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Ford Maverick pickup's leaked tailgate photo basically confirms compact Ranger to come

So, yeah, it's basically all but confirmed that Ford has a compact pickup truck on the way.

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Ford Maverick leaked photo

A compact pickup truck is on the way.

Motor1.com

The Ford Maverick appears poised for a comeback, but it won't be a sleek coupe as it was in the 1970s. Instead, the name will almost certainly grace an upcoming compact pickup truck from Ford.

An anonymous tipster left a digital surprise and Motor1 first published this leaked tailgate photo on Monday. It shows a small tailgate that clearly shows the "Maverick" name debossed into the component. Above it, there's a familiar, oval-shaped cutout where a Ford badge will sit.

Ford declined to comment on the leaked photo, but it's not too difficult to push these puzzle pieces together, folks.

While the tailgate doesn't give us any other information, we've started to learn a lot more about this compact pickup truck in the past few months. We first heard whispers about the idea of a unibody-construction truck in 2018, and earlier this year, dealerships reported they say the truck firsthand and walked away impressed.

Basically, the Maverick will serve as a one of two new entry-level Ford vehicles, if we take the dealer information as accurate. The Maverick should start under $20,000 and sit alongside an Ecosport replacement, which will give buyers an affordable small crossover choice. Both will fill gaps left by the Fiesta and Focus sedans and hatchbacks since Ford decided passenger cars weren't worth the trouble in the US any longer.

What the Maverick almost certainly won't be is a body-on-frame pickup. Instead, it should ride on Ford's C2 architecture that underpins the latest-generation Focus sold abroad, the Escape and the 2021 Bronco Sport. That doesn't mean it will be a dud -- the Bronco Sport shows Ford can still build a rugged little thing without a proper truck platform.

Most importantly, it could be the true Ford Ranger successor so many yearn for. The latest Ranger isn't exactly small, but the Maverick could be just the ticket in a market so focused on utility vehicles. We could see the Maverick debut as soon as next year.

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