We've already heard that Ford is developing a new, smaller pickup truck based on the F-150 that will be powered by four-cylinder and turbocharged V6 engines. Referred to as the F-100 and known internally as P525, the mid-size pickup is slated to go on sale in 2010 or 2011. At the time, we questioned what would happen to the compact Ranger pickup that hasn't been redesigned for over a decade. Motor Trend is now reporting that Ford is may replace the current Ranger sold in the U.S. with the replacement for its global Ranger pickup sold elsewhere in the world. Codenamed T6, the global Ranger replacement is reportedly being developed by Ford Australia, and while the current model is produced in Thailand (shown above), import taxes could force Ford to produce the U.S. version in another country like South Africa or Australia. The current U.S. Ranger pickup, meanwhile, will end production next year and the plant at which it's made will close, which means we'll probably go without the segment's smallest, most fuel-efficient pickup for a year or two until the global Ranger arrives. That's a big mistake in our eyes, since demand for fuel-efficient yet capable work horse vehicles will only increase in the coming years. Ford could keep producing the current Ranger and spice it up with an Ecoboost engine to keep buyers interested until its replacement arrives, but it's probably too late for that now.

[Source: Motor Trend]