Crossover & Midsize

Ford Revives “Maverick” Name But What’s It For?

You know about the “baby Bronco,” right? It’s the Bronco-Lite version of Ford’s up and coming body-on-frame Bronco. It will be a crossover based on the Ford Escape as opposed to the Bronco which is based on the Ranger platform. Baby Bronco has been an easy way for us scribes to distinguish between the two Ford SUVs. Ford never intended to call it Baby Bronco once it hits the streets but since it’s a new version of an Escape no one knew the real name. Until now.

The folks at Carbuzz found that a member of the Bronco6G forum discovered something of a mystery. He saw that there are parts number listings with “Maverick” next to them. No, Ford doesn’t list parts for its Maverick from the 1970s. Whatever this is lists “2020 Maverick” for the parts. 

Leaked parts information suggests Maverick production starting in August 2020

The general consensus is this parts listing is for the crossover everyone has dubbed the baby Bronco. We expect a reveal any time as the Maverick listed is claimed to be in production by August 2020. That indicates this will be a 2021 model. 

Rather than trying to dig up a new name it makes sense for Ford to use what it already has. The original compact Maverick went out of production in the late-1970s. So why not resurrect the name for something else 40 years hence? 

What do we know about the upcoming Maverick crossover?

2020 Suzuki Jimny | Suzuki
2020 Suzuki Jimny | Suzuki

Since it’s based on the Escape it’s pretty easy to determine certain things about the Maverick crossover. A 1.5-liter turbocharged inline three-cylinder engine will be standard. The 2.0-liter turbo inline four-cylinder will be optional. Either will be backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive will be available, we just don’t know whether it will be standard. 

The Escape also has an optional hybrid system available. We would guess this will also be an option. Ford may as well get as much bang for its buck. If it is offered in its first year of production Ford can determine how demand will be and continue to make it available or quietly discontinue. 

Ford is loading up on SUVs like the Maverick as it strives to fill in holes left by sedans.

This will give Ford two midsize SUV crossovers which should have broad appeal between the two. These combined with the Bronco, Mustang EV crossover, and full- and midsize pickups will help Ford replace some of the cars it has shed over the last few years. 

There’s talk of a small crossover many think will be the rebirth of the Fusion name. There are also rumors that the Bronco will spin off a pickup version to go head-to-head with the Jeep Gladiator. 

As can be expected the Maverick should be more aggressively designed than its Escape counterpart. Hard edges and flat panels will be the norm. Possible heavy body cladding and separate fender forms could also be part of the design language. Whatever it becomes it is sure to be an off-road-looking small crossover, not a more authentic body-on-frame SUV like the Bronco.