In recent weeks, we’ve seen various spy shots of Ford Maverick prototype models out testing. All of them have been clad in heavy camo, which makes spotting features somewhat difficult. Regardless, we’ve learned a few things about Ford’s upcoming compact pickup, including the notion that it will wear Bronco Sport like styling forward of the B-pillar, along with the fact that it’ll actually be a pickup, despite Ford’s best attempts at obscuring that major detail.
However, we now have some new Ford Maverick prototype spy photos that reveal another interesting detail about the new pickup – its exhaust routing. The single exhaust pipe goes from the passenger side to the driver’s side, though there’s also a cutout in the rear bumper’s camo that indicates the production model’s exhaust will exit there. However, this could just be a case of Ford playing tricks on us.
Meanwhile, the Bronco Sport has a tucked-under dual exhaust setup, but that was done out of the desire to to improve off-road angles. Thus, this Ford Maverick prototype exhaust routing leaves us with three distinct possibilities. One, the Maverick could come with a tucked-under exhaust in either single or dual configuration. It’s also possible that the pickup could come equipped with a visible single-side exit exhaust, or a visible dual exhaust.
These exhaust options could also vary based on which engine buyers choose. Models equipped with Ford’s 1.5L EcoBoost Dragon three-cylinder or a less powerful engine could be available with either the tucked-under single or dual or visible single-side exhaust, while those that come with the optional 2.0L EcoBoost inline-four or more powerful variants could utilize the visible dual exhaust configuration.
All Maverick models are also expected to feature Ford’s new 8-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel-drive will be standard, and all-wheel-drive will be optional.
The compact Maverick will slot below the midsize, body-on-frame Ford Ranger in The Blue Oval’s growing pickup lineup. Compared to the Ranger, the unibody pickup with have a smaller footprint, less off-road prowess, and less towing and payload capability. However, it will also be more affordable.
The Maverick will ride on a variant of the Ford C2 platform, which also underpins the Bronco Sport, Lincoln Corsair, Ford Focus, Ford Escape, and the Escape’s upcoming seven-seat variant. Maverick production will take place at the Ford Hermosillo plant in Mexico, which also happens to be the birthplace of the new Bronco Sport. Expect a launch in mid-2021 as a 2022 model.