The mid-size pickup segment in the United States was all but vanquished up until the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon returned to the scene for the 2014 model year. Now, the GM twins do battle against the newish-to-us Ford Ranger, which has been on sale outside of the U.S. since 2011. And while the T6-platform based pickup has managed to win over the hearts of many Ford truck buyers, there is no denying the age of the product. As a result, development of the next-gen 2023 Ford Ranger has been well underway, aided by the assistance of VW. While details have remained scarce, the team at Motor1 have just captured the first spy shots of the 2021 Ford F-150 inspired-prototype.
The photos can be viewed here.
As our colleagues at Motor1 have pointed out, this all-new 2023 Ford Ranger appears to borrow a lot of design cues from the larger Ford F-150. Gone is the smooth, car-like front end of the current truck, now replaced by a more vertical grille not unlike that found on the F-150. The headlights also appear to draw inspiration from the new 14th-generation Ford F-150, rocking a similar running light orientation. The cab is also much more square than before, but not quite as hard-edged as the bigger Ford. The sheer amount of camouflage makes it nearly impossible to judge specific details, but overall the design looks like a step in the right direction.
Good looks aren’t the only thing that should excite Ford Ranger fans. We already know that this global market product will arrive as a much more modern piece of kit than its decade-old predecessor. That starts with the new T7 platform, which is slated to be shared with the upcoming VW Amarok. Don’t think this thing won’t be as tough as other Ford products however, as the Dearborn Automaker began development of the platform before VW ever signed on. Rumors have swirled that suggest the 2023 Ford Ranger will be powered by a hybrid version of the company’s 2.3L EcoBoost engine, mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox. While hybrid powertrains don’t generally get stuffed into pickups, Ford’s PowerBoost Hybrid V6 is the most potent engine they currently have on offer in the F-150. Perhaps this new powertrain will maintain the same PowerBoost nomenclature.
While the prototype 2023 Ford Ranger in these spy images is still ladened with heavy camo, we finally can put a bit of a face to the new pickup. New information is sure to start trickling out in the coming months, as Ford and VW alike prepare for a 2022 calendar year debut.