A fresh report out of Australia has shed a little more light on Ford’s development of a new unibody bakkie, which will be positioned below the body-on-frame Ranger.
According to whichcar.com.au, the Blue Oval brand is currently testing a prototype in Australia.
The publication claims to have seen “top secret” engineering documents from Ford’s You Yangs proving grounds that suggest the bakkie is codenamed “P758”. The documents furthermore reveal the prototype employs a 2,0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
According to whichcar.com.au, the prototype employs the Dearborn-based automaker’s C2 platform, which underpins the latest Focus and the new Kuga. Interestingly, it reportedly uses a “Russian-market derivative” of the aforementioned architecture.
The report says Ford has “yet to decide” on the bakkie’s name, although we’ve previously heard rumours the Courier badge will return (or what about “Bantam”, for us in South Africa?).
In January 2019, Jim Farley, Ford’s president of global markets, confirmed a baby bakkie was indeed happening, saying “you can expect new nameplates below where we compete [in the pickup segment] today”.
As a reminder, the Bantam launched in South Africa back in 1983 and went out of production locally at the end of 2011. It was also offered as a Mazda wearing the Rustler badge.