Hybrid-powered next-gen ute will be shown for the first time on Wednesday 24 November.
The next-generation Ford Ranger, which will feature hybrid power for the first time, will be revealed later this month.
The new model, which will replace the current T6 generation that has been on sale since 2011, will be unveiled at on Wednesday 24 November on Ford’s YouTube channel, where the manufacturer has published a short video teaser that gives hints at the model’s design (below).
The model has previously been spotted with a camouflage design livery undergoing tests in extreme off-road environments ahead of its launch in 2023.
Ford says the heavily updated pick-up truck has covered around 10,000km of desert driving, 1,250,000km of customer driving and 625,000km of rugged off-road durability testing, all with a maximum load capacity.
The Ranger has also undergone “thousands of hours” of computer and real-world simulations covering aerodynamics and the durability of components and structures.
“It’s important that our customers are able to rely on the Ranger to deliver years of dependable service,” said Ranger chief program engineer John Willems. “So we’ve gone to great lengths to subject the next-gen Ranger to extreme tests – stressing it much more than a typical consumer would – to help ensure it’s ready to face everything life throws at it.
“Whether it’s tackling muddy bush tracks, coping with the rigours of extreme tropical weather, towing over Alpine passes or enduring temperatures of more than 50deg C, the Ranger has to do it all.”
Ford says it started using computer simulations because some tests were believed to be too rigorous for humans. Simulations and robotics have replaced humans for the more extreme tests, such as the ‘squeak and rattle’ rig, where the Ranger’s suspension and whole body is exposed to punishing test cycles that are repeated 24/7.
The new Ranger comes as part of Ford’s commitment to offer a zero-emissions-capable version of its entire commercial vehicle line-up in Europe by 2024, which will see it introducing a new plug-in hybrid powertrain option. It is unclear if the hybrid will be offered in Australia.
The new Ranger looks to adopt styling cues inspired by its larger US-market sibling, the F-150, which itself is now available in all-electric Lightning form. That’s most evident at the front, where gaps in this prototype’s camouflage expose distinctive new headlight designs, but the overall proportions and silhouette look closely matched to the current Ranger.