Ford's current-generation Ranger wasn't initially developed with the United States in mind; it went on sale globally in 2011, and it didn't land on our shores until the 2019 model year. The next-generation model scheduled to make its global debut this month was designed with America in mind from the get-go, and the Blue Oval released a video to explain how it created a truck for buyers in over 180 countries.
"Our research showed that, no matter the market, customers were aligned with what a Ranger should be, both in terms of the way it needs to look and the way it needs to make them feel. This was a really clarifying moment for us," said chief designer Max Tran.
Unlike the F-150, the Ranger has to cater to folks exploring rural Australia, adventurers towing a boat to a lake in Michigan, and farmers hauling sheep in Germany. Market-specific differences are a given, so we're guessing that the rest of the world will get a turbodiesel engine and a manual transmission and we're predicting that Americans won't get either. But Ford will nonetheless sell the same basic truck to very different customers around the world. Toyota faced the exact same problem and solved it by developing two different pickups.
While the Ranger's full design remains under wraps, the video (embedded above) confirms what recent spy shots have suggested. As we've previously reported, the front end seems to borrow styling cues from both the bigger F-150 and the smaller Maverick; it looks boxier and arguably tougher than the current model. We also know that designers made the cargo box's sides flatter and fitted shorter rear lights.
Credible but unverified rumors claim that the next Ranger will ride on an evolution of the new Bronco's body-on-frame architecture. If that's the case, it could offer both a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a 2.7-liter turbocharged V6. Four-wheel-drive will come standard, and the high-performance Raptor model could finally make its way to the United States, though nothing is official at this point.
Ford's Australian division will unveil the next Ranger on November 24. There's no word yet on when the American-spec model will make its debut (it sounds like it will sit out the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show) or how close it will be to the truck designed for overseas markets.