Ford is reportedly working on a replacement model for the Courier pickup sold in Brazil, and there’s a good chance this new model could make it to North America. Unlike the Courier, which is positively tiny by American pickup standards because it is based on the Fiesta city car (and also it went out of production in 2013 and never got a direct replacement), this new Ranchero would use the slightly largerFocus platform.

This means it’d grow in length quite considerably and also move from a single cab design to a crew cab. If it makes it to the States, it would probably get a name change as well, so instead of Courier, it will probably be called Ranchero, recalling an older model name. The old Ranchero was built between 1957 and 1979 as a unibody, car-based pickup. It was Ford’s answer to the Chevy El Camino.

So, it would be quite natural for Ford to use the Ranchero name for this newly proposed pickup, although nothing has been officially confirmed yet (or denied, for that matter). What’s clear is that this new Ranchero could be here by 2022, when it will share the showroom floor with the likes of the new Ranger, Bronco, and maybe a boxy-looking Focus platform-based crossover (aka “baby Bronco”).

2022 Ford Ranchero Exterior

2022 Ford Ranchero
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Don’t be fooled by those renderings that have been popping up since the announcement that a small Ford pickup may be in the works, showing this future model as merely the current Focus, but with a higher ground clearance and a bed in the back.

Even if its underpinnings are similar to what the hatchback model has, Ford will want to give this model its own visual identity to try to make it seem related to its other pickup models (which get different styling compared to its non-pickup range).

Essentially, we believe the Focus-based pickup will not really look like a Focus, but maybe a combination of Focus and current Ford pickup design, like the vehicle in our exclusive rendering.

Ford could increase the Ranchero pickup’s wheelbase too, in order for it to have enough space for passengers and a bed that’s a usable size. We feel that our artist’s interpretation is a very accurate representation of what it could realistically be like.

2022 Ford Ranchero Interior

2017 Ford Escape High Resolution Interior
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Ford could go in many directions with the Ranchero’s interior, but it probably won’t be all that different to what you see in the Focus or the Kuga/Escape crossover. However, its interior design could have a more rugged feel and some different pieces of trim and buttons, to reflect its tougher pickup nature.

2022 Ford Ranchero Drivetrain

2022 Ford Ranchero
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Ford has a wide range of engines that could end up powering the Ranchero (if it is indeed what they’ll end up calling it).

Anything is possible under the hood of this model, from the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost turbo to the larger 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo and maybe, why not, the 2.3-liter turbo from the Mustang and Focus RS to power the hot Ranchero Raptor model.

There is no all-wheel-drive version of the Focus available, not even for the crossover sized Focus Active (essentially just a raised Focus wagon with body cladding and minimal styling changes), but we imagine Ford would offer at least optional all-wheel drive for the Ranchero.

Even a diesel engine is possible and would make a lot of sense from an efficiency standpoint because, even with the bad press oil burners have been receiving recently, you still cannot match the extreme level of fuel-sipping you can achieve with one.

Even a hybrid or plug-in variant is not out of the question, although it’s probably less likely to happen since Ford doesn’t seem that eager to electrify its pickup range.

2022 Ford Ranchero Prices

2022 Ford Ranchero
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If Ford were to make this new Focus-based Ranchero pickup, it’d probably have to cost under $20,000 for the basic version and probably around double that if they decide to make a hot Ranchero Raptor out of it.

2022 Ford Ranchero Competition

Renault Duster Oroch

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There aren’t that many direct rivals to this new Focus-based pickup, but if it ends up being sold in Latin American countries, then it will go up against the Renault Duster Oroch, the pickup version of the Dacia Duster, which in those markets is sold under the Renault brand. In terms of size, it’s probably the closest to the new Ranchero.

The Duster Oroch isn’t very fast, though, nor is it particularly nice feeling inside, but at the same time it’s not hugely expensive and more capable off-road than pretty much anything else its size. It can be had in front-wheel drive only, but it’s so capable with the AWD system equipped that it’s a bit of a shame to order one without it.

Its range of engines is also limited compared to Europe, and in Latin American markets it is sold with old and quite outdated engines (Renault 1.6- and 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engines that are almost 20 years old by now). Same goes for the transmission options.

Hyundai Santa Cruz

2015 Hyundai Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept Exterior
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The Santa Cruz is a model Hyundai is currently working on to make its entry into the lucrative pickup market. We don’t yet know exactly how big it’s going to be in the end, but chances are it will be similar to the Ford Ranchero which in turn would have to slide underneath the Ranger in the Ford Range.

Hyundai’s pickup could very well be closer to the Ranger in size, but since the South Korean automaker has no pickups on sale at all right now in the States, it could try to launch one that covers more than one traditional size bracket.

We don’t know when exactly it could debut, but a company official was recently quoted as answering the question with “as soon as possible.” That could mean within the next two years, maybe three.

Read our full review on the 2015 Hyundai Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept.

Conclusion

2022 Ford Ranchero
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Ford would enter a market segment that at least in North America is not very well catered for with its Focus-based pickup that could be called “Ranchero” (the “Courier” name could also be used). There’s definitely a business case for it as Americans have been crying out for a small, utilitarian pickup for years, but didn’t (and still don’t) have any officially imported models to choose from.

The Ranchero would be really good because its car-based underpinnings would provide a car-like driving experience, but its bed in the back would make it practical for small businesses, maybe farmers, and even city types with an active lifestyle that frequently takes them away from urban areas.

It really makes a lot of sense for Ford to be doing this right now, and it’s actually a bit surprising that this segment of the pickup market is as empty as it is. However, by 2022 when it is believed Ford will launch it, the sector may be more populated as this recent bit of news has definitely made other automakers at least investigate entering it.

It’s not a question of if Ford brings this model to market, but when, since it’s a market niche that isn’t currently being exploited. The Blue Oval will also have to build it locally or somewhere close to avoid having to pay the dreaded Chicken Tax for its new pickup.

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    Further reading

    2019 Ford Focus Exterior Interior
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    Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Focus.

    The Ford Ranchero Could Return as a Focus-Based Truck!
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    The Ford Ranchero Could Return as a Focus-Based Truck!

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