Seen trundling around Detroit recently was this test mule for the upcoming 2019 Ford Ranger, sporting a look that apes that of the current midsize pickup sold in other parts of the world. The Ranger’s Aussie-chic styling probably confirms rumors that our Ranger will be a retooled version of what the rest of the world has gotten since 2012.
Immediately visible, even under the swirly body wrap, is the truck’s hexagonal grille and squinty-eyed headlamps. A sculpted hood and bulging front fenders recall Ford’s current F-150, and this particular tester is sporting a crew cab bodystyle with a reasonably long bed. We’re relieved to see low windowsills and a greenhouse that’s designed as much for style as it is for outward visibility, curing one of the few problems we have with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Around back, we spy the global Ranger’s massive rectangular taillights and sculpted tailgate.
We do see one problem with this particular test mule, however. The Ranger’s global platform, codenamed T6, was introduced for the 2012 model year, meaning Americans might be stuck with a truck that’s already seven years old by the time the 2019 Ranger hits the market here. That leads us to believe this truck is a mere mechanical buck, not a production-intent tester.
We predict Ford will extensively revise its midsize pickup for American consumption, giving it new styling, an updated T6 platform, and U.S.-specific powertrains. Our source suggested the company would offer the Ranger with a twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 as the top engine option, giving it 300-plus hp and between 350 and 375 lb-ft. While that sounds cool, we also hope Ford will offer the Ranger with a diesel engine, perhaps the 3.2L I-5 currently found in the Transit or the 3.0L V-6 that will be available in the 2018 F-150.
As the 2019 Ranger and its 2020 Bronco kinsman near their respective on-sale dates in the U.S., expect to see more of these funky test mules on the roads, and tell us your predictions and hopes for the midsize pickup.
Source: SpiedBilde Photography