With the wraps set to come off of the all-new Ford Ranger later this year, the next generation Everest is set to follow but only next year.
Allegedly spotted in China last year, which turned out to be a misjudgement as the pictured model was in fact the pre-production Chinese market only Equator, the Everest will once again ride on the same platform as the Ranger, albeit the new T7 architecture set to also underpin the all-new Volkswagen Amarok.
Although claimed to resemble the Explorer aesthetically, Australia’s caradvice.com.au reports that the North American influence will instead come from the facelift F-150 that serves as styling inspiration for the Ranger.
Spied by the online publication undergoing testing in Melbourne, the still heavily disguised Everest appears longer than the current model with the silhouette taking after the much longer and plusher Lincoln Navigator sold in the States.
Despite the wrapping, the F-150 influence is visible in the design of the partially covered LED headlights, while the rear features a new tailgate in addition to what appears to be new taillights.
As with the Ranger, the Everest will be new inside and underneath the bonnet where the current 2.2 and 3.2-litre Puma turbodiesel engines will make way entirely for the carryover single and bi-turbodiesel 2.0-litre Panther engines.
With the latter downsized unit being demoted, the new flagship unit will be the 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6 known under the Powerstroke moniker in the US, where it produces 186kW/597Nm in the F-150.
Unlike in the Ranger, a hybrid model is not being planned, though a petrol could feature in the form of the current US Ranger’s 2.3 EcoBoost rather than the V6 mulled for the Raptor. A no-no however is the possibility of an Everest Raptor becoming a reality.
Once unveiled, expect the Everest to arrive on local shores soon after with production set to once again take place the Blue Oval’s expanded Silverton Plant outside Pretoria alongside the Ranger and Amarok. Before then though, don’t be surprised if more details or complete images appear in the form of the leaks.