Ford Ranger mule – Click above for high-res image gallery of spy shots

As we've previously reported, Ford engineers in Australia are hard at work on the next-generation Ranger pickup, reportedly codenamed T6. While the Ranger name is used on various Ford pickups sold around the world that are different from our long-in-the-tooth U.S. model, word has it that Ford may be leveraging this new global pickup platform to replace the latter truck here in the States when it goes away after the 2011 model year. These new spy shots lend some serious credence to those rumors, as this Ranger mule wasn't snapped in Australia... it was caught in Dearborn, MI near the headquarters of Ford Motor Company.

Never mind the Mazda-looking front end, which likely just hides the bones of this next-gen global Ranger. And while details are scare, talk of a 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine with 175 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque refuses to go away. Check out the rest of the high-res spy shots in our gallery below and let us know if a new, more economical Ranger is just what the doctor for Ford in the States.

[Photos: KGP Photography]

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