Despite The Blue Oval’s best efforts to conceal the fact, we can confirm that the Ford Maverick is indeed a pickup, even though the prototypes we’ve spied recently are made to look like an SUV/crossover via a bed cap and some clever camo. That means that the forthcoming model also sports a host of truck-like features, including a spare tire mounted underneath its bed.
The spare tire location is notable, since this is a unibody pickup. However, there’s really no other place to logically mount the spare tire on a truck, whether it utilizes unibody construction like the Maverick or a more traditional body-on-frame configuration.
It’s also worth noting that the Ford Bronco Sport, with which the Maverick shares the same Ford C2 platform and styling details, does not have a spare tire mounted underneath the vehicle. Rather, it’s located under the load floor in the rear cargo area.
Though it’s a compact unibody pickup that’s smaller and lower to the ground than the mid-size Ford Ranger, the Ford Maverick does feature a few truck-like details. They include a sliding rear window, as Ford Authority exclusively reported, in addition to a fairly conventional suspension system. The prototypes we’ve seen so far also have rather strange exhaust routing, but that could change when the pickup reaches production.
The Maverick is expected to be offered with either Ford’s 1.5L EcoBoost Dragon three-cylinder or an optional 2.0L EcoBoost inline-four, both of which are expected to be paired with FoMoCo’s new 8-speed automatic transmission. It’s currently unclear, but a naturally-aspirated four-cylinder is also a possibility. The compact pickup will come in front-wheel-drive configuration, but all-wheel-drive will also be available.
The Maverick will be offered as a four-door / Super Crew body style out of the gate. Production of the new model will take place at the Ford Hermosillo Assembly 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.