Published on March 14th, 2024 | by Subhash Nair


Ford Ranger Turns 42 Years Old. Here’s a Snapshot Of Its History

The Ford Ranger nameplate is now 42 years old, but it has more than one birthday to celebrate.

Back in March of 1982, the Ford Ranger debuted as a compact pick-up truck in North America. There, it replaced the Ford Courier which was a small pick-up based on Mazda’s design. Much like the Ford Maverick of today, the Ford Ranger was there to serve customers who didn’t need something as large as an F150. Sharing parts with SUVs like the Bronco II and Explorer, the North American Ford Ranger went on for nearly 3 decades before being discontinued. During the production of this particular Ranger, Mazda would rebadge them as the B-series pick-up in certain markets.

Separately, the international version of the Ford Ranger – the one most Malaysians are familiar with, began life not in 1982 but in 1998. This time Mazda would return to engineer this familiar International Ranger pick-up in 1998, which was also sold as the 4th generation Courier in Australia and New Zealand despite having no relation to prior generations of the Courier. It was also sold as the Mazda BT-50 of course.

The Ranger was reinvented once again in 2011 when Ford developed the T6 platform in Australia. This time the Ranger was the engineering backbone behind the Mazda BT-50. In a way, this shift back to real Ford DNA marks a THIRD birthday for the Ranger.

The subsequent Ford Ranger, the one that’s still on sale today is not completely re-engineered from the ground up and still uses some fundamental elements from the T6 platform. That being said, this new Ranger definitely marks another significant change for Ford as it is no longer the basis for the Mazda BT-50, but the basis of the new Volkswagen Amarok instead.

Ford Ranger PHEV towing

The Ford Ranger today remains one of the most modern, lifestyle-oriented, and design centric pick-up trucks. It’s the easiest to drive in its class thanks to robust electric power steering, shift by wire technology and loads of tech features including full self-parking. They’ve also got themselves a hero product in the form of the Ranger Raptor, which comes in both petrol and diesel power in Malaysia. In some markets, the Ranger even comes with a plug-in hybrid powertrain!

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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