Internet clues are helping online detectives build a case proving the return of a compact pickup called the Ford Maverick. In May 2018, Ford filed to trademark the Maverick name in the U.S.; later that year, the automaker filed to reserve the name Courier. The former moniker hadn't been seen here since the 1977 Maverick compact car, the latter moniker last used in standalone form in 1982 a Mazda-based compact pickup. Confusion about which name would get the showroom nod cleared up some with pages leaked from a Ford parts catalog bearing the Maverick name. In April, a leaked CAD image showed a tailgate with Maverick stamped near its base. In early July, an anonymous source sent TFLTruck a closely cropped image of what looked like stamped pressing of the tailgate from the CAD image, complete with the model name as and where it should be. That same anonymous tipster, or a different one, has now sent Motor1 the same picture of that tailgate, with a wider crop. The reflections and scuffs along the top of the stamping give it away as the same image sent to the TFLTruck.
On top of this, a "New Products" slide Ford shared during a presentation with Bank of America showed a covered vehicle denoted with, "Whitespace (2021 launch)." Ford's out of the passenger car business save for the Mustang, and the Focus Active was declared dead before arrival. There's been talk for two years of the Fusion being transformed into a competitor for the Subaru Outback, and it's supposedly launching next year. The shrouded form on the slide for Bank of America takes a crossover form factor, yet — noting the existence of the Outback — a Fusion wagon wouldn't enter a white space. The conclusion about the new vehicle, as Muscle Cars & Trucks writes, is that "all signs are pointing to the Maverick small pickup truck."
America hasn't had a proper compact pickup since the death of the last Ranger here. Since then, forums and comment boards have been filled with yearning for just such a vehicle; even Mahindra's attempt to bring a small, non-road-legal pickup to the States won accolades from working types who don't need the brawn, four-wheel drive, and fuel bills of a midsizer.
The coming Maverick will ride on the same C2 platform as the Ford Escape and the Bronco Sport, and is expected to be built in the same Hermosillo, Mexico, plant as the Bronco Sport crossover. Engine choice is thought to be limited the same 1.5-liter three-cylinder and 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder as the platform siblings, driving the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. And in spite of the tailgate's clear design inspiration from the Ford truck line, Ford Authority says it has "heard whispers that it wouldn't be all too incorrect to call this vehicle the 'Bronco Sport pickup.'"