All-new Ford Ranger spotted testing at … KFC?

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Words: Matthew Hansen
12 Apr 2021

We all know that the average tradie doesn’t tend to have the best diet (funnily enough, it doesn’t differ much at all from that of the motoring journalist). What we perhaps didn’t know, however, is that this was something car companies test in its utes. And here is exhibit A.

Silly jokes aside, there’s something uniquely Aussie and Kiwi about an official new vehicle test run involving a pit-stop at a KFC. And that’s exactly the scene one New South Welshman came across at a KFC on the state’s south coast over the weekend.

The image [above], which was posted to Facebook, shows a group of four heavily camouflaged next-generation Ford Rangers parked opposite a KFC for a reported lunch break. The image appears to show the drivers of these cars hurrying to cover each of them with a car cover.

To be fair to them, there’s very little that can be gleaned from the image in terms of revealing Ranger features. Each model appears to show the same contours and proportions already seen on camouflaged Rangers already posted to the internet — a small sliver of headlight being the only thing truly visible on each vehicle in the pic.

Indeed, the best somewhat official look that we’ve had at the new Ranger, ironically, is a render from Volkswagen. The German marque’s next-gen Amarok ute will share architecture and some visual cues with the Ranger, heralding a new era of the tie-up between the two marques.

Revealed late last month, the render showed a more production-orientated animated look at the new Amarok. Expect the central ‘cell’ of the vehicle to be near enough identical between the Amarok and Ranger.

The front fascia is where the pairing will look the most different. Going on the visible portions of headlight in the KFC sighting, and going on other spy imagery, the next-gen Ranger will wear a face similar to that of the F-150, via a pair of upright C-shaped headlights and a bar grille that extends almost all the way across the vehicle.

The new Ranger will reportedly launch in the second half of 2021, with local arrival expected in 2022. Not much else is known about the model’s direction, although a V6 diesel and hybrid are among the rumoured powertrain options.

In the meantime, we look forward to getting the gravy on Ford’s 11 secret Ranger herbs and spices, which will likely double down on the nameplate’s wicked success in local showrooms.

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