody Ranger Replacement?

rangerWe’ve made no qualms about our disappointment with Ford and its unwillingness to replace the Ranger, a mid-size pickup that was one of the few alternatives to a full-size truck. Ford has insisted that consumers would rather have a full-size truck, but rumor has it that the Blue Oval might be considering a car-based, unibody pickup to replace the hole left by the Ranger.

Production of the Ford Ranger ended in December of 2011, bringing to a close an era of the mid-size American pickup. Sure there are still other contenders, including the Chevy Colorado and Nissan Frontier, but the Ranger was the undisputed king. Ford reasoned that the overlap in price, size, and fuel economy meant there wasn’t a business case for the Ranger, but grumblings among consumers have not been quelled. To date, one of our most popular posts ever is a petition to get Ford to bring their global Ranger to the U.S.

Ford is finally starting to realize that there is a real demand for a true “compact” pickup that is affordable, fuel efficient, and capable. To wit, Ford may be planning a unibody pickup, most likely based on one of Ford’s global chassis architectures. Such a vehicle would have a payload of around 1,000 pounds, a towing capacity of 3,000 pounds, and could even be front-wheel drive. Wrap your mind around that.

As a consumer in the market for a fuel efficient-yet-effective vehicle, this writer’s heart lights up with joy at the prospect of such a vehicle. Stick the 1.6 liter or 2.0 liter EcoBoost engine in there, and you could easily have a 30 mpg pickup with versatility to match. Of course, Ford could do what GM is doing, and just import their diesel-powered pickup from abroad…but we won’t hold our breath for that.

Does the idea of a fuel efficient, car-based Ford Ranger appeal to you? Or would you rather have a more traditional body-on-frame setup, even if it meant sacrificing fuel economy?

Source: Car & Driver


Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.