Since the announcement during the 2017 North American International Auto Show that the Ford Ranger pickup truck (model year 2019) and Bronco SUV (model year 2020) will return to the U.S. and be produced just outside Detroit, the internet has been buzzing with anticipation. The global Ranger is a one of the sportiest and most popular mid-size pickups around the world and is likely to be a big hit with loyal Ranger owners waiting for its return.
The Bronco will be a more difficult nut to crack given that demand for real 4x4s such as the former Bronco is small. The last direct competitor for the Jeep Wrangler in the U.S. was the Toyota FJ Cruiser. It's now gone due to low sales. If the Bronco is going to compete with the Wrangler, it's going to have to be something special.
Here's what our spy shooters sent us regarding a camouflaged Ranger caught running around the streets of Dearborn, Mich.
"These are our first shots of the 2019 Ranger mule, caught running the streets just outside Dearborn. Ford is testing and redesigning the Ranger ahead of the truck's reintroduction to the U.S. in 2019. While it's hard to tell if it will look much different than the Ranger sold around the world, we expect typical Ford truck cues on a smaller package.
"The North American version may wear its own unique styling as the foreign markets seem to prefer a more aerodynamic, carlike shape for their pickups.
"Expect a full complement of EcoBoost four- and six-cylinder engines and perhaps a diesel a year or two after introduction. Ford may also use the direct-injected twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 as the premium choice. Ford's new 10-speed automatic transmission, co-developed with GM, is also expected to make it into the top trim package. Naturally, expect two-wheel drive to be standard, with part-time four-wheel drive available as an option. The Ranger should debut sometime in 2018, possibly in Detroit."