Ford's next-generation commercial-focused ute has hit the road for the first time, with halogen headlights, steel wheels and a likely-not-for-Australia tray design.
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The next-generation 2022 Ford Ranger has been spied testing once again, this time in entry-level XL Single Cab guise.

Following video of Ranger Super Cab prototypes being tested by Ford Australia engineers in southern NSW in April, our spy photography partners snapped the Single Cab body style touring US roads for the first time – with the circa-16-inch steel wheels worn by the prototype indicating it is an entry-level, work-focused XL variant.

Despite a layer of black camouflage wrap covering the front end, a set of vertically-stacked halogen headlight units can be seen through the disguise, connected by a thick grey horizontal bar stretching across the fascia, with the outline of the oval-shaped Ford emblem visible in the centre.

The prototype spied pairs its single-cab body with a high-sided, 'conventional' pick-up tray, featuring tie-down rails along each long edge– a configuration not offered in Australia since 2018, when the launch of the 'PX III'-series Ranger saw a cab-chassis layout become the sole option for Single Cab buyers.

Click any of the images in this story to view the full gallery.

Our spy photography partners note that despite being an entry-level variant, the Single Cab test car features the same 3D-effect likely-LED tail-lights as higher-spec examples, suggesting tail-light units could be shared across the entire range – though it's not uncommon to see manufacturers mix-and-match components between different variants when building development prototypes.

It's not clear what is powering the prototype, though CarAdvice understands new-generation, entry-level Ranger XL Single Cab models in Australia are due to be powered by a 2.0-litre single-turbo four-cylinder diesel engine shared with the Transit van, likely developing around 125kW and 390Nm.

It's believed to be paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, at minimum – though past Ranger prototype sightings have pointed to the continued availability of a six-speed manual option.

The 2022 Ford Ranger is set to be unveiled in the second half of 2021, ahead of an Australian launch due in early 2022. However, whether the high-sided pick-up bed will return to the Single Cab range in Australia isn't yet clear.