New Ford ute “looks like first-gen Ranger”
A new small ute in Ford’s stable is reported to be getting ready for production next year.
FORD’S NEW upcoming entry-level ute will reportedly revive the spirit of the first-generation Ranger.
Also sold in Australia as the Courier for some time before Ranger became the blue oval’s local dual-cab hero, the new car-based ute has been shown to dealers in the US, according to a report by Automotive News.
One of the dealers who has seen the car has since added that it “looks like a first-generation Ranger” with a smaller stature than the mid-size Ranger, and is much smaller than the full-size F-Series pickups in North America.
The Ranger which is familiar to Australia has only recently joined Ford US showrooms. It is understood that this new ute will further bolster Ford’s commercial and lifestyle-ute offerings as it moves to a broad SUV and pickup lineup. It follows makers like Hyundai which are also producing softer, lifestyle-oriented utes to tap into a broader market.
Sources that attended the event held in Tucson, Arizona also say that the new Ford ute – which is yet to be named – will undercut the Ranger by at least USD $5000. The internal codename for the project is currently ‘model 758’.
Names floated for the new model include Courier and Ranchero, which would suit Ford’s revival of the old Bronco nameplate. However, that four-wheel drive is not coming to Australia, and it seems unlikely that the new Ford ute will either, given a reported annual production volume of 100,000 vehicles per year. But like the Mustang, we’d never rule out the potential for a right-hand drive version from the factory.
Underpinning the new ute is a deviation of the new fourth-gen Ford Focus platform, says AN, which could see the implementation of a wide range of engines, from three-cylinder turbos to four-cylinder diesel and even the powerful 2.3-litre four-pot turbo EcoBoost in the Focus ST, producing 206kW.
The new model is expected to be produced at Ford’s Hermosillo plant in Mexico and arrive in showrooms next year, meaning we could soon begin to see teaser images and a reveal toward late-2020.