Ford Australia shows off next-gen Ranger destined for the global market
Ford Australia has pulled the wraps off the newest version of the Ranger pickup, giving us here in the states a peek at what we can expect when the next-generation midsize truck—which comes in one global specification for the 2023 model year—comes to our shores. Overall, the look is much more upright and truck-like than the current Ranger, which has a more rounded front end and car-esque headlights.
Much of the cab’s body lines seem familiar, so while much of this generation appears to be new, the main cab stamping may be carried over with all of the new sheetmetal coming in the way of door skins, fenders, hood, and bed. Put this new Ranger between a Maverick and an F-150, and you should be able to see a solid family resemblance thanks to Ford’s signature “C-clamp” headlights, available in the top trims. The lower Ranger trims receive a slightly different grille treatment that’s still quite attractive, but who knows what exact trim levels we’ll get in the U.S. when the truck is revealed here. We would bet that the Ranger’s new Wildtrak trim, first used on the new Bronco, will make its way here in one form or another.
The Ranger sold in Australia will come with a number of gas and turbodiesel engines, including a burly 3.0-liter turbodiesel, but expect the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder and 10-speed automatic powertrain of the current model to carry over for North American.
Inside, a new interior features a vertically oriented touchscreen that measures either 10.1 or 12.0 inches, depending on trim level, along with a totally digital gauge cluster.
Ford noted that the track width was been increased by 50 mm and that the front wheels were pushed farther forward by 50 mm. (That’s two inches for those of us in the big colony.) Pushing the wheels apart allowed the rear shocks to move outboard of the rear frame rails, thus improving the ride, while bumping the front wheels forward improved approach angle. Also new for this generation of Ranger is the rear-bed side step that’s located just in front of the bumper. That looks like a convenient spot and a great integration.
The next-gen Ranger looks like it hit the ground running when it comes to accessories, as Ford of Australia showed off-road and camping variants outfitted with an ARB steel bumper and a rooftop tent, respectively.
Overall, we’re impressed with the new Ranger’s design and hope that the version we get here doesn’t stray too far from what we’ve already seen—although we could do without the fake fender vent. Considering this iteration, unlike the previous one, was designed with America in mind, we wouldn’t be surprised if our Ranger looks like a mirror image of Australia’s.