Australian engineers are hard at work on the popular ute, promising it will be the toughest, most capable and connected model yet.
The Blue Oval’s top seller is likely to be unveiled later this year before reaching showrooms in the new year.
Ford isn’t giving away many details about the Ranger, other than to claim it will be the “smartest and most versatile” it has offered.
The brand says the Ranger will be “designed and engineered in Australia for local conditions and will be the toughest, most capable and most connected Ranger yet”.
It will share its platform with the next-generation Volkswagen Amarok, and should push dual-cab utes into new territory.
Ford may equip it with a massive touchscreen similar to that found in the new Mustang Mach-E, giving the Ranger a significant advantage over the competition.
Expect a broad range of safety features as standard, including auto emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, reverse auto braking and active cruise control with lane keeping assistance.
We don’t know exactly what the new machine will look like but it is tipped for follow the example set by America’s best-selling F-150 ute, with blocky proportions and a front end framed by C-shaped LED running lights.
A choice of engines could include twin-turbocharged six-cylinder power to outgun the 200kW peak of the current VW Amarok, giving the Ranger more grunt than its arch rival, Toyota’s HiLux.
Hybrid power may feature down the track as corporate fleet customers move to reduce carbon emissions.
The smash-hit Ford Ranger Raptor, a tough-looking model that redefined the premium pick-up segment in Australia, is likely to continue.
Development of the model is wrapping up in Australia now, with engineers expected to sign off the vehicle in coming months ahead of overseas production starting next year.