Tim O'Brien | Mar 11, 2013

UPDATE: The Ford Everest has now been revealed. Click here to see Ford's new SUV.

The Motor Report can exclusively reveal that Ford's Ranger twin-cab ute will soon be joined by a seven-seat SUV stablemate.

Long rumoured to be in development, the new car is designed for the same T6 platform underpinning the current Ranger.

And, as confirmed by a rock-solid source from within Michigan USA, the new car is now sitting 'in the metal' preparatory to its first public showing. No longer a rumour, we'll be seeing Ford's new SUV sooner than you may have thought.

UPDATE: The Ford Everest has now been revealed. Click here to see Ford's new SUV.

Our source, closely associated with its development, confirmed that a seven-seat Ranger SUV show concept has been completed in recent weeks, painted and prepped and with all body engineering finalised.

He also confirmed that it was destined "for you guys", for Asian, South-east Asian and Australian markets.

Our renderings, shown above and below, offer one look at how the new SUV might turn out, borrowing wagon styling from current Ford models like the overseas Explorer and the homegrown Territory.

Though the Ranger upon which it is based is not available in the North American market - it would apparently lean too heavily on that essential Ford icon, Ford's barnstorming F-Series - you can put your money on the Ranger SUV making an appearance at the Bangkok Motor Show on March 27, and perhaps in New York on March 29.

And, shortly after, you can lock in an announcement from Ford's Thai factory of a date for production to begin.

When speaking with TMR last year at the launch of Ford Australia's newly refurbished Design Centre at Campbellfield, Ford public affairs director Sinead Phipps underscored the importance of the Ranger project, and of Ford's global ambitions for it beyond the current vehicle.

"Ranger is just the first vehicle for the T6 platform," she said then.

Above: is this the coming Ranger SUV? Art - Theophilus Chin.
Above: is this the coming Ranger SUV? Art - Theophilus Chin.

Ford has a blanket policy not to comment on future model plans, but an SUV version of the highly awarded and strong-selling Ranger was always likely to be in prospect.

It simply makes sense in Ford's global model spread. Here in Australia, with the Colorado 7 now finding a place in this market with a Holden badge in the nose, a hard-working off-road SUV sporting the blue-oval makes even more sense.

While then declining to confirm the model, Ford Australia general marketing manager David Katic told Fairfax media in July 2011 that Ford would "be mad not consider all opportunities for the platform" and that it provides "lots of flexibilty to put more weight, SUV-type weight on it".

Mad indeed. The speculation can now end; the gestation may have been long but the Ranger SUV's first public appearance is imminent.

The name of the new model remains a mystery however, with reports suggesting the older overseas Ranger-based 'Everest' SUV will donate its name. We could also see the return of the Ford Raider name.

Of course, Ford Australia's local design team can be expected to have had a heavy hand in the development of this vehicle as it did in the development of the Ranger.

UPDATE: The Ford Everest has now been revealed. Click here to see Ford's new SUV.


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