Ford has said before that it’s considering the sporty Maverick to be placed next to the pickup’s budget-friendly Hybrid and EcoBoost powertrains, but there hasn’t been much news to share on that front lately. Until last week.
That’s when our intrepid spy photographer caught the lower and more aggressive Maverick roaming around, boasting dual exhaust stacked on the rear bumper and wider bodywork hiding the big, bulky wheels. Even though the Maverick in question is wearing a fair amount of camouflage, it’s still not hard to imagine what might be hiding under that swirling vinyl wrap. So we fired up Photoshop, put our best minds together, and voila! Meet the Ford Maverick ST 2023 – unofficially at least.
Our theoretical Maverick ST sported a deeper and more ruthless front air dam (hiding what might be an extra intercooler per our spy photo. Unique mesh with dark coating fits nicely into the smoky headlights, and some slick ST badges are mounted on the grille and tailgate angles. Lowered on a set of lacy 20-inch wheels, our electronic Maverick also offers fender extensions that hide a wider track for increased stability and handling. Around the rear are black tailgate markings as well as a vertical exhaust mounted on each corner of the bumper – a design cue borrowed from the Edge ST.
Apart from the spy photos, Blue Oval has yet to confirm whether it will produce a sporty version of the pickup for sale alongside other Ford products such as the F-150 Raptor and Explorer ST. When and if that happens, it’s likely that the Maverick will lean more towards sporty on-road performance, rather than Baja’s explosive desert speed. We think it will probably use Ford’s hot, turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four, which makes up to 330 horsepower (243 kilowatts) in the Mustang. Backing it up would be a 10-speed automatic, though our enthusiastic hearts hope that the Focus RS’s six-speed manual will return again.
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Like the Focus RS, the Maverick ST is expected to be all-wheel-drive, and the unique hot hatch Sport, Track and Drift modes may appear as well. Imagine a pickup hurtling through the track with smoke billowing from all four wheel wells, followed by the Nissan 240SX and Toyota Corolla AE86. Try not to laugh, we challenge you.
Unfortunately, our Maverick ST is just a dream – for now. But Ford says it measures interest in such vehicles, so if you want to see a cheap and cheerful pickup turn into a pocket rocket with a cargo bed, make your voice heard.