Ford Authority

Next-Gen Ford Ranger Originally Featured A Rotary Dial Shifter

The next-gen Ford Ranger (at least the international market version) was just revealed a little over a week ago, at which time FoMoCo revealed that it leaned on customer input to help shape the look of the new mid-size pickup, conducting dozens of workshops and interviewing over 5,000 customers during the development process. As it turns out, that feedback also led to one major change inside the new Ranger’s cabin, as Ford recently revealed.

Ford originally designed the next-gen Ranger with a rotary dial gear selector, a feature that’s present in virtually every modern Blue Oval vehicle, save for its body-on-frame trucks. However, the automaker’s research found that customers preferred the optional short-throw e-shifter that wound up making it to the production version of the pickup “because it boosted the truck’s high-tech appeal.”

“In a very real sense, our customers have been with us all along the vehicle development journey,” said Max Tran, chief designer for Ranger. “We reimagined the Ranger from understanding and interpreting how our customers used their truck and what they expected from a pickup. This journey started even before we put pen to paper with our first sketches. We were not just trying to create a good truck. We wanted to create an exceptional one that inspired owners every time they saw their Ranger in their driveway.”

The fact that Ford chose to go with a more traditional shifter is an interesting revelation, particularly when we consider that the all-new 2021 Ford F-150 with the optional Interior Work Surface goes so far as to feature a stowable shifter to make room for a flat surface designed to hold a laptop. And while console-mounted shifters have been popular in pickups for years now, the latest version of the Ford F-150 is still available with a column-mounted shifter in multiple configurations as well.

We’ll have more on the next-gen Ranger soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford Ranger news and ongoing Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Debbie

    How about you address the fact that the Bronco has a major flaw. It was built with the wiring harness resting on the drive shaft and hence with the friction and heat it burns thru the wires. Ford has yet to figure out a fix. The part can be replaced but it still rests against the shaft meaning the same issue will keep happening. They had to zip tie and foil tape the wires away from the shaft. Meanwhile I still have to make my payments for a car I can barely drive due to a fear of this happening again. Maybe stop hyping the bronco til you fix the bugs. And before anyone says “do you have proof” yes I have proof. It says it in black and white on the service report. Maybe defer my payments until it’s fixed because every month I make my payment and every article saying how great this truck is just adds salt to the wound.

  2. Sal

    I think the rotary shifter is cool. Cooler than an awkward mushroom shifter.

  3. Greg Smith

    A Ford tough truck must have a tough shifter, not a prone to fail rotary knob. The push button shifters we’re tried years ago and we’re failures. You can’t be taking your eyes off the road to turn a knob when making tight turns or maneuvering a trailer. Be smart Ford, put a tough hand shifter in the Ranger!

  4. AUGIE

    When is the Ranger diesel available and what will the mpg be?


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