The new Australian-engineered Ford Ranger is inching its way to production, and the cars spotted overnight seem to have an electrified drivetrain of some description.
This prototype has a yellow sticker on the front windscreen, which typically indicates it has a hybrid drivetrain.
We know Ford is developing a plug-in hybrid version of the new Ranger.
While we’re able to see a fuel-filler door ahead of the rear wheel arch on the prototype’s left side, we can’t seem to find another door for a charging port.
These latest right-hand drive prototypes with UK plates were spied in southern Europe during hot weather testing, and give us our first look at the car’s production head- and tail-light treatments.
Compared to today’s car, the Ranger will have a blockier and less curvaceous design with design elements taken from the smaller Maverick and larger F-150.
Up front there’s a tall headlamp unit with a vertical stack of LED lights. It looks as though the headlights will be stylistically integrated into a grille that’s several sizes larger.
At the back the tail-light units have a sharply defined B-shape. Massive Ford blue oval badges will feature at both ends of the car.
CarExpert understands the global Ranger lineup will likely be available with four drivetrain choices.
There will be diesel options: a 2.0-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo and a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6.
As for petrol motors, the Ranger should be available with a four-cylinder plug-in hybrid, and a 2.7-litre turbo V6, which likely power the North American Ranger Raptor.
It’s unclear which drivetrains beyond the turbo-diesels will be available in Australia.
While Australian Rangers will again come from Thailand, European models will be sourced from Ford’s factory in South Africa, and North American Rangers will be made in Michigan.
It’s possible the Ranger plug-in hybrid will be produced exclusively in Pretoria, and V6 petrol variants made only in the States.
Inside the cabin, the Ranger will gain all of Ford’s latest tech, including the Sync 4 infotainment system with either a 15.5- or 12.0-inch touchscreen depending on trim level.
A 12.0-inch instrumentation display will also be available on high-end models.
As part of a wide-ranging EV and commercial vehicle partnership, the upcoming Ranger will serve as the basis of the second-generation Volkswagen Amarok.
If Volkswagen’s teasers of the Amarok is accurate, the German brand’s ute will have significant design changes, including a unique front end and squared-off wheel arches.
The new Ranger will also form the basis of the next-generation Everest three-row SUV.
Design and engineering for the next-generation Ranger and Everest are being led by Ford Australia through its various facilities in Victoria.