Compact pickup on the way

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Ford’s reviving the Maverick nameplate, only this time for a compact pickup truck as opposed to a compact sedan and coupe.

The modern Maverick is slated to arrive in 2021 as a 2022 model, and several prototypes have just been spotted.

They’re out testing together with Ford’s mid-size Ranger, providing a good contrast of the size difference between the two pickups. The Maverick is almost dwarfed by the Ranger, which is a good thing as there are plenty of buyers looking for a small, lifestyle-oriented pickup.

Unlike the body-on-frame Ranger and F-150 pickups, the Maverick will use Ford’s C2 unibody platform designed for compact vehicles. It may even come with front-wheel drive in lower grades, though you can bet an all-wheel-drive system will be available.

2022 Ford Maverick spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2022 Ford Maverick spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

The Maverick will be a close relative of the Bronco Sport, which also uses the C2 platform, which means it will have some ruggedness but will still very much be a lifestyle vehicle rather than a serious workhorse.

If the Bronco Sport is any guide for performance, look for 2,200 pounds of towing capacity and around 8.0 inches of ground clearance. Some versions of the Bronco Sport also come with an all-wheel-drive system capable of splitting torque not only between the axles but also between the rear wheels.

Powertrains will also likely be shared with the Bronco Sport, meaning buyers will be able to choose between a 181-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-3 or 245-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4. In both cases an 8-speed automatic is standard. An electrified powertrain could be added to both the Bronco Sport and the Maverick at a later date.

Production is likely to take place in Mexico to help keep costs down (the Bronco Sport is also built there), and pricing could come in around the $20,000 mark. The Ranger for the 2020 model year starts at just over $24,000.

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