Ford hasn’t said officially what, if anything, will replace the U.S.-built Ford Ranger when production ends in 2011. But recent spy shots from Brenda Priddy's network of shooters point to a new, globally-produced small pickup taking its place by 2012. Priddy says she hasn't confirmed whether the new truck will carry over the Ranger name or instead use the F-100 designation.
These engineering mules look like facelifted versions of the Mazda BT-50 sold outside the U.S., which shares a common platform with the Thai-built overseas Ford Ranger. But inside sources tell Priddy that the taped and cobbled-together panels hide the mechanicals and running gear of Ford’s next-generation global small pickup.
That new pickup will likely mean that all Ford Ranger models would be built on a single global platform, dubbed "T6." The current overseas Ford Ranger shares only its name with the Ranger built for North America.
The various T6 test trucks spotted by Priddy photographers are configured in both left- and right-hand drive versions, are longer and wider than the current overseas Ranger, and are powered by diesel and gas engines.
"An industry source says the T6 Ranger for the U.S. will likely be powered by a new 1.6-liter four-cylinder, direct injection turbocharged EcoBoost engine producing at least 175 horsepower and 180 lb-ft," Priddy says. "Ford's 3.0-liter Duratorq TDCi four-cylinder turbodiesel engine, rated at 154 horsepower and 280 lb-ft, is expected to be carried over in the new truck for buyers outside the U.S"