Ford Introduces All-new 2022 Maverick, Rattles the Compact Pickup Segment
Ford recently made a big splash in the automotive industry with the introduction of its highly-anticipated F-150 Lightning pickup, the first electric pickup available in America from one of the traditional “Big Three” competitors. Now, Ford announced the release of its new Maverick compact pickup, available as a front-wheel-drive hybrid. The introduction of the hybrid midsize pickup signals that Ford is interested in ruling the growing market for smaller trucks, extending its dominance past the full-size pickup segment. Ford ceased competing in the compact truck division back in 2012 when the Ranger went out of production. By 2018 the Ranger was back, but by today’s standards, the all-new Maverick is the vehicle that genuinely slots in the midsize truck segment.
Its compact size isn’t the only thing that’s putting the Ford Maverick in the limelight. Impressively enough, the entry-level trim is a front-wheel-drive vehicle powered by an electric motor as well as a gasoline engine. It is not a plug-in hybrid, so owners cannot recharge its electric-only driving range. Ford also sells a hybrid variant of the much larger F-150, but it is not an entry-level trim. Even though front-wheel-drive is often the standard on sedans and even crossover SUVs, it is unusual for a pickup truck. Rear-wheel-drive allows for larger engines since the transmission does not need to be contained under the hood. Towing figures benefit from rear-wheel-drive as well because it can provide better traction in towing and hauling situations.
So how does the Ford Maverick benefit from front-wheel-drive? Since there is no transmission beneath the passenger compartment, front-wheel-drive allows for more efficient use of space in the Maverick. Although Ford will surely add some semblance of off-road capability to the model via unique trims, this pickup is primarily designed for the city and its nearby suburban streets. As a result, the Ford Maverick will only be available in a four-door body style with the capacity to seat up to five people.
“Maverick challenges the status quo and the stereotypes of what a pickup truck can be. We believe it will be compelling to a lot of people who never before considered a truck,” said Todd Eckert, Ford Truck Group Marketing Manager.
The Maverick couldn’t come at a better time as the market for smaller pickup trucks is currently hugely competitive. Hyundai, Nissan, and other automakers recently unveiled numerous redesigned versions of their midsize pickup offerings. At the same time, the Toyota Tacoma accounts for more than 40 percent of all midsize pickup trucks sold in the US, similar to how Ford dominates with its classic F-150 model. Ford will also offer a non-hybrid Maverick pickup powered by a turbocharged 250-horsepower engine that produces up to 277 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, the non-hybrid Maverick will be offered with all-wheel-drive, unlike the hybrid variant. Ford has yet to announce full pricing tiers for the model, but it’s expected to go on sale in the fall.
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