Ford Ranger chassis cab ready for conversions in 2021

  • Ford launches Ranger chassis cab for the first time, targeting conversion market
  • Single-cab design with 4x4 for maximum utility and load carrying; will tow 3,500kg
  • Potential uses include rescue services, blue-light services, forestry and construction

It seems crazy – but until now there has never been a chassis cab version of the Ford Ranger pickup. The current model was launched in 2011, and finally, in January 2021 you will be able to order a Ranger chassis cab to meet your off-road capable conversion needs.

The new Ford Ranger chassis cab is based on the single-cab body, giving it just two seats but the largest possible area to mount the conversion, and is hoping to attract interest from a wide selection of businesses, including utility companies, the construction industry, rescue operators (including roadside assistance), forestry firms, the police and the military.

How go anywhere is it?

All Ranger chassis cabs are based on the work-orientated XL specification, but include the 170hp version of Ford’s 2.0-litre EcoBlue turbodiesel commercial vehicle engines and a four-wheel drive system with low-range capability for trickier off-road terrain.

Ford Ranger chassis cab, 2021, rear view, construction industry render

Based around a ladder-frame chassis, it comes with ‘heavy-duty’ rear leaf springs and a flat rear surface for converters to build on. The front overhang is short, helping with the approach angle, while wading depth is rated as high as 800mm; pre-conversion there’s 237mm of ground clearance, too.

A six-speed manual gearbox and 420Nm of torque complete the package.

What sort of conversion capability does the Ranger chassis cab have?

The single-cab design leaves a maximum conversion length of 2,518mm while the maximum gross vehicle mass is 3,270kg; having checked with Ford, we're told minimum basic kerb weight is 1,899kg.

Maximum towing capacity is 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes).

Ford does say that it’s already been working with converters to ensure the Ranger chassis cab is suitable for a wide range of conversions – including box bodies, tippers and cherry pickers.

Ford Ranger chassis cab, 2021, rear view, cherry picker render

There are some 160 Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) converters across Europe, and although not all of these will deal with pickup conversions, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find an approved conversion specialist for the way you plan to use the vehicle.

Ford provides full chassis details for its converters in the Ford ‘Body, Equipment and Mounting manual’, and any QVM Ranger will have the same level of warranty cover as standard Ford vehicles.

Ford Special Operations can provide additional solutions to help make the conversion process even sharper – from trailer tow electrical connectors and high performance batteries for additional electrical demand right through to an interface link that will, for example, make sure it’s impossible to operate a tipper body unless the Ranger is parked and in neutral.

Does the Ranger chassis cab have any rivals?

The most obvious rival here is the Isuzu D-Max – as Isuzu already does a roaring trade in conversions, including many of the types Ford has specifically outlined here.

Ford Ranger chassis cab, 2021, rear view, roadside assistance render

In addition the Nissan Navara and the Toyota Hilux are also available as chassis cabs from the factory, ready for conversion. These, however, are based on the extended- and double-cab models, which reduces space and weight available for the conversion but does allow them to carry up to five people.

When does the Ranger chassis cab go on sale and how much does it cost?

No word on pricing yet, but Ford has officially announced that the Ranger chassis cab will go on sale in January 2021. That’s when order books will open, so expect delivery in spring at the earliest.

Ford of Europe commercial vehicles conversions manager, Paul Baynes, commented: ‘We’ve built the Ranger chassis cab for customers who work in the most demanding environments and need a tough, off-road vehicle to carry their specialist kit. Combined with Ford’s extensive QVM converter network, Ranger chassis cab enables our customers to get the job done, wherever they work.’

We look forward to testing one in the new year.

Also read:

>> Our main Ford Ranger review

>> Toyota Hilux Tipper review

>> The Parkers pickup group test – every major model compared