The Ford F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in America, with nearly 900,000 examples of the truck making their way to customer's hands last year. The Ranger, meanwhile, managed nearly 90,000 units in 2019 (even though it isn’t the top seller in its class). That's all to say: Ford knows how to sell trucks.

So to further cash in on pickup-crazed American buyers, the Blue Oval has another truck planned. Dubbed the Ford Maverick, the upcoming light pickup will be the smallest in the range – yes, even smaller than the Ranger – and could share its underpinnings with one of Ford's unibody crossovers. We won't have all the details on Ford's light truck until it debuts, probably sometime next year, but here's everything we know about it thus far.

What Is It?

Ford Focus-Based Pickup Spy Photos
Ford Focus-Based Pickup Spy Photos

As mentioned – the Ford Maverick will be the brand's smallest truck, positioned underneath the Ranger. Unlike the Ranger and larger F-150, though, the Maverick will have a unibody construction, similar to what you get on the current Honda Ridgeline. It's still unclear exactly which platform the new Maverick will use, but it could share a lot mechanically with the company's small crossovers, like the new Bronco Sport and Escape.

What Will It Be Called?

Ford Maverick Leaked Tailgate
Ford Maverick tailgate (not confirmed)

Short of a full-on confirmation from Ford, we know that the new light pickup will be called the Maverick. A leaked CAD drawing in May showed the truck's tailgate with a "MAVERICK" stamp, and a more detailed image of the actual tailgate from July showed the same wordmark. Initially, we thought it might be called the Courier, based on patent filings, or even Ranchero after the discontinued truck with the same name. But we now know with almost complete certainty that the new truck will be called the Ford Maverick.

What’s Under The Hood?

If the new Ford Maverick uses the same modular front-wheel-drive architecture as on the Bronco Sport, Escape, and European Focus – which seems to be the most likely candidate – the small truck would have at least two turbocharged engine options to choose from: a 1.5-liter three-cylinder and a larger 2.0-liter inline-four. It's unclear whether that would also include something like Focus ST's turbocharged 2.3-liter engine, good for 280 horsepower (209 kilowatts), but fingers crossed.

If Ford instead decides to use the previous-generation front-drive platform from the Transit Connect – which is less likely – the Maverick would probably sport a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine making around 162 hp (121 kW) or a more powerful turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder, producing around 180 hp (132 kW). For all of those engine options, an eight-speed automatic gearbox is the likeliest transmission choice, though a six-speed manual is possible.

Front-wheel drive will probably come standard on the base model, likely for markets outside of the US, like Mexico and Brazil. But like the Bronco Sport, we fully expect an all-wheel-drive version of the Maverick to be available in the US. Don't expect a huge bed, either. Reports from Autoblog say that the Maverick's bed will be 24 to 30 inches shorter than the Ranger's bed, depending on configuration.

Gallery: 2022 Ford Maverick Pickup Renderings

How Much Will It Cost?

Positioned below the Ranger, which starts at $24,110 in the US for 2020, the Ford Maverick should start at around (or even below) $20,000. That would make the Maverick not only the most affordable truck that Ford sells, but also the cheapest pickup in the US.

Where Will It Be Built?

Rumors have it that Ford will build the Maverick in Mexico, either at the brand’s Monterrey facility (once responsible for the Fusion and Lincoln MKZ) or the company’s Cuautitlan plant, home of the European Fiesta and upcoming Mach-E. Building the Maverick in Mexico means that Ford can skirt the dreaded "Chicken Tax" for light trucks and sell the compact truck in key markets like Brazil and Mexico as well as the US without penalty.

When Will We See It?

Ford hasn’t confirmed when the new Maverick will debut, but we know the light truck will go on sale either late in 2021 or early in 2022. So expect the Ford Maverick to show up officially sometime next year.

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