Ford’s Nissan NP200 rival progressing in development Down Under

The Blue Oval will re-enter the segment it left in 2013

Ford’s long awaited return to the half-ton pick-up segment is reportedly gathering momentum with fresh reports from Australia alleging that the spiritual successor to the Bantam is currently under development Down Under.

First announced by Automobile Magazine in July last year as heading for production carrying the iconic Ranchero name, claims which were not contested until Ford Global Market President, Jim Farley, confirmed to Automotive News in January that the Blue Oval will re-enter the segment it left in 2013, whichcar.com.au has now revealed that a number of technical details of the still to be named newcomer has emerged.

While it is an open-secret that Ford’s rival for the first generation Dacia Logan-based Nissan NP200 and the South American market Volkswagen Saveiro, Fiat Strada/Toro and Chevrolet Montana, known locally as the erstwhile Chevrolet Utility, will ride on the same C2 platform as the Focus, the Australian online publication has claimed that the pick-up will come powered by a 2.0-litre engine matched to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Basing its claims on alleged leaked engineering documents, the report does not state whether the engine in question will be normally aspirated or turbocharged, or indeed if any other drivetrain options will feature.

Despite having been dubbed Ranchero, the pick-up’s final name remains a mystery with reports claiming that it might breathe new life into the dormant Courier designation, though  Farley told Automotive News that this might not be case after being quoted as saying that, “you can expect new nameplates below where we compete today”.

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