Ford earlier this week unveiled a new compact pickup truck called the Maverick. The hybrid vehicle is described as “a new kind of truck for people who never knew they needed a truck.”
Despite the automaker’s heightened ambitions in electric vehicle production, the Maverick is sadly not all-electric. But it will be offered with a hybrid powertrain as standard, and Ford says the Maverick is the most fuel-efficient truck on the market with an estimated fuel economy of 40 miles per gallon in the city and 500 miles of range on a tank of gas. For context, the 2021 F-150 gets 25mpg in the city.
For those looking for a totally zero-emissions truck, Ford did recently unveil the all-electric F-150 Lightning. When deliveries of that vehicle begin in 2022, it will start at about $40,000 before incentives, whereas the Maverick starts at $19,995.
Focused on functionality — Even though the Maverick is small, it features four doors and seats up to five adults inside. And the rear flatbed incorporates a system called “Flexbed” that allows for organizational storage. Slots can be lifted up to subdivide the bed so you could, for instance, securely store a kayak (Ford’s example, not ours, though you do you, boo) in one section and ensure it isn’t shifting around. There’s also a 12-volt amp in the back that can act as a power source for DIY projects, or just charging up your phone.
And in case you’re wondering, the infotainment system includes an 8-inch touchscreen with support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you won’t have to rely on Ford Sync alone.
Ford is marketing the Maverick as a truck that bucks the stereotypes surrounding trucks. When you think of a truck, you might think of a large, hulking vehicle that inhales gasoline. But the Maverick is quite a bit smaller in size than the F-150, the most popular truck in America. And Ford claims it has better fuel efficiency on city streets than a Honda Civic. Weirdly, Ford has used the Maverick name before, but for a two-door sedan.
Market opportunity — It makes a lot of sense that Ford is releasing a new combustion engine truck. Pickup trucks basically print money for the company at this point, and can help subsidize the cost of developing electric cars. The F-Series netted $42 billion in 2019, and estimates suggest that trucks account for the bulk of Ford’s global profit, some of which it’s pouring into EV R&D. There’s no doubt it’s serious about electric vehicles — the company plans on increasing its investment in electric vehicles by $30 billion — but it’s not going to throw away its golden goose just yet. EV production will have to ramp up quite a bit before it becomes totally dominant for legacy automakers.
Compact pickups aren’t really a thing in America, so it remains to be seen whether people will buy the Maverick. The hope is that a smaller truck will appeal to new customers who don’t want a massive car, but also could find the functionality of a truck useful. It’s basically a mix of a car and a truck.
“Maverick challenges the status quo and the stereotypes of what a pickup truck can be,” Todd Eckert, Ford truck group marketing manager, said in a press release. “We believe it will be compelling to a lot of people who never before considered a truck.”
The Maverick will go on sale sometime later this year.