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Baby Ranger ute leaked! 2022 Ford Maverick puts Hyundai Santa Cruz in firing line by taking new Bronco Sport SUV to next level

The Maverick will likely ride on the same C2 platform as the recently launched Bronco Sport and new-generation Focus and Escape.

It’s no secret Ford is busy developing a new ute that will sit below the best-selling Ranger in its global line-up, and thanks to a fresh leak straight from the factory floor, we now have our best look at it yet.

All but confirmed to be called Maverick, the new model is expected to use Ford’s fresh C2 architecture, which already underpins the latest-generation Focus small car and Escape mid-size SUV as well as the recently launched Bronco Sport small SUV.

And yes, that would mean the Maverick wouldn’t have a rugged body-on-frame construction, let alone a trick four-wheel-drive system. Instead, a softer monocoque chassis would be the go alongside the option of run-of-the-mill front- or all-wheel drive.

Either way, it’s clear the Maverick will look tough at the very least, with its squared-off front fascia, shown in the single image taken at its Mexican assembly line and published by Maverick Truck Club, making it look more truck-like than the current Ranger.

That said, the Maverick does likely bear a resemblance with the next Ranger, with its C-shaped headlights intersected by a horizontal bar that splits the large grille in two. Needless to say, both models should be influenced by the larger new-generation F-150.

Of note, the lightly camouflaged development mule in question is an example of the Maverick’s dual-cab pick-up body-style, albeit without any of its four doors fitted.

It’s not clear exactly when the Hyundai Santa Cruz rival’s will be officially revealed, let alone go into production, but sometime in the next 12 or so months is rumoured. And whether or not ute-hungry Australia will get it is also very much a mystery. As always, time will tell.