One of the most anticipated new vehicles of 2021 is one step closer to its grand reveal, with Ford releasing its first official images of the all-new Ranger ute, along with a video showing it playing on loose terrain.
The Ranger has been engulfed in all manner of rumours and speculation over the last year or two, spurred on by images of the ute spotted testing overseas, often coated in a thick layer of camouflage.
These new official images are no different, showing the Ranger covered in camouflage with everything from the outline of the headlights to the shape of the glasshouse masked up. Going by leaked images published online, though, the next-gen Ranger is set to look much more like a relative to the American F-150 than before.
Among the few clues of this that can be spotted in the new images is the evidence of the headlight LED ‘signature’, which follows a similar outline to that of the F-150.
Along with the images, Ford confirmed that the model will be revealed in full later this year, before launching locally in 2022. Its Volkswagen Amarok twin is likely to launch with a similar timeline.
“Embracing superior off-road credentials and Ford’s dynamic driving DNA, customers will be driving the toughest, most capable and connected Ranger pickup yet developed by Ford,” says Ford New Zealand in its locally released press statement.
“This is not just a Built Ford Tough truck, but the smartest, most capable and most versatile Ranger yet. We are pleased to present the highly capable next-gen Ranger in its natural habitat.”
These quotes are the beginning, middle, and end of the Ranger details Ford has revealed. The blue oval has barely let out a peep about the nameplate’s powertrain options or features.
It’s expected that a refined version of the Ranger’s current 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine will form the baseline for most models, with speculation that a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 will also make an appearance.
As previously reported, a plug-in hybrid powertrain is also widely tipped to be in the works, with images purportedly showing the Ranger ‘PHEV’ in action already having surfaced online. It’s also expected that the next-gen Ranger Raptor will get the 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 petrol used in the Bronco.
As far as technology is concerned, the Ranger has already been spotted with Ford’s latest supersized 15.5-inch primary Sync 4 tablet-orientated touchscreen and a digital cluster. Expect these to only feature on high-end variants, like the Wildtrak and Raptor.
News of an updated Ranger wouldn’t have been particularly noteworthy news a decade ago. But these days the Ranger is the most popular vehicle on both sides of the Tasman. We’re keen to see what else Ford has in store for the much-loved model.