SPIED: 2021 Ford Courier Compact Pickup
Blue Oval May Include Compact Pickup in the Bronco Family of Vehicles
Ford has previously confirmed that a sub-Ranger compact pickup would join its truck lineup in the coming years, and we think this is that vehicle, the 2021 Courier. What’s more, a leak from a recent Ford dealer meeting seems to suggest that the small, unibody pickup is set to become a member of the Bronco family, joining the conventional SUV and its Escape-based little sibling on the company’s roster in 2021 or 2022.
The Courier mule shown here seems to be a long way off from its final, off-road–ready form. Squinting (and making assumptions) beyond the heavy plastic camouflage, we see front styling inspired by the outgoing Focus hatchback and Escape crossover, and the ride height looks like it’s closer to the Focus. A steeply raked front windshield likewise recalls the Focus/Escape, and it would be wholly inappropriate for something even tangentially related to the Bronco.
That leads us to believe the Courier mule’s exterior panels were cobbled together from existing Ford parts in an effort to disguise the engineering being done underneath the skin. To that effect, the Courier makes plain and obvious use of an independent rear suspension—like the Escape and Focus. That ought to give the Courier respectable handling dynamics on-road, but the less robust suspension layout will sacrifice some outright load-carrying capacity and off-road articulation compared to the Ranger.
Nevertheless, we still expect a minimum payload capacity of 1,000 pounds—more than enough for most hobbyists. The test vehicle seen here is also sporting some van-aping rear bodywork that could be hiding payload-testing weights and materials.
There’s also a dual exhaust on display, suggesting an engine with relatively brisk performance. The smart money here is on a version of the Ford 2.0L twin-scroll–turbocharged EcoBoost I-4, which makes 250 hp and 275 lb-ft in the Edge SUV. A base Courier might also make use of the naturally aspirated 2.5L I-4 found in the outgoing 2019 Escape, where it makes 168 hp and 170 lb-ft. This inexpensive mill would make the Courier an ideal replacement for those old 2011 Rangers you see pressed into garden truck and pest control duty.
We should see a production version of the Courier within the next year, and we’re most excited to learn what sort of rugged alterations it will receive to fit in with its Bronco and “Baby Bronco” family members.
Source: SpiedBilde Photography