Pretoria - As the new-generation Ford Ranger is edges closer to production, the carmaker is clearly having some fun teasing us with ‘spy’ pictures of camoflaged prototypes.
Although the basic design appears somewhat evolutionary at first, the tailgate is more shapely and the new taillights resemble those of the smaller Maverick that was revealed earlier this year.
The new Ford Ranger is expected to be built on a modified version of the current T6 platform and there are rumours of a V6 diesel engine joining the current 2-litre single- and twin-turbo options that will carry over.
Although Ford is making no effort to hide the prototypes of the next Ranger, it is still going to great lengths to prevent us from seeing the vehicle’s full design before the official reveal date.
To that end, the prototypes wear camouflage stickers with mind-bending patterns, squiggles, and swirls. The aim of these patterns, Ford says, is to confuse the eye and prevent industry spies from being able to focus on the vehicle’s features.
Ford’s latest camouflage, inspired by the block pattern on the Bronco R Baja racer as well as mountain ranges, uses hundreds of blue, black, and white blocks in a pixelated pattern to break up the appearance of the underlying shape of the vehicle while it’s still under development.
Designed by a team at Ford’s Design Centre in Melbourne, Australia, this camouflage pattern creates an optical illusion that makes it difficult to pick out exterior features in sunlight, while a reflective element helps hide the vehicle’s shape at night.
“We were asked to develop a camouflage that allowed you to clearly see that this is the new Ranger but not see it at the same time,” said Ford Australia design manager Leigh Cosentino.
Lee Imrie, the designer who created the new pattern says the inspiration originally came from the Baja livery that Ford has been using.
“There’s no line work on this camo that aligns with anything on the exterior and that means you can’t see volume or shape or lines in the vehicle,” added Imrie. “My intention with this design was to scatter your eye so that you can’t focus on a specific line; and the colour patching adds to that effect,” Cosentino added.
According to Ford, the digitised pattern took two months to develop and test. It is printed onto vinyl and applied in two stages taking up to two days to apply.
The new Ford Ranger is set to be revealed later in 2021 ahead of it going on sale in 2022. As with the current generation, the new bakkie range will be built in South Africa for both local consumption and export.