There go all the articles discussing any rumors about what the 2021 Range might look like

Wait, what? It’s barely been a year since the fourth-generation Ranger, that marks the nameplate’s return to the North American market, was shown at the Detroit Auto Show and now we get to see the next one? Apparently, this is actually true, and you are looking at a car that you shouldn’t have seen for at least two more years, the fifth-generation Ranger that will share its platform with the upcoming Amarok, both models destined for the European and African markets.

When manufacturers are preparing to launch a new vehicle, they go about their business in a tried and tested way. They either try to take the test mules out on the road either in more secluded areas where there’s less of a likelihood that someone with a camera, hiding in a bush, might be tracking down their movements or, when city testing or highway testing are on order, they wrap the vehicle in question in as odd a camouflage pattern as possible. The point of the camo is to deter those that try to pick out the new model’s key aesthetic features that differentiate it from the older one or, in case of brand-new standalone models, to make it hard for folks to figure out whether or not that model is bringing with it a new design language or not. Basically, most often, it’s a game of hiding your hand in plain sight.

This time, though, it seems like an Australian automotive outlet got its hands on some leaked images. We know that the T6 generation of the Ranger built for international markets (although it did debut in the U.S. as well in 2018) was conceived by Ford Australia and, most probably, the engineers Down Under are now working on the upcoming international model because the T6 has been around since 2011 although it received a facelift in 2015. Obviously, with the T6 Ranger arriving in the U.S. last year and selling well, don’t expect what you see in these pictures to spot rolling down American roads pretty soon.

There Are Cars We Never Get to See Until They’re Unveiled and Then There’s the 2021 Ford Ranger

Leaked Images Show Off the 2021 Ford Ranger Long Before Its Scheduled Debut
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This right here is the next Ranger you'll be able to buy if you live in Europe, Africa, Australia, as well as a host of other places outside of North-America.

It was uncovered by the Australian outlet Wheels/Which Car, and we actually know it is a Ford although the badge up front is hidden.

That’s because Jalopnik, who also ran the story, received an e-mail from an attorney kindly asking the site to take down the article featuring imagery of a "Ford automobile." We weren’t sure if this was a Ford vehicle, but this e-mail inadvertently helped clear things out.

The attorney, who wrote directly to Jalopnik’s Editor-In-Chief, Patrick George, said that "we are outside counsel to Ford Motor Company (“Ford”), which asked us to contact Jalopnik and ask for its voluntary agreement to take down copyrighted images of a Ford automobile."

The attorney then points out that the images were probably released by violating a "non-disclosure agreement" as Ford didn’t agree for these pictures to be leaked to the press. Interestingly, he also underlines that "Ford asks Jalopnik to remove the photos as soon as possible and by no later than February 25, 2019." Well, February 25 is in the past, and Jalopnik’s pieces on the topic are still up so, I guess, Jalopnik exercised their right to publish information which would be of interest to the public. We agree with them, and that’s why we’re talking about this whole thing here too.

Leaked Images Show Off the 2021 Ford Ranger Long Before Its Scheduled Debut Exterior
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Note: current Ford Ranger pictured here.
The Ranger is an important model in Ford's lineup as it's one of the best-selling pick-up trucks in Europe.

In 2015, it was actually the pick-up that sold the best across the pond, 27,300 units finding owners that year, a 27% increase over 2014. The trend remained largely unchanged as of 2018 when the Ranger still had the upper hand with almost 30% of Europe’s pick-up market being at Ford’s fingertips. In fact, the Ranger sold 16,440 Rangers in the U.K. alone after starting the year on a high: 15,100 Rangers were sold across Europe in the first four months of last year.

Having said that, the return of the Ranger Stateside after a seven-year hiatus can already be hailed as a success. Back in January at the Detroit Auto Show, Kumar Galhotra, the President of Ford’s North American Operations, said that the company is planning “massive overtime” to meet booming demand for the truck. It goes hand in hand with Ford’s plans to put 90% "of its capital expenditure into producing trucks and SUVs," according to Bloomberg.

Going back to the leaked Ranger pictures, what we see is a clear departure from the design language employed by both the international T6 Ranger and the North American one. In fact, some styling cues are taken straight from the baby F-Series truck, the F150, although many other details are unique. Motor1 reckons we might be looking at a mock-up and not an actual running and driving vehicle, but I’m not so sure. In any case, the 2021 Ranger definitely looks more bad-ass than all of the previous generations together.

In the front, the Ranger features a rectangular grille with a chromed frame that caves in the middle where the two, horizontal bars traverse the fascia.

These bars are similar to those on the F-150 although in this case, they extend a lot further beyond the edges of the grille and the C-shaped headlights are more extreme. There also seems to be a small light cluster within the two bars that actually come together at their extremities.

The protruding vertical elements of the front bumper extend up and act as a border between the lower half of the grille and the bracket-like headlights. You can also spot a smaller, horizontal grille in the lower bumper and also rectangular fog lights on either side with the main beam framed by a thin white stripe of trim.

From the side, the Ranger looks pretty standard: it’s a double cab with a side step and a small, black, vertical vent (probably fake) just aft of the front wheel arches and before the front doors. The wheel arches themselves are adorned by black trim pieces that match the eight-spoke rims.

Leaked Images Show Off the 2021 Ford Ranger Long Before Its Scheduled Debut
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In the rear, the taillights are different from what you find on the F-150.

With those body-painted elements within the light clusters, the taillights look like giant B’s that guard what is an otherwise lackluster tailgate with none of the polished bling seen on the F-150 that brazenly displays the trim’s name across that polished center-piece. However, the rear bumper is chromed, and it does have an indent in the middle for the number plate.

We’re far from finding out the dimensions of this mid-size truck but the current international T6 measures 211 inches in length (with a 127-inch wheelbase), is 72.8 inches wide and 71.5 inches tall. The American version broadly shares the same dimensions. The fifth-generation could be larger but, before we jump to conclusions, let’s not forget the current Ranger is already bigger than some of its rivals, such as the Toyota Hilux. In double cab configuration, the Hilux is 25 inches shorter, which in turn translates to a 14.4-inch-shorter wheelbase. It’s also both narrower and lower.

Meanwhile, the Amarok, a truck the next Ranger will have a lot in common with, is also four inches shorter, but 0.7 inches taller and 3.7 inches wider. The Amarok offers 141.28 cubic feet of cargo space in the bed and has a payload capacity of over 2,270 pounds. By comparison, the Ranger in XL trim with its 59-inch-long bed (longer than that of the Navarra and the L200) has a maximum payload capacity of 2,683 pounds. According to CarBuyer, "[Rangers] with a 3.15 final drive ratio can tow a braked trailer weighing up to 3,968 pounds, while models with a 3.55 or 3.73 ratio can tow a 7,716-pound braked trailer." Those are peak towing figures in the mid-size class; the Amarok can only tow up to 6,834 pounds with anything other than the V-6 paired with a manual as in that guise it can carry 221 pounds less.

As I mentioned, Ford and Volkswagen inked a partnership that will see the two giants cooperate on future pick-ups and vans. Of course, this is much less than what we thought we were going to get, namely a merger, but it’s still something that will see the Amarok and the Ranger grow closer together although Ford emphasized that the two will be "discernably different products." Currently, you can easily see that as the Ranger is priced between $24,000 (regular cab model in XL trim) and $34,385 (for the SuperCew Lariat). At the same time, in Germany, the Amarok starts at $36,880 (including VAT) and can set you back as much as $50,460 for an Amarok Canyon.

Leaked Images Show Off the 2021 Ford Ranger Long Before Its Scheduled Debut Exterior
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Note: current Ford Ranger pictured here.
Before that happens, we can enjoy the U.S.-approved Ranger, offered in four-door SuperCab and four-door SuperCrew configurations.

The latter is roughly 100 pounds heavier, but both share the 127-inch wheelbase. They also share the only engine available: a 2.3-liter, DOHC, twin-scroll turbocharged, inline-four Ecoboost capable of 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. There’s also only one transmission available, a 10-speed automatic. The Ranger can be optioned with part-time all-wheel-drive but comes in RWD specification as standard.

The international T6 Ranger, on the other hand, is offered with a variety of engines including three diesels and a bigger gas-powered engine than the 2.3-liter Ecoboost. That one is the 2.5-liter Duratec 25, basically, an L-series Mazda engine that puts out a poor 164 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque. In fact, no engines match the 270 ponies put out by the 2.3-liter Ecoboost. The closest diesel alternative, for instance, is the 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, twin-turbocharged EcoBlue mill with 210 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque available on the Ranger Raptor that you can’t buy in the U.S. This too is mated to the 10-speed automatic although a six-speed automatic, as well as a six-speed manual, are also available but only with the older Duratorq diesels.

Further Reading

Leaked Images Show Off the 2021 Ford Ranger Long Before Its Scheduled Debut Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Ranger.

Leaked Images Show Off the 2021 Ford Ranger Long Before Its Scheduled Debut Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor.

2017 Ford Ranger Black Edition High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Ranger Black Edition.

2016 Ford Ranger Wildtrak High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Ranger Wildtrak

2018 Volkswagen Amarok High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Amarok

Source: Which Car \ Wheels

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