A new Ford solid-axle SUV? Yep, it's coming soon. . .
Okay, first, the bad news: It’s been reported by a variety of online sources over the weekend, and we can now confirm that Ford will indeed discontinue the Ranger next year. But wait, there’s more . . .
Now, the good news: Ford will re-launch a new midsize truck, to be known as the F-100, in late 2010 for the 2011 model year. The new pickup, to be based off a chopped and lightened F-150 platform, is said to be roughly 4/5ths the size of the current F-150 and will be available, a’la the Dakota, with a choice of V-6 or V-8 engines; the 250hp, 3.5L twin-turbo direct-injection V-6 will be offered as standard equipment with the 4.4L V-8 available on upscale trim packages. Among cab configurations to be offered will be a genuine five-seater crew-cab model. (Translation: Adios, Sport Trac.) We’d be perfectly happy with the base V-6, but we have one request: Can we get ours with a stick tranny and a rear locker? Please?
And now, the totally-awesome-bitchin’ news: To compete against the Jeep Wrangler and the upcoming Hummer H4, Ford will manufacture a midsize 4x4 SUV off the same chassis as the upcoming F-100. And yep, the vehicle will be called the Bronco, and according to sources, it will have solid axles at both ends, a removable top, and a fold-down windshield a’la the Wrangler. The new Bronc’ is slated to go on sale around the same time as the F-100. We’re happy to see that the success of the new Wrangler has convinced Ford execs that there’s still room for a trail-oriented 4x4 sport-ute in its small SUV line, and we can’t wait to get our hands on one.
Finally, a brand-new Ranger based on a still-under-development Ford global mini-truck chassis will launch in late 2012. We’ll pass along more info about all these new trucks as soon as we hear more about them.