It’s not unusual for an automaker to begin mining a successful sub-brand for every shred of credibility it has managed to accrue. Witness the rapid expansion of the Denali line at GMC, for example. Across town, Ford has seen the Tremor trim on its pickup trucks secure a decent take rate in this wonky market, so they’ve decided to hurl it at the little Maverick as well.
Ford’s sales success with the Maverick pickup has been undeniable. But if you’re in need of more evidence, the automaker has begun notifying dealerships to stop taking reservations on the base hybrid model because it doesn’t even think it can keep up with the existing backlog.
A few weeks ago, Ford took the wraps off of a new, “right-sized” pickup for the 2022 model year called the Maverick. The truck is different. For one, it’s a unibody design with four doors and a bed that’s integrated into the cab, not separate. For another, it’s a hybrid — which, I dunno. That seemed kind of brave, for Ford. It seemed brave enough to me, at least, to inspire me to take a closer look at the little truck’s specs … and that’s when I noticed that the new Maverick isn’t that little after all.
In fact, at 199.7 inches long, the new “compact” Maverick is a full two inches longer than the 1992 Ford F-150 “full-size” half-ton pickup.
Thanks to all of you who welcomed this new series when it appeared on your digital screens last week. Experiments can fall flatter than that can of 7Up you left out overnight, and we’re glad this one made the cut.
Given the BnB’s propensity for small pickup trucks with blue ovals on the grille (remember Sajeev’s understandable but slightly terrifying infatuation with his last-gen Ford Ranger?), the new Maverick makes a perfect foil for the second entry in The Right Spec series of posts.
The word of the week has been Maverick.
The 2022 Ford Maverick has gotten plenty of coverage on this site and elsewhere, plenty of buzz on Twitter, and every auto journalist I know, self included, has strained to find the best joke referencing either Top Gun or a ’90s Western comedy starring Mel Gibson and James Garner (both flicks are excellent, by the way).
I want to be excited by this truck. I should be excited by this truck. And yet, my prevailing feeling about it could be summed up by a gif of a shrug.
Ford CEO Jim Farley was interviewed in a New York Times article apparently devoted to praising him and the company. It was reminiscent of those segments on Good Morning America where they have healthy cooking tips sponsored by the American Egg Board and — surprise, surprise — end up recommending people incorporate eggs into meals.
But it wasn’t entirely devoid of substance, either. While pretending that Farley had just taken the job and was somehow solely responsible for a gaggle of successful debuts planned ages before he took over, NYT did mange to convince him to open up about the future of the Maverick pickup and its potential family.
Ford has announced that it will be introducing a new pickup next week, effectively making this the pre-engagement ring of automotive commitments. Anticipated to be a compact truck priced to contend with tougher times, the model has fittingly been named the Maverick. The title harkens back to the 1970s and the 2-door coupe (later sedan) equipped with a lineup of “Thriftpower” motors that originally had the name emblazoned on the rear deck with a somewhat confusing cattle theme.
While designed in roughly the same spirit as the original, the modern Maverick is a different animal and unlikely to come with the optional Windsor V8 allotted to the coupe. We’ve been told it’s to be produced alongside the smaller Bronco Sport in Mexico and likely share a platform. That means powertrains will probably be limited to 1.5 or 2.0-liter Ecoboost motors with a maximum possible output of 245 horsepower.
Ford squeezed an amazing amount of value out of the 1960 Falcon‘s chassis design, with everything from the 1964-1973 Mustang to the 1980 Granada rolling Falcon-style. The Falcon itself got replaced here by the Maverick starting in 1970 (with one year of overlap when both were available), but the Maverick still had the 1960 Falcon’s bones under its skin. Millions of Mavericks (and near-identical Mercury Comets) were sold here during the 1970-1977 period, and nearly all of these affordable commutemobiles got crushed decades ago. Still, I run across the occasional Maverick/ Comet during my junkyard journeys, and I found this optioned-up ’76 in a Denver-area yard last summer.
It’s no secret that Ford has a compact, unibody pickup coming down the product pipeline, what with well-camouflaged prototypes seen by photographers and the admission from the company that a small trucklet is something it feels is worthwhile pursuing.
A small truck based on the same platform underpinning the Escape and Euro-market Focus might well prove a valuable addition to the company’s crowded utility lineup, but we now have a fairly solid piece of evidence that this product will resurrect a bit of the past.
You just don’t see Ford Mavericks and their Mercury Comet brethren on the street these days; they haven’t picked up a huge amount of collector interest and their place at the bottom of the just-above-scrap-value beater-car food chain has been replaced by the early Ford Taurus. For some reason, though, a steady trickle of Mavericks and Comets shows up in California wrecking yards. My guess, based on the 1980s and 1990s detritus I find in some of them, is that they spent a decade or three forgotten in a back yard or driveway before being sold to U-Wrench-It. So far in this series, we’ve seen this ’75 Maverick two-door, this ’75 Comet sedan, this ’77 Comet sedan, and now today’s ’77 Maverick sedan. Let’s examine this Malaise Mainstay more closely.
With a Ford Maverick sedan as yesterday’s Junkyard Find, it seemed only right that we follow up with the Maverick’s Mercury sibling (which I photographed in the same junkyard, on the same day). Today’s Malaise Era Ford is rough but more complete than yesterday’s car, so let’s crank up >one of the few good pop songs of 1977 and study this phenomenon.
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