Ford on Tuesday revealed the Maverick, a small pickup truck that starts at $19,995.
It comes with a hybrid powertrain that Ford says gets 40 mpg in the city.
The compact pickup goes on sale this fall in three trims: XL, XLT, and Lariat.
It's difficult to ignore that pickup trucks have grown ever larger and pricier in recent years. After all, some full-size trucks have hoods so tall they nearly rival a small house.
Ford is bucking that trend with its latest model.
The company on Tuesday took the wraps off of its first brand-new pickup in decades: the Maverick. Starting at just below $20,000, the compact pickup will be the cheapest truck available in the US and by far one of the smallest when it goes on sale this fall.
To put the Maverick's size in perspective, it's roughly a foot shorter in length than the Ranger, Ford's mid-size truck, and around 2.5 feet shorter than an F-150. The model is geared at buyers who want pickup truck capability in a package that's easier to park, more maneuverable on city streets, and more fuel-efficient than its bulkier, more work-ready models.
To that last point, the Blue Oval gave the Maverick a hybrid powertrain as standard equipment - a first for US pickups. The company says it gets 40 mpg city, but that hasn't been tested by the EPA yet. The combination of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and an electric motor puts out a claimed 191 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque. Ford rates towing capacity at 2,000 pounds, which it says is plenty to pull a couple of jet skis or a small camper.
An optional turbocharged 250-horsepower engine and towing package ups towing capacity to 4,000 pounds, enough to accommodate a standard 23-foot camper, Ford says. Front-wheel drive is standard, with four-wheel drive available as an add-on. There will be three trim levels - XL, XLT, and Lariat - and a fully loaded Maverick will run customers in the low $30,000 range, a company spokesperson said.
That means that even a well-optioned Maverick will cost less than most other pickup trucks available today, the least expensive of which start at around $25,000. The Hyundai Santa Cruz, the only other small crossover-based pickup on the horizon, doesn't have a price yet.
With the new entry-level truck in a category pretty much all on its own, Ford hopes to attract consumers who haven't considered a pickup before, Ford vice president Jim Baumbick, who oversaw the Maverick's development, told Insider.
"We think there's an opportunity to invite a whole new set of customers into the Ford portfolio," Baumbick said. "There are customers out there that may not need some of that capability that's wired into some of our other offerings, but that doesn't mean they can't use the versatility of what a truck offers, especially when it doesn't force you to trade against other things you have to use every day, like interior spaciousness."
A key part of Ford's strategy here is to give DIY-inclined buyers the ability to customize their pickup to their liking. Out back, Ford developed what it's calling the Flexbed - a pickup bed that encourages owners to rig up their own racks and storage solutions using pre-threaded holes and slots that fit dimensional lumber.
The idea is that customers can buy Ford's off-the-shelf products like bike and kayak racks, or they can build their own more wallet-friendly versions out of 2x4s and 2x6s. There's also an outlet for running small tools and appliances along with a spot to wire in extra lights and the like in the bed.
The Maverick is available to order or reserve now on Ford's website. Baumbick declined to share any sales or production targets - but given its low sticker price, lack of competitors, and the general American appetite for pickups, it's tough to imagine that the Maverick won't sell like hotcakes.
Read the original article on Business Insider