The new-generation Ford Ranger has been given an extra axle, an electric motor and an almost four-tonne payload capacity by a UK company – just don’t expect to buy one from your nearest showroom.
A British engineering firm has more than doubled the Ford Ranger’s power output by giving the popular ute an electric boost, along with an extra pair of driven wheels.
Built by UK firm Ricardo – which also manufactures engines for McLaren supercars – the Ranger HEX is designed to be used by defence forces around the globe, and now features a 6×6 (six-wheel-drive) layout and plug-in hybrid power. 
The HEX augments the regular Ford Ranger’s 186kW 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 engine with an electric motor which drives its four rear wheels, and can provide an extra 210kW on demand.
The electric motor is powered by a battery which can be recharged through regenerative braking or via a cable, with multiple pack sizes on offer depending on what customers order.
Coincidentally Ford has just unveiled a plug-in hybrid Ranger for showrooms – but with a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine (and four wheels), rather than a turbo-diesel V6.
Ricardo claims an uprated payload capacity of 3800kg for the Ranger HEX – about 2800kg more than the standard V6 turbo-diesel Ranger Wildtrak.
To cope with the extra payload capacity, the Ranger’s standard rear beam axle and leaf springs have been exchanged for a less-conventional De Dion-style rear axle.
The Ricardo Ranger HEX isn’t expected to come to showrooms, though there are a number of established 6×6 ute conversion companies in Australia which have built six-wheeled versions of the previous-generation Ford Ranger.
While Ricardo hasn’t listed how much its own Ranger HEX costs, six-wheel conversions for the Ranger in Australia can cost upwards of $60,000. 
It’s not the first time the new-generation Ranger has been turned into a specialised vehicle for defence forces.
In August, Ford’s Global Fleet Sales division unveiled the FG-P – a four-wheeled light tactical vehicle designed to be used in high-risk environments which call for silent movement.
The range of four-cylinder and V6 diesel engines which power the standard Ford Ranger drive the FG-P’s four wheels most of the time, though the tactical vehicle has also been equipped with an electric motor and battery pack to silent driving the rear axle under certain conditions.
The electric motor can be activated when the ute’s transmission is put into neutral and its ‘silent mode’ is engaged – allowing it to drive at speeds up to 20km/h, though higher speeds in electric mode are available upon request.
Jordan Mulach is Canberra/Ngunnawal born, currently residing in Brisbane/Turrbal. Joining the Drive team in 2022, Jordan has previously worked for Auto Action, MotorsportM8, The Supercars Collective and TouringCarTimes, WhichCar, Wheels, Motor and Street Machine. Jordan is a self-described iRacing addict and can be found on weekends either behind the wheel of his Octavia RS or swearing at his ZH Fairlane.
Find New cars by type
Popular makes
Cars for Sale by location
Copyright 2023ABN: 84 116 608 158
Copyright 2023ABN: 84 116 608 158
DAP Pricing– Unless otherwise stated, all prices are shown as Manufacturer's Recommended List Price (MRLP) inclusive of GST, exclusive of options and on road costs.