DETROIT – Quite possibly the most keenly anticipated bakkie reveal this year is Ford’s ‘baby Ranger’ Maverick, which is set to hit the stage soon on various international markets.
However, it’s worth noting that the Maverick has yet to be confirmed for the South African market, and there are certainly doubts as to whether it ever will be. That’s not only thanks to Ford SA’s R16-billion investment in building the next-generation Ranger here, but also because there’s a good change Maverick will be left-hand drive only as is the case with the Bronco Sport upon which it is said to be based.
However, in the countries where it is sold, it appears as though the Maverick will deliver on its promise of being a more affordable alternative to the current Ranger.
According to Ford Authority, the Maverick – which will reportedly only be sold in double cab format – will have a starting price of under $20 000 (R300 000) in the US. While that in itself is not interesting to South African bakkie fans, it does demonstrate its relative affordability. A quick visit to the Ford USA website shows that the cheapest Ranger double cab, an XL model, retails for a shade over $27 000 (R405 000). If we applied the same equation locally, versus the R460 000 XL DC that’s available locally (albeit with a different engine and spec sheet), that would bring a theoretical price tag of R300 000 for the Maverick. Of course, that is very much a pie-in-the-sky scenario – given that the smaller bakkie would need to be built here, and there are many other spec differences to consider when doing international comparisons. But we are allowed to dream, no?
What else do we know about the Maverick so far?
Though the Maverick bakkie will be built on a front-wheel drive unibody platform that also underpins the Focus and Kuga, spy shots indicate that the compact bakkie will share many of its design cues with its bigger brothers, the Ranger and F-150.
The technical specs are of course still under wraps for now, however Motor Report recently speculated that the Maverick bakkie would offer the same pair of turbopetrol engines as the Bronco Sport, these being a 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit with 134kW and a 2-litre four-pot that’s good for 186kW.
Ford Maverick Pick-Up
La esperada Pick-Up Maverick de Ford deja ver su carrocería monocasco en fotos espías y los diseñadores nos dan un primer vistazo en renders
— soloautos.mx (@soloautos) December 14, 2020
While entry versions will likely be front-wheel-driven to save costs, the bigger-engined models will no doubt offer permanent all-wheel drive – likely with some of the Bronco Sport’s off-road tech thrown in for good measure.