Speculation earlier last year suggested that Ford engineers would continue with independent front suspension, but it was unclear what they would do with the rear.
We can exclusively tell you the 2012 Ford Ranger 'T6' will feature independent double wishbone front suspension with coil springs, while the rear will use semi-elliptic leaf springs with dampers.
While the leaf spring rear suspension does nothing for ride and handling, it will help retain the Ranger's impressive 3000kg towing capacity. Rear drum brakes also remain on the Ranger, it's likely that rear disc brakes won't make it to the production model.
Ford Australia has been awarded the job of developing and designing the 2012 Ford Ranger 'T6'. Ford Motor Company of Australia representative, Sinead McAlary told CarAdvice:
Ford Australia announced in 2006 that it had won the work to be the lead design and engineering centre for the development of the T6 platform, off which the next generation Ranger comes from.The first "top hat" from that platform is the next Ranger and FOA has led the design and engineering of that vehicle as well - right here in Melbourne and at our proving ground in Lara. We've also had significant input into the Mazda variant that comes off the same platform. It has been a major program of work for the company over the last number of years.
One of the key complaints issued with the outgoing Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 was the width of the vehicle. The B-series of utes that share the Ranger and BT-50 model designations were always limited to Japan's 1.7m width limitations.
As you can see by these spy photos, the width has clearly increased. The increase in width suggests a vehicle that will compete squarely with the HiLux, Navara et al. in terms of size.
It's clearly hard to see the exact shape of the 2012 Ford Ranger 'T6' body, courtesy of clever padding used to obscure the lines, but one thing's for sure, it will have an Australian design influence. With regards to the markets that will receive the new Ranger, Ms. McAlary told CarAdvice:
...The next generation Ford Ranger is a global vehicle and will be sold in more than 100 countries worldwide, including Australia. The only 'major' market that won't be receiving it at the moment is North America. It will definitely be sold here though.
Our sleuth spies have also snapped scoop photos of one of the engines to be used in the 2012 Ford Ranger 'T6'.
Although speculation suggests that the 2012 Ford Ranger 'T6' will use a 1.6-litre variant of the new line of Ford global EcoBoost engines, we believe the Ranger will utilise the 2.0-litre variant of the EcoBoost engine. The upcoming Volkswagen Amorak will hit the ground running with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, the 2012 Ford Ranger 'T6' is likely to be the same if it is to compete on level ground.
Pictured on this production prototype is Ford's 3.2 litre Puma turbocharged diesel engine. It will replace the current 3.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. The 3.2 litre Puma engine produces 150kW and an impressive 470Nm of torque. It can currently be found in the Ford Transit.
Insider sources also suggest two other engines will be available in the Ranger. A 2.2 litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine (also codenamed Puma) and a 2.5 litre Duratec petrol engine (identical to engine currently used in Mazda3) will also be available, in addition to the 2.0 litre EcoBoost engine mentioned above.
Transmissions expected to make it to launch are the MT75 (five-speed manual gearbox), MT82 (six-speed manual gearbox produced by Getrag) and the 6R80 (six-speed fuel efficient automatic gearbox).
Insider sources have also suggested that the Ford Ranger will be available with leather seats (optional) and a reversing camera.
The 2012 Ford Ranger 'T6' is shaping up to be an impressive commercial vehicle. We will keep you posted with all new details that come to hand.