The 2015 Ford Ranger upgrade has again been spied testing in Australia about 12 months out from launch, this time by the CarAdvice team in downtown Sydney.
The testing mule features significant frontal camouflage, pointing to a significant redesign. Behind the black cladding it is possible to discern a new hexagonal chrome-ringed grille, similar to the Everest concept.
However, the revised grille also appears to feature a prominent single silver bar into which the Ford oval is embedded, replacing the existing three-bar layout. Beneath the MY15 Ranger’s front-end sits a new diffuser with tougher-looking underbody cladding.
There also appear to be front parking sensors embedded, meaning a semi-automated parking assistance feature will be optional or — potentially on high-end versions — standard. Current Rangers get rear sensors, as does this test car.
The test car sports the current flagship Wildtrak’s alloy wheels and the XLT’s silver door handles (at the front, at least), though it lacks a sports bar, so it is unclear what specification level this vehicle is.
There does not appear to be any stylistic change at the rear of the car, with the tail-lights uncovered and appearing unchanged.
Expect some cabin tweaks, with a range of more upmarket materials and potentially some additional equipment as well, drawn from the Everest that share its Australian-developed underpinnngs.
The upgraded model, which is the mid-life facelift of the T6 Ranger launched in 2011, was developed by Ford Australia at its You Yangs proving ground alongside the forthcoming Everest — the latter of which is speculated to have more advanced rear suspension befitting more upmarket positioning.
We expect the updated Ranger to premiere overseas, probably in Thailand where it is built, in early 2015, with an outside chance at appearing by the end of this year, or possibly at the 2015 Detroit auto show in early January. The Ranger isn’t yet sold in the US, but prototypes have been spotted in that country in recent months.
However, a Ford source indicated to CarAdvice that the Ranger may not make it to Australia until a month or so after the Everest, pointing to a local launch around the middle of 2015.
The current Ranger is experiencing significant sales growth in 2014, with Ford pushing it up into second place in the segment behind the Toyota HiLux, ahead of the Nissan Navara, Holden Colorado and Mitsubishi Triton. The Ranger is Ford Australia’s top-selling model.