The 2022 Ford Ranger has been spied testing in Australia wearing full camouflage.
The prototype spotted in these photos appears as if it could be a Ranger Wildtrak, thanks to its side steps and a stylish rear 'sail plane' valance extending from the rear window – a trademark of the Wildtrak variant.
The dual-cab ute also doesn't have the wheel-arch flares found on the Wildtrak X and Ranger Raptor, and misses out on the tubular sports bar fitted to the current mid-range XLT, but gains roof rails and alloy wheels typically seen at the pointy-end of the Ranger line-up.
More of the LED tail-lights have been shown through the camouflage, with light signatures reminiscent of the rear lamps found on the outgoing Ranger.
Above: A 2022 Ford Ranger mule previously spied in Detroit. Top and below: A prototype seen in Melbourne this week.
Unlike previous Ranger prototypes spotted testing in the US, the Melbourne mule has a down-swept mild steel tail-pipe – suggesting this is likely to be an updated version of the model's 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel four-cylinder engine, offering 157kW and 500Nm in its current guise.
A 10-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox is expected to accompany the diesel engine.
While Australia no longer manufacturers cars, Ford's local arm remains a key contributor to the development of the Ranger and its SUV sibling, the Everest.
Speaking to CarAdvice, Ford Australia Communications Director Matt Moran said: "Our Australian team plays a central role in the design and engineering of Ranger and Everest, and includes work carried out at our centres at Campbellfield, which hosts design and engineering teams, as well as our Geelong engineering facility, only a short distance from Ford’s You Yangs Proving Ground.
"These assets enable our expert teams from around the globe to input into these vehicles, which are sold in over 180 markets worldwide, with the capability to conduct rigorous testing and analysis for the highest quality and standards for our customers."
Our thanks to Khoder for these images. If you spy something or have any other intel, you can get in touch via the Contact Us page of the website.