The current-gen Ford Ranger is set to end production next year, and by default the F-150 will replace it as the Blue Oval’s smallest vehicle with an open bed. Despite the reported impending introduction of a basic 3.7-liter V-6 to the F-150 lineup, Ford will still have to make up the pricing gap between the Ranger and F-150. There is a $4000 difference in starting MSRPs between the two trucks for the 2010 model year.

"We're going to continue to make the F-Series significantly more fuel efficient while still providing the level of capability that the F-150 provides today," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s VP of product development, to PickupTrucks.com. "There will be no compromise for better fuel efficiency. The vast majority of Ranger buyers are not using the full capability of the truck. We have to compare those customers choosing a very affordable and fuel-efficient F-150."

To soften the blow to Ranger fans, there is also word that the U.S. could still possibly receive the global T6 Ranger, due in 2012. Aside from the name, the global Ranger shares no relations with the aged U.S. version.

"We're still trying to finalize that decision,” says Kuzak.

The T6 Ranger is likely to receive Ford’s 1.6-liter EcoBoost inline-four. The turbocharged four-cylinder will have direct injection and is projected to put out 180 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque.

Source: PickupTrucks.com