Video Spied: Next-Gen 2023 Ford Ranger Bulks Up With New Front End, But What’s Going On Underneath?

This prototype clearly shows some styling updates coming with the new model

This is the next-gen Ford Ranger, expected to go into production later next year as a 2023 model. (Photos: TFLtruck)

Meet the new Ford Ranger.

After an eight-year gap in the U.S. market, Ford finally saw clear to re-introduce the Ranger to our shores for the 2019 model year. Even by then, though, the platform — known as ‘T6’ in global markets — had already been around for nearly a decade. It’s time Ford brings in a replacement, and these new spy photos give us our first glimpse at what Ford’s hiding up its sleeve. As far as we know, this is the 2023 Ford Ranger, so we still have about 18 to 24 months before we actually see the new truck in production form.

That said, there’s plenty we can see with these first spy shots. First and foremost is the front clip, which is dramatically different to the current Ranger. Ford’s new C-shaped headlights dial in the family resemblance to the F-150, and supposedly to the smaller Maverick. Despite the camouflage, we can see a larger, upright grille as well. That gives this Ranger a more aggressive, bolder look than the current decade-old design.

What hasn’t changed (at least at this stage) appears to be the cab and the bed configuration. Here we can see the 2023 Ford Ranger in crew cab form, and it looks the same as the current truck. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since most midsize trucks (Jeep Gladiator excluded) more or less use a similar cab layout. A formula is a formula, and if it’s not broken we doubt Ford’s going to go to drastic measures to fix it.

While we can’t see it here, we do imagine Ford plans to dramatically update the truck’s interior. Like the new F-150, a digital gauge cluster, new center stack and larger infotainment screen, with all the functionality that brings, wouldn’t go amiss.

Looking around the back

Things get a bit more prototype-ish when we look around back. There’s a single exhaust pipe sticking out the back, though rest assured the production one won’t look that ungainly. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is a good performer for the midsize truck, so we may not see many powertrain changes either. If anything, Ford may offer an electric motor as an option, creating a “PowerBoost” Ranger alongside the standard gas unit. At present, the 2.3-liter engine manages 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. We’d expect at least a minor improvement in the next generation, and hybridization may be the answer.

Taking a look farther forward, it appears the 2023 Ford Ranger may use a suspension setup like the present truck. Mounting points up front show it still has independent suspension rather than a solid axle. In the rear, you do still get a solid axle, though it’s difficult to tell whether the truck still packs leaf springs.

Like the front, the 2023 Ford Ranger appears to get C-style taillights as well. It seems Ford’s going more for freshening up their midsize offering, rather than offering a complete overhaul. Mind you, there may still be plenty of time for the Blue Oval to make changes. As this is just the first sighting, the production model may look quite a bit different to what we see now over the next year or so.

What changes are you hoping for in the new Ranger? Let us know in the comments!

2023 Ford Ranger spy photo gallery