We've caught Ford Ranger Raptor prototypes on the street in recent months, but we haven't seen much of other next-generation Ranger test vehicles. That changes today, as our spy teams across the pond caught a pair of 2023 Rangers sweating in the southern European sun.
Camouflage is still heavy, but the quality of the photos lets us zoom in for a close look. For starters, these two crew cab trucks have yellow stickers on the windshields that usually denote electrified prototypes. We know a plug-in hybrid Ranger is coming, as Ford confirmed every new model sold in Europe will offer a plug-in hybrid option by 2024. For the Ranger, we've heard reliable rumors it will combine a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with a single electric motor churning out a combined 362 horsepower (270 kilowatts) and 502 pound-feet (680 Newton-meters) of torque.
Gallery: 2023 Ford Ranger New Spy Photos
Provided these are PHEV prototypes, the power won't be relegated to a mild-mannered street truck. These pickups don't have the meaty tires and dual exhaust outlets we've seen on Raptor prototypes, but they are riding tall with camouflage dangling from the rear axle. That usually means upgraded suspension components are hiding underneath; perhaps these are FX4 variants or some other off-road-focused trim such as a Tremor, which would also explain the rollbar seen on one of the prototypes.
As for styling, closeups of the front remind us that the next Ranger will carry plenty of influence from the F-150. However, now that the Ford Maverick is revealed, we see commonality to the compact truck in the Ranger's headlights. Being a mid-size pickup truck, a fusion of design features from Ford's biggest and smallest trucks sounds rather satisfying. That also means the Ranger should have a distinctive face all its own, as opposed to looking like a slightly smaller F-150.
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Our sources say the new Ranger will debut sometime early next year as a 2023 model.