The Ford Ranger name only recently reappeared on our shores after a long hiatus, but the North American truck is based on a design that’s been on the global market since 2012. So it’s already due for a redesign. And what’s this? Australia’s Wheels Magazine has posted images of what could be a very early look at the next-generation Ranger.
As the publication points out, the truck shares design cues with the 2020 Super Duty that was unveiled a few weeks ago. This truck appears to have a similar grille setup, C-shaped headlights, square fog-light housings, and rear bumper. From the front, this truck looks like an F-series, but the proportions are definitely those of the midsize Ranger. The pictures were taken just this week in an outer Melbourne suburb, according to Wheels. It looks to us like the truck was being positioned for a photo shoot, judging by the lighting and the wheel dolly visible on the right front wheel. The background has been masked to hide the location, and our photographers detect some Photoshop touch-up throughout the images. Wheels believes this may be a clay model based on the blacked-out windows.
The publication can’t confirm whether or not this is the new Ranger due in 2021. If it’s not the Ranger, then some future rival truck bears an uncanny resemblance to Ford’s portfolio. If it is the Ranger, Ford clearly wants to link the truck more closely to the larger F-series, and thus to the American market. Ford will help develop and build the next-generation Volkswagen Amarok as part of a global alliance between the two automakers, so the new design could spill over to the German truck as well.
The current Ranger was designed and developed in Australia. The U.S. model relies on North American parts, and is built at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne. As we’ve noted before, although the Ranger has all-new sheetmetal, a new powertrain, and new technology, it’s clear most of the new goods came out of a necessity to satisfy American crash and emissions standards, not as a redesign to suit American tastes. Expect Ford to take input from American product planners on the new Ranger. We also understand that a Ranger Raptor—one based on the current truck is being offered overseas—stands a better chance of appearing in the U.S. with a new-generation truck engineered with our market in mind.
We’ll keep our eyes peeled for more information about the next-generation Ford Ranger, so watch this space.