Ford will soon enter the compact truck market with the Ford Bronco Sport based Ford Maverick pickup. Here are the latest news, speculations, and rumors.
First, don’t get too excited. The 2022 Maverick pickup will not ride on the Ford Bronco‘s T6 chassis. That’s the territory of the Ford Ranger. The Maverick will be the third Ford pickup in the line. The Maverick small pickup is currently in a class of one in the U.S., though Chevy apparently has one in the works and Volkswagen, Hyundai, and others have displayed concepts that fit the same parameters.
Between its smallish bed and unibody construction, it’s clear this won’t be a truck for serious off-roaders. Instead, the target are owners of light pickups and SUVs that are seen situated at mountain bike trailheads, beach parking lots or on a backroad to a treasured fishing spot. Not surprising, given that Ford was first to market with its sedan-based Ranchero in 1957. Unlike the frame-on-body 1957-1979 Rancheros (and the 2001-2010 Ford Sport Trac), the upcoming Maverick pickup will be based on Ford’s relatively new C2 platform.
The Maverick name has been a popular one for Ford. It also hints at Ford’s intentions in global marketing. Most US-based car people associate the Maverick name with Ford’s 1970-1977 Falcon-based compact car. Globally, Ford has attached the Maverick name to SUV models sold in Australia and Europe. In the same vein as Ford dropping the GT 350 for 2021 for the ‘global’ Mach 1 naming, the Maverick name is likely to have been chosen as it’s the badge on the Euro version of the Ford Escape since 2011.
The Maverick will be based on Ford’s relatively new (2018) C2 platform. The C2 was developed to underpin smaller front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles. All vehicles based on the C2 share common suspension and drivetrain components as well as electrical systems, including infotainment screens and systems and connectivity modems. It’s highly unlikely Ford will turn to the Transit Connect platform over the C2.
For powerplants, it’s a near certainty that the Maverick will be offered (at least initially) with the same two engines in the Bronco Sport: a 181 horsepower 1.5 L EcoBoost four and a 245 horsepower 2.0 L EcoBoost four, both turbocharged. For a vehicle of its size, it’s widely regarded that the two engines provide plenty of power for a small SUV.
Added to the eight-speed automatic both engines will share, the bigger motor should have multi-mode SelectShift with paddle shifters. What about a manual transmission? Maybe. The C2 platform does have a six-speed manual in its configurations.
While not ready to take on the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon like the new big Bronco, the Maverick is expected to hold its own when the going gets (somewhat) rough. The Bronco Sport is available only in four-wheel drive for starters, so clearly, the C2 platform can accommodate an AWD system. It’s unknown at this point if the Maverick will also be available in two-wheel drive. To take the all-wheel-drive capabilities, the Maverick is expected to offer a twin-clutch rear drive unit that can send torque to a single rear wheel, even if the other three have zero traction.
Look for the same Terrain Management System as offered on the Bronco Sport. With up to seven available “G.O.A.T.” modes (Goes Over Any Terrain), the driver can select the drive mode that best fits the circumstances. Pre-programmed modes include Sand, Slippery, Sport, Eco, and Normal. While the Bronco Sport Badlands adds two more modes: Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl. It’s unknown if that option will be present in any form on the new small Ford pickup. Another feature first seen on the current F-150 Raptor is Trail Control, sort of a cruise control for off-roading, allowing the driver to concentrate on the road/trail/path ahead.
On the inside, expect the Maverick to be tech-laden. Expect Ford’s SYNC 3 system to be standard, with a touchscreen and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other features include an available wireless charging pad and the possibility of a Bang & Olufsen audio system. No other information about the interior is available, though it’s a safe bet much will be carried over from the Bronco Sport.
As for safety, the Maverick should come fully loaded. Expect the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of driver-assist technologies, including Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking (including Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning, Dynamic Brake Support; Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert; Lane-Keeping System, Auto-High Beam Headlamps, and a rearview camera). Whew!
The Maverick, the newest Ford pickup isn’t expected to arrive until late 2021 as a 2022 model year.