The Australian division of Ford – which produced the Ranger T6 including the Raptor – is currently developing a new Focus-based pickup which we expect to see in around 2022. It’s expected that Ford will call the pickup ‘Courier’ in the US, but its likely it will use that name in Europe due to confusion with the small Transit Courier van.
Ford has marketed compact pickup trucks in different markets for decades; the most successful of which was called the Courier. First introduced in 1975, the first Ford Courier pickup was based on the Mazda B-Series and sold in the US until 1982, but it continued to sell in Australia until 2007 when it was replaced by the larger Ranger.
Another Ford Courier was sold in South America between 1998 and 2013. This was also very compact but was instead based on the Ford Fiesta and had a payload of 700kg. Meanwhile in South Africa, there was the Ford Bantam (1983-2011) – a similar-looking pickup to the Brazilian Ford Courier but with virtually no shared components.
Our editor, Liam, was at the Ford Silverton factory in Pretoria when the last Ford Bantam left the production line to free up room for the all-new Ford Ranger T6.
What we know…
We know that, in August last year, Ford trademarked the ‘Courier’ name plate again. Given the fact that this name has almost exclusively been used on small pickups outside of Europe, suspicions started to raise about the possibility of a little brother for the Ranger.
In December last year, spy shots captured a small pickup testing in Australia. It was later leaked that the new pickup is based on the Ford Focus C2 (although with a longer wheelbase), feature a unibody design, codenamed the ‘P758’ and that it was powered by Ford’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol, mated to an 8F24 eight-speed automatic transmission.
What is being rumoured…
There are rumours that it will be a front-wheel drive based pickup and that Ford will offer two engines on the new pickup; the 2.0-litre petrol and the 1.5-litre, but a diesel would also be needed if its to be sold in Europe. The new pickup is expected to be built in Mexico, which could easily serve the North and South American markets, while curtailing the US’s extortionate 25% import duty on commercial vehicles through NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement).
Pickup trucks have definitely ‘beefed up’ over the past couple of generations, with modern mammoth pickups dwarfing the car-based pickups, like the Skoda Felicia pickup and Proton Jumbuck, of yesteryear. With all the big names shifting up in size, we think there could be scope over here for a smaller workhorse like the proposed Focus-based pickup.