How Ford can beat Toyota: How the all-new Ranger can outshine the new HiLux – even without a V8 engine

Sure, the rumoured Ford Ranger V8 likely won’t be happening, but that doesn’t mean the Blue Oval is lying down in its fight with the Toyota HiLux.

In fact, with an all-new Ranger arriving next year – just in time to take on an updated Toyota HiLux – the ball’s in Ford’s court when it comes to furthering the dual-cab story in Australia.

And with Ford falling behind in the 2020 sales races – Toyota has shifted 12,284 examples of the HiLux this year, versus 10,474 examples of the Ranger – the Blue Oval will be looking forward to some fresh metal to claim a victory over its arch rival.

Here’s how it can happen.

Ford already has bragging rights over the HiLux, courtesy not just of the 157kW and 500Nm on offer from the 2.0-litre twin-turbo-diesel fitted to the Ranger Raptor, but even the five-cylinder, 3.2-litre diesel’s 147kW and 470Nm outshines the current HiLux’s outputs of 130kW and 450Nm.

Toyota is set to up the ante a little later this year, when the updated HiLux scores a needed power boost of around 20kW and 20Nm, with the brand thought to be targeting around 150kW and 470Nm for its 2021 HiLux.

But Ford is reportedly set to extend the lead even further with its all-new 2021 Ranger, with the brand thought to be installing the Raptor’s 500Nm diesel as the entry point to the new range.

And that’s just the beginning. Those with a thirst for more grunt are expected to have access to a punchy 3.0L Power Stroke V6 Turbo Diesel currently at work in America’s Ford F-150, where it produces 186kW and 596Nm. Expect both to be paired with the brand’s 10-speed automatic gearbox. 

To topple those mighty numbers, Toyota will have to rely on the GR HiLux, the trademark for which has already been lodged in Australia, which is expected to the get its own thumping 3.5-litre V6 diesel (borrowed from the LandCruiser 300 Series), which should produce more than 200kW and 650Nm. For that, though, you’ll have to watch this space. 

The new Toyota HiLux will also finally welcome Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to the party this year, presumably controlled through the carryover 7.0-inch colour touchscreen, which combines with a 4.2-inch driver info display. 

For what to expect from the new Ranger, we again look to the USA, with technology being rolled out there expected to make an appearance in Australian-delivered utes. 

That means top-spec Rangers could benefit from a whopping 12.8-inch portrait-style screen, and that will deliver Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and the latest Ford SYNC infotainment software. 

There’s also the new Raptor to consider, with a tight-lipped Ford so far only promising “we will make it better”, including, we expect, the inclusion of that punchy V6 diesel. 

Ford Performance program manager Justin Capicchiano has promised CarsGuide big things from the hardcore ute, suggesting tyres, suspension and powertrains could be under review. 

“There is a Raptor that we are working on. We do not comment on future product, but I would never want a product to be worse, or the same, as the last one.

“If you’re not moving the vehicle forwards, then you’re gong backwards. There are a lot of people who care intimately about this car, and they want it to be better, and it will be better.

“When I compare what we did with other programs, everything moves forward, with different technologies with tyres, suspension, powertrains.”