The 2018 Ford Ranger has been photographed in Thailand ahead of its local launch later this year.
As revealed exclusively by CarAdvice in June 2017, the Ford Ranger and Everest will benefit from minor upgrades this year as part of a model refresh, which will include an all-new model called the Ranger Raptor.
While the vehicle pictured here (picture taken by a user on Facebook) doesn’t appear to have any of the additional safety gear Australia is expected to get, it does give us a good look at the changes to the front end.
The update is only minor with a new set of headlights teamed with a new grille and fog light surrounds. The tidier front end brings the Ranger in line with the Ford Everest and helps refine the overall look.
Trainspotters will also notice buttons on the door handles for proximity key entry, which means the Ranger is likely to also get push-button start.
Our spy photographs from June 2017 showed that Ford was testing a forward-facing camera, which is generally used in technology that supports Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), which is yet to be fitted to any dual-cab utes in the Australian market.
Toyota tested the technology some time ago and has it available on European-specification Toyota HiLux models, but is yet to offer the technology in Australia.
While there isn’t likely to be a major change to the engine line up for Ranger, we expect Ford to potentially use this chance to introduce a 10-speed automatic gearbox that was co-developed with GM.
The gearbox would likely be introduced with performance improvements on the 3.2-litre five-cylinder diesel engine and the likely introduction of a 2.0-litre diesel, which is tipped to replace the current 2.2-litre unit.
Ford is also working on an all-new Ranger for the US market, which will utilise the T6 platform. This vehicle will carry a different design to the Australian market Ranger and isn’t expected to be unveiled until later in 2018 or early 2019.
The US-specification Ranger will carry a different set of engines and will also employ four-wheel disc brakes, unlike the Australian Ranger, which will carryover leaf spring suspension and drum brakes through to 2019.
Do you think the model refresh is a big enough change? What else would you like to see on the next-generation Ford Ranger?