The next generation Ford truck lineup might migrate to a shared platform.
Ford has only just pulled the wraps off an all-new fourteenth generation of its ubiquitous F-150 pickup truck, and yet we're already hearing news about its next-generation successor.
Namely, according to Australia's CarsGuide, the fifteenth-generation Ford F-150 could share its underpinnings with the next Ford Ranger, both trucks rolling on a flexible, modular truck platform that could be scaled to suit either application. Sharing a platform in this way could result in some significant cost savings for Ford, both because platform development in itself is hugely expensive, and because it could allow the trucks to share more parts in common.
Mind you, it's expected to take the better part of a decade for Ford to migrate both its light-duty pickups to a common platform; not only is the fifteenth-generation F-150 just starting its product lifecycle, but the Ranger, too, is quite young, first launching for 2019 in the US market. It would be foolish for Ford to replace those products long before their expiration dates, after just a couple of years on sale, and CarsGuide puts the anticipated launch of the next-generation light-duty trucks at around 2028.
But shifting both trucks to a single platform could have big ramifications when it comes to powertrains. The all-new Ford F-150 will offer both hybrid and battery-electric propulsion as options, but there's no word on whether anything similar is planned for the Ford Ranger anytime soon. However, give both trucks the same chassis architecture, and suddenly the prospect of the Ranger inheriting F-150's eco-friendly powertrains becomes that much more likely.
Ford alluded to the idea that its light-duty trucks could share a platform a couple of years ago, when the automaker announced a plan to narrow its portfolio of global platforms to just five basic architectures, including one each for FWD-based and RWD-based cars and crossovers, one for pure EVs, and one for commercial vehicles. Moreover, in a release last year, Ford Australia revealed that "elements of the Ranger platform will integrate with Ford's single, global body on frame flexible architecture, which will be led out of the United States."
According to CarsGuide, the shift to a common platform will be accompanied by an increase in size for both the Ranger and the F-150, the models gaining additional cabin and cargo space. It's hard to find fault with that.