Six-Wheeled Ford Ranger Hybrid Upgrade Increases Max Payload To 8,377 Pounds

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If the new Ford Ranger isn’t capable enough, a new upgrade from Ricardo should fix that. The company’s new HEX system adds an extra axle to the pickup truck while increasing its hauling capability.

Ricardo designed the Ford Ranger HEX 6×6 to increase its payload capacity and off-road capability. The modified pickup can accommodate payloads of up to 8,377 pounds (3,800 kilograms). That’s a sizable increase over the truck’s standard 1,905-lb rating. It even trounces the F-150’s 3,325-lbs capacity.

The conversion uses a De Deion rear suspension setup that Ricardo says is weight-efficient and robust. The setup can decouple the suspension and drive systems, allowing flexibility. Different drive units could be used or deleted. A cheaper, 6×4 variant is possible without compromising the vehicle’s payload capacity that uses a “lazy” axle.

The Ranger HEX features regenerative braking, feeding energy into the battery pack during deceleration. Ricardo designed the hybrid system to mitigate performance loss when carrying heavy payloads. The electric drive unit provides additional torque. To simplify maintenance and repair, the company houses all high-voltage components in a single enclosure.

The Ford-sourced electric drive unit adds 282 horsepower (210 kilowatts). Under the hood is Blue Oval’s 249-hp (186-kilowatt) 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine.

Ricardo designed the HEX system as a bolt-on upgrade for the Ranger, and it doesn’t require any alterations to the base vehicle. Owners can remove the system and install it on a different vehicle without compromising the base vehicle’s original integrity.

Ricardo is an engineering consulting company that operates in various industries, including the public sector, mass transit, financial services, energy and utilities, manufacturing, and the automotive industry. It has projects in motorsports, motorcycles, commercial vehicles, passenger cars, and high-performance vehicles.

McLaren announced in May that Ricardo would build the brand’s new hybrid V8 engine. The consulting company has been building powertrains for McLaren since the 12C in 2011. The company has made approximately 34,000 engines for the British automaker.

Ford electrified the Ranger this week in Europe. The automaker gave the popular pickup, the number-one commercial truck in Europe, says Ricardo, its first-ever plug. The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle won’t begin deliveries until 2025, but the truck will arrive with a 2.3-liter PHEV system that is estimated to offer up to 28 miles of range on a single charge.

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