Ford’s smallest ute has been outed (very) early.
The car-based Maverick has been spied on the factory floor by MaverickTruckClub, revealing its shrunken F-150 looks.
It will also mean the Maverick will have a lower payload than its siblings, and will likely be less capable off-road.
With a broad, flat front end and C-shaped headlights, the front end is tougher than that of the Bronco Sport SUV, and has plenty in common with how we expect the next-generation Ranger to look.
Power is likely to come from the same engines offered in the Bronco Sport.
It’s powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol three-cylinder engine with 135kW of power and 260Nm of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
A larger 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine will also be offered, making 183kW of power and 373Nm of torque. It’ll also be mated with an eight–speed automatic, backed by an extra oil cooler and wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Regardless of engine, the Bronco will be offered with all-wheel drive and a set of G.O.A.T. (Go Over Any Terrain) off-road modes.
A leaked tailgate schematic leaked last year indicated the new ute will wear Maverick badges, a name last used in Australia on a rebadged version of the Nissan Patrol.
The Maverick name has popped up on various Ford-badged models over the year, including the first-generation Escape and a rebadged Nissan Terrano II in Europe and the Falcon’s 1970 successor in North America.
For North American buyers the Maverick will likely be pitched as a lifestyle vehicle, but in Latin America it could be sold as a more upscale alternative to other car-based utes, such as the Fiat Strada and Volkswagen Saveiro.
As such it would give the Blue Oval access to a market it hasn’t competed in since the Bantam ended production in South Africa in 2011, and the Courier (above) reached the end of its run across Latin America in 2013.
Neither the Bronco nor Bronco Sport have been confirmed for Australia, so it’s unclear if the Maverick will ever find its way to local showrooms.