The long overdue next generation Ford Ranger, which will also spawn the third generation Everest as well as the all-new Volkswagen Amarok, has officially been teased by the Blue Oval ahead of its world debut later this year.
In a one minute 19 second video released by Ford of Europe on its YouTube page, the still heavily disguised Ranger, spied at the beginning of this year, is shown traversing a series of “tough” terrains ranging from mud and sand, to steep rocky inclines while also power sliding across snow that likely formed part of its winter testing programme.
Developed in Australia as before but with production, alongside the Everest and Amarok, set to once again take place at the Silverton Plant outside Pretoria as part of Dearborn’s record R15.8-billion investment in February, the Ranger will reportedly ride an updated version of the current T6 platform known as T6.2 and not T7, and according to Ford, boast “superior off-road credentials paired with Ford’s dynamic driving DNA”.
In accordance with recent spy shots and indeed the video, the Ranger will bear a closer resemblance to the F-150 than ever before as evident by the E-shaped LED headlights, oversized grille and the just visible taillights.
While appearing to be a super cab, it is understood that the depicted model is in fact a double cab, which will once again be focused on heavily on from both a workhorse and lifestyle perspective.
According to Australia’s carexpert.com.au, the interior will also be greatly influenced by the F-150 and adopt a completely new design resplendent with a 15.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system as well as a twelve-inch digital instrument cluster.
Along with the rumoured platform change, the biggest source of secrecy surrounds the engine options. With the departure from the 2.2-litre four-cylinder and 3.2-litre five-cylinder Puma engines, the current 2.0-litre Panther single and bi-turbo units will serve as replacements allegedly with unchanged power and torque outputs.
For North America and possibly also Europe, the 2.3 EcoBoost petrol will be supplemented by an electric motor and become a plug-in hybrid with power increasing from 200kW/420Nm to a supposed 270kW/680Nm.
Set to finally debut in the States, the Ranger Raptor will either employ the twin-turbocharged 2.7 V6 EcoBoost from the Bronco that produces 231kW/540Nm, or the twin-blown 3.0 EcoBoost that pumps out 298kW/563Nm in the Explorer ST.
Despite previous rumours alluding to the petrol powered Raptor being offered with right-hand-drive, it is more likely that the main choice of engine will come in the form of the 3.0 Powerstroke turbodiesel V6 recently axed in the F-150 due to slow sales.
Outputting 186kW/597Nm, the six-cylinder, which will replace the Volkswagen-made V6 oil-burner in the Amarok, will not only power the Raptor, but in accordance with the current model’s setup, also the ever-popular Wildtrak that will once again assume the role of flagship “everyday” model.
While still to be confirmed, only one transmission has so been rumoured for inclusion, the current General Motors co-developed ten-speed automatic that will replace the six-speed unit employed on the 2.2 and 3.2. The future of the six-speed manual is still unknown.
As mentioned, the Ranger will make its official reveal before the end of year with sales, and production at Silverton, commencing next year. Expect more teaser images, and possibly also details, to be divulged officially or even by leaks over the coming weeks and months.