The 2023 Ford Ranger may still be in its preproduction stages, but Ford has been putting prototypes of its midsize truck through so-called torture testing in extreme environments to test its durability. The carmaker has driven these proto-Rangers well over one million miles so far, in conditions that range from freezing cold to scorching hot temperatures.
The road tests follow thousands of hours of computer simulations and lab tests and represent the latest stop along the way to the production line for the newest Ranger, which is expected to debut later this year and may go on sale as early as 2022. In the Australian market, anyway.
The truck will eventually makes it way to 180 markets in all, which is why the it’s undergoing cold-weather testing in North America and New Zealand, along with hot-weather testing in Australia and the Middle East. The carmaker didn’t cite cold-weather numbers, but Ford claims the desert trials saw temperatures exceeding 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ford also says the prototypes have covered the equivalent of about 780,000 miles of normal customer driving, a little over 6,000 miles of desert driving and just over 388,000 miles of off-road testing at the Ranger’s max payload rating.
This latest glimpse once again comes from Ford Australia, which is behind both the outgoing and incoming model’s design.
From the new footage, we can make out that the new Ranger is going to try for an appearance closer to that of its full-size stablemate, the F-150. The Ranger’s updated headlights look similar to the F-150's C-shaped lights, although the tail lights don’t look that much different from the current ones.
Overall, it looks like stubby front-ends are in this time around, even on smaller trucks like the Maverick. I’ll miss the sleeker front end of the older Ranger, but we’ll have to wait a little longer to make a definitive call on the new design, which you may recall will also influence the looks of the upcoming VW Amarok.