Ford Focus-Based Pickup Being Developed in Australia

The Australian division of Ford – which produced the Ranger T6 including the Raptor – is currently developing a new Focus-based pickup expect to arrive in 2022.

Likely to be called Courier in the US, we’ll see a different name on it throughout Europe to avoid confusion with the Transit Courier van.

Background

Ford has marketed compact pickup trucks in different territories for decades, the most successful of which was 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.

A different Ford Courier was sold in South America between 1998 and 2013. This was even more compact, being based on the Ford Fiesta and having a payload limit of 700kg. Meanwhile, in South Africa, there was the Ford Bantam between 1983 and 2011, yet another similar-looking pickup to the Brazilian Ford Courier, despite having virtually no shared components.

The Ford Bantam predates any Focus pickup

What We Know

We know that, in August last year, Ford trademarked the ‘Courier’ nameplate 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 Are the Rumours?

There are rumours that it will be a front-wheel-drive based pickup and that Ford will offer two engines; either the popular 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, or the larger 2.0-litre petrol, but a diesel would also be needed if it’s 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 25% import duty on commercial vehicles through the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Verdict

Pickup trucks have definitely ‘beefed up’ over the past couple of generations, with modern mammoth pickups dwarfing the car-based pickups such as the Skoda Felicia and Proton Jumbuck. With all the big names shifting up in size, we think there could be scope over here for a smaller workhorse, and the proposed Focus-based pickup would fill that niche well.

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