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2022 Ford Ranger spied testing on local roads: Toyota HiLux rival and Volkswagen Amarok twin sprung!

A CarsGuide reader snapped these pictures of the new-generation Ford Ranger out testing.

Ford’s crucial new-generation Ranger ute has been caught testing in Australia, with a full product reveal expected later in the year ahead of a 2022 market launch.

Caught near Ford’s validation and testing ground west of Melbourne, the heavily disguised Ranger reveals little in terms of detail, but keen-eyed car-spotters will notice several cues that seemingly confirm what has been rumoured before.

From the front, the squared-off headlights are mostly covered, but a C-shaped lighting element can be glimpsed and look to be lifted directly from the larger Ford F-150 pick-up.

The front grille is also heavily camouflaged, but the Blue Oval badge appears to be flanked by horizontal slats – another design element of the 2021 F-150 – and gives credence to our speculative render.

Not much can be seen in profile, but the rear of the ute shows off a sports bar across the rear tray, indicating that this could be a higher-grade variant such as the Wildtrak.

The rear of the ute also looks to be wearing the same design as the current Ranger, with vertical tail-lights and a rear-bumper cut-out for the numberplate.

Though our snapper didn’t manage to snag any pictures of the interior, they tell us a large multimedia touchscreen was in plain sight, likely the 8.0-inch Sync4 unit found in the US-spec F-150.

Stateside, a 12.0-inch screen is also available as an option in higher tiers, while all systems should support wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and feature a built-in modem for Ford’s connected services.

The F-150 also features an all-digital instrument cluster, which the next-gen Ranger could also receive – at least in higher trims.

We do know the next-gen Ranger will ride on Ford’s T6.2 platform, an iteration of the current architecture that is also shared with the Bronco, while safety systems are also expected to be cutting edge to keep it competitive against new five-star utes such as the Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50.

This means more advanced versions of autonomous emergency braking and lane-keep assist technologies, as well as intersection assist, a side centre airbag and a solid top-tether mounting point for the rear seats.

Powering the next-generation Ford Ranger is expected to be a carryover 157kW/500Nm 2.0-litre twin-turbo-diesel engine, which currently propels the flagship Raptor variant.

A new single-turbo version of the engine is also expected to be introduced, producing 130kW/420Nm, which will replace the 118kW/385Nm 2.2-litre four-cylinder and ageing 147kW/470Nm 3.2-litre five-cylinder engines.

However, those looking for a bit more punch might be glad to hear that rumours a pointing towards two V6 engines for the new Ranger – a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel with around 185kW/600Nm and a 2.7-litre twin-turbo petrol outputting around 230kW/540Nm.

It is likely these V6 engines will be offered in higher grades of the new Ranger, such as the Raptor, while transmission options should be between a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic.

A plug-in hybrid engine is also said to be in the works, though it likely won’t materialise until later down the track.

CarsGuide has contacted Ford Australia for a statement on this story, but the brand chose not to comment.