Over the past few years, Ford’s vehicle lineup has undergone a total transformation. The Blue Oval no longer offers it compact or passenger car models, opting to focus on the high-profit SUV and truck segments. While this shift has brought us models like the Ford Ranger and the upcoming Bronco lineup, Ford appears to finally be inserting another small vehicle into its lineup. Don’t rejoice just yet hatchback fans, as we are talking about the upcoming 2022 Ford Courier small pickup truck.
The Courier was sold internationally as a car-based unibody pickup truck that clearly shows its roots in its design. It ceased to be in 2013, when Ford replaced it with the T6 Ranger in the Brazilian market. Domestically, the Ford Courier nameplate hasn’t been seen here in the United States since the 1970s, when Ford sold rebadged Mazda B-series trucks under that name. It is possible that the compact truck could reach the U.S. with a different name, such as Ranchero, according to Motor Trend.
A smart move, seeing as few people seem to use the word ‘Courier’, and seeing as it doesn’t exactly spark images of a small pickup truck for American buyers. We here at MC&T like to think that, if it won’t be the Ranchero, it could possibly be one of the many names recently trademarked that were assumed to be trim levels for the Ford Bronco. Names like ‘Badlands’, ‘Wildtrack’, and ‘Adrenaline’ come to mind. Internationally, Ford also had sold small trucks like the Bantam (South Africa), Falcon Ute (Australia) and the Pampa (South America).
FCA could also bring a small truck to the American market in the same time frame. The popular theory is that it will launch the new Fiat Strada – also a unibody pickup for Brazil – in the US and Canada as the Ram 700. Both trucks would fill the white space left behind by the midsize pickup segment as trucks in that space ballooned in size and price, having to fill in the space left behind by the half-ton full size truck segment, which experienced the same phenomenon.
Based on the same front-wheel drive compact car platform that will underpin the Bronco Sport and Ford Escape, the tentatively-named 2022 Ford Courier pickup will slot in as a smaller alternative to the Ranger mid-size pickup. Because of its shared underpinnings, it is likely that the Courier will be offered with the same 1.5-liter three-cylinder and 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engines as the Bronco Sport. According to leaked Ford documents, the engines will produce 180 horsepower and 250 horsepower in the Bronco Sport.
Expect this new truck to share some of the Baby Bronco’s looks as well. Motor Trend says the Courier should debut with styling that makes it undeniably a truck, not quite like the cute Courier sold abroad. The upcoming Bronco lineup features a boxy and rugged design language, which could certainly be applied to this compact-truck as well.
We haven’t gotten many foreign-built trucks on American dealer lots, thanks in no small part to the “chicken tax” that has kept them from being profitable. The Ford Courier should be able to skirt this problem, as it will reportedly be produced alongside the Bronco Sport in Mexico.