Global engineering company Ricardo has recently taken the covers off one of its most daring projects yet, a six-wheeled Ford Ranger with a hybrid drivetrain.
Officially known as the Ranger HEX 6×6, the vehicle has been designed as a way for defence forces to transport goods across some of the world’s toughest terrain.
As you can imagine, militaries often need to move rather large and heavy things which shouldn’t be an issue for this ute considering it has a maximum payload capacity of 3800kg. That’s a significant increase over the standard Ranger’s rating of up to 1271kg.
The uprated payload is thanks to the addition of a new rear axle under the cargo tray that simply bolts onto the existing chassis without any alteration to the base vehicle. It also houses an electric drive unit, turning the Ranger into a hybrid.
In terms of power output, the e-motor supplies an additional 210kW on top of the existing 3.0-litre V6 diesel’s 186kW.
The hybrid system also charges an onboard battery under deceleration that can supply additional energy when carrying a heavy payload.
However, if the electric motor isn’t needed, it can simply be decoupled or swapped out for an alternative drive unit. Otherwise, Ricardo says the Ranger HEX 6×6 will also work perfectly fine as a 6×4.
“The HEX benefits from an existing proven automotive platform, with added engineering and software-enabled features, offering customers a robust, fit-for-purpose solution that is flexible, durable, and doesn’t lose any of the characteristics needed to perform in the toughest of environments,” says Paul Tarry, Ricardo’s Head of Special Vehicles.