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Ford Ranger SUV spy shot

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    The Ford Ranger SUV is being fast-tracked for production in 2014. Photo Gallery

Reader catches the coming Ford Ranger SUV testing.

The Falcon and Territory might be on death row, but that doesn't mean it's game over at Ford Australia. Work is still underway on dozens of projects at Ford's local engineering base, including the headlining SUV that will eventually cap the T6 program.

The award-winning Ford Ranger - and its Mazda BT50 twin - was the first product of the T6 work and now the SUV is being fast-tracked for production in 2014. It is believed to be a seven-seater that's bigger than the Territory, packing the punch to go up against the best in class, both in Australia and around the Asia-Pacific region.

Its Australian roots could even mean it wears Endeavour badges in showrooms, although it's also known as Everest. This development car is caught this week by Jackson Emiris, a smartphone-wielding Carsguide reader driving along the Princess Highway near Avalon, just outside Melbourne.

"It seemed to be a Ford Territory cross Ford Ranger," says Emiris. "On the back of the car it read 'Left Hand Drive' and 'Engineering Evaluation Vehicle'." The car clearly has Ranger roots, carrying the pickup's front end back to the rear of the front seats. But, from there back it has been mated with a Territory tail to provide the extra back-end space that will bring SUV buyers to the car.

These images all but confirm that the model will ride on a shorter wheelbase than the ute, unlike previous Thai-built Ranger spinoff wagons. A similar approach has been used by General Motors with its Colorado 7, with the shorter wheelbase improving manoevrability and off-road clearance over the longer ute variants.

Ford has also carefully obscured this prototype's rear suspension, disguising a likely move to a coil-sprung live setup -- also like the Colorado 7.

Carsguide can confirm it's one of a run of prototypes that are being tested and developed in Victoria, both at Ford Australia's proving ground at You Yangs and on public roads. They have been up and running for a number of months, pointing to a public reveal sometime in the second half of 2014.

"Ford has always said the Ranger pickup would be the first of the vehicles to come off the T6 platform," confirms Neil McDonald of Ford Australia. "The Ranger pickup is the first 'top hat' of that platform. However, at this stage we cannot provide any further specifics as to timing or features."

for ranger suv
The Endeavour, if it is called that, will join the 22 ute models already spun from the Ranger platform, including the latest XLS.

The success of the T6 project is reflected in class leading comfort, refinement and safety, as well as waiting lists for some models including the Ranger Wildtrak that is backed up several months as customers wait for deliveries from the Ford factory in Thailand that produces Australia's new Ford baby.

This reporter is on Twitter: @paulwardgover

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 23 comments

  • when will be available the new Ford Everest? Is it locally available in the Phils.?

    karlsthenn of Philippines Posted on 15 November 2013 3:40pm
  • Looks like a Territory back welded on a Ranger front.This will probably replace territory as its half a Territory anyway

    Lindsay Merkel of Australia Posted on 29 July 2013 9:02pm
  • Ford Everest, they are everywhere here in the philippines..

    Dave of Batangas City Posted on 21 June 2013 6:24pm
  • Ford already sell this style of vehicle in Thailand, based on the previous model Ranger, badged an Everest. Only natural that an updated model would be following it, and probably being considered for Oz. Toyota and Isuzu also sell similar vehicles over there based on the Hilux and D-Max, so probably only a matter of time before these are seen here also

    Steve M of Perth Posted on 01 June 2013 12:01pm
  • How about Ford Wollongong, Ford Toorak, Ford Kalgoorlie, Ford Hobart, or Ford Geelong even!

    Peter F of Auckland Posted on 30 May 2013 1:27pm
  • Nice to see the Territory will live on... in a way

    Chris Posted on 30 May 2013 11:44am
  • It's simply an updated Ford Everest which has been built on a Ranger platform in Thailand

    David K of Wellington, NZ Posted on 30 May 2013 10:48am
  • Man this is an aussie machine!! Ford Everest? What the hell Aussies? Take some pride!!! Ford Wadumbajab or Ford Da blue hills I mean mountains. Come on Holden have the Malooooouuu get abo with that stuff. dammmnn

    Ads the maori Posted on 30 May 2013 9:07am
  • Max W. of Goolwa, I hope you don't live in my street because you are a moron. Labor did not create high costs of the way can you declare your qualifications and weekly earning please? Do you think Aussie workers should be paid at Thai rates (and for the record I know a little about Thailand considering my Thai partner and I spend time there every year. Comments like your are pathetic.

    David Somerfield of Goolwa SA 5214 Posted on 30 May 2013 12:52am
  • Hopefully they improve the quality of the transmission if its the same as the Territory. After 15,000 km, the ZF blew up!

    Piece of ship of Not in Broady Posted on 29 May 2013 11:20pm
  • Designed and developed in Australia, built overseas....may be instead of pumping money into trying (and failing) to keep old outdated factories operating federal and state governments should invest in a couple of state of the art manufacturing facilities that are actually competative.

    Paul Posted on 29 May 2013 12:12pm
  • Please Ford put a barn door on the back. It makes it so much easier for my eldest of four children to get in and out of the back seat unassisted. With three child restraint seats across the centre row, the fold forward seat is rendered useless. This is why I didn’t buy a Territory. Oh and keep the five cylinder diesel engine too. That engine will make this car an awsome tow vehicle for our caravan.

    S.G of Brisbane of Brisbane Posted on 29 May 2013 11:43am
  • What a pity they are shortening the Ranger. I was hoping for a full length vehicle so you still have the luggage space with the 7 seats.

    Phil H of WA Posted on 29 May 2013 12:31am
  • Some of you people are so STUPID. It is a drivetrain test mule, it is not supposed to look production ready and it doesnt matter if the panels don't align, it is for testing the chassis and powertrain

    Mark Posted on 29 May 2013 12:18am
  • How can this be compared with a Ford Edge from the USA? The Edge has a towing capacity of 1580kg max. Thats a toy compared with something that is slated to be slotted above the Territory.

    Gerrit of Albany Posted on 28 May 2013 10:33pm
  • Ford head office should pack up the two factories in Australia and send them off to south east asia or south Africa! then let Australia use their R and D produce the best vehicles in the world without the huge costs of labour that labor has created in Australia.

    Max W. of Goolwa, SA 5214 Posted on 28 May 2013 7:14pm
  • looks like 2 different cars joined together

    Henry Ford of Queensland Posted on 28 May 2013 5:28pm
  • Instead of trying to "re-invent the wheel" have Ford Oz looked at adopting a RHD version of the Ford Edge SUV from USA? After driving an Edge V6 Turbo half way across USA last November made me realise Ford Oz are well and truly stuck in the dark ages with everything from interior to powertrain... and I'm the biggest Ford fan you'll every find!

    Eoin Douglas-Smith of Perth WA Posted on 28 May 2013 2:56pm
  • weeell I hope they refine it before sale, it almost looks like the photo has been photoshopped, look at the b pillar, the sills don't line up and the doors don't meet flush, oh thats right , its a typical ford

    mal mcrae of manjimup Posted on 28 May 2013 2:41pm
  • Things do not seemed to line up. Looks like a photo shop to me. A Territory back half added to the single cab ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ No, it's not Photoshop. But it's a mule testing engineering so isn't final design.

    Scott Tonkin of Dubbo Posted on 28 May 2013 2:12pm
  • As far as styling goes, this car looks about 10 yrs old. Not even worth a second look, from the outside. From a Mazda Tribute owner still looking for a worthy 6 cyl replacement

    Ross Murison of Melbourne Posted on 28 May 2013 2:02pm
  • Drop in the FPV 335KW, now that's an SUV with "balls" can keep your "eco boost" ..... what a joke for an auto manufacturer to force crap like that onto the market. I thought Great Wall was the only new "crap" to be launched onto the Australian motoring public....hang your head in shame Ford, and you wonder why you cant sell Falcons, No V8, No Diesel, No Wagon, No wonder....Holden Drive-On

    430KW HSV all the way of Geelong Posted on 28 May 2013 1:37pm
  • Hoax!! Sorry, but thats just a photo shop on you guys. Your leg has been pulled, ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ No, it's not Photoshop. But it's a mule testing engineering so isn't final design.

    OutbackOz of WA Posted on 28 May 2013 12:21pm
Read all 23 comments

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