Ford and VW’s new partnership will bring many efficiencies to production, including the sharing of drivetrains.

FORD AND Volkswagen have already confirmed they are working together to produce the next-generation Volkswagen Amarok and Ford Ranger, and it leads to some interesting questions as to who will supply what in the parts sharing exercise.

For many, the assumption is that VW’s current 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel engine will give the Ford Ranger its first bent-six in Australia. However, it’s worth considering that Ford recently developed its own V6 diesel engine for utes while VW is moving away from combustion motors and into electrification. And one should question why, if both utes are produced on the same line, would you use two different engines?

For VW, its European and Chinese market share requires the company to move headfirst into electrification of models, underpinned by a barrage of new EVs to be launched over the next decade. Conversely, while Ford will need to maintain a foothold in electrification, its home market of the US is juxtaposed to those electrification commitments. Instead, Ford is producing more efficient diesel and petrol engines for the local pickup and SUV market which it has conquered.

In announcing the pair’s partnership, Volkswagen Group chief executive Herbert Diess said, “Looking ahead, even more customers and the environment will benefit from Volkswagen’s industry-leading EV architecture. Our global alliance is beginning to demonstrate even greater promise, and we are continuing to look at other areas on which we might collaborate.”

Ford said in its statement, “Ford will use Volkswagen’s electric vehicle architecture and Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) to design and build at least one high-volume fully electric vehicle in Europe for European customers.”

That lets Ford concentrate on its important F-Series and Ranger utes, new SUV developments like the Bronco, and the petrol and diesel engines those cars need. One of the most recent developments is the 3.0-litre V6 diesel turbo Power Stroke engine for the F-150. An adaptation of the 3.0L Lion V-6 (TDCI), which itself was a variation on the Duratorq 2.7L that served in Australian-built Ford Territory models, it is lightweight, efficient, and powerful.

It uses the common-rail direct-injection fueling system from the larger 6.7L PowerStroke diesel and catalytic reduction system which both help reduce nitrogen-oxide emissions. Construction includes a compacted graphite iron block, forged steel crankshaft and aluminium pistons.

Power produced in the F-150 with the same engine is 186kW and 597Nm of torque at 1750rpm. That lends it a 5171kg towing capacity, yet a real-world fuel consumption of 9.0L/100km in the big pickup truck (source: Wards Auto

And late last year, Wheels Magazine reported it had seen development documents from Ford Australia’s You Yangs testing ground, showing that the current-generation Ranger was testing both the 3.0-litre Powerstroke and a 2.7-litre petrol twin-turbo V6, the latter likely a US-market exclusive.

Both companies are not discussing any details of the next-generation utes, leaving such details unconfirmed. But it brings to question why both would collaborate on the construction of new utes with synergies of the exercise allowing VW and Ford to produce right-hand drive models at Ford’s Thailand facility using mostly the same parts underneath the skin. In this instance, it would not make sense to have two different engines mounted into the chassis. 

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About Author

Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.


  1. That’s literally what the Ranger Raptor is missing, even if the 10spd 2L is good, it doesn’t match the capabilities. Business as usual for VW though.

  2. V.W’s engine is well progressed so it will be interesting to see which way these makers go, in terms of selecting the right powertrains. Agree that V.W look to be going away from traditional engines for electrical motors.

  3. Why would VW change from it’s own bulletproof V6 to an unproven newly designed V6 from Ford. Even if VW is heading down the EV route?

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