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As Hybrid Sales Heat Up, Ford Could Offer Maverick With AWD

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2024 Ford Maverick Lariat AWD
Adding an AWD option could boost the towing power of the Ford Maverick hybrid
Photo: Ford

With Ford poised to increase its investment in partially electrified vehicles, its bestselling hybrid truck could be adding a feature that would only serve to make it more popular. Spy shots taken this week suggest that the Ford Maverick will pair its hybrid powertrain with an AWD option at some point in the near future.

The Ford Maverick launched two years ago with a 2.5-liter full hybrid engine as the standard option. Ford has since made the 2.0-liter EcoBoost the default mill, offering the hybrid as a paid upgrade. But no matter where it’s slotted, the hybrid has only been offered with front-wheel drive to this point. But photos published by Autoblog on Wednesday suggest that could be changing.

Maverick spy shots show hybrid, AWD badges; independent rear suspension

The spy photos reveal what appears to be a Ford Maverick test mule with hybrid and AWD badges on the tailgate. It’s also evident in the photos that this truck sports an independent rear suspension, which is consistent with an AWD model. Maverick trucks with front-wheel drive leverage a twist-beam rear suspension. Photos of the prototype also reveal that it sports a fresh new face with a new grille and sleeker headlights as well as a larger touchscreen display in the cabin.

While this is by no means a guarantee of what’s to come, Ford’s efforts to reduce development and testing times and keep its lineup fresh suggest that this could very well be the 2025 Maverick. And the timing could be quite fortuitous. The Maverick is America’s bestselling hybrid pickup in 2024 with 26,061 trucks moved through April, and an impressive 59% of that total are drivers conquested from other brands or segments.

Adding AWD to the Maverick boosts its functionality when it comes to towing, off-roading, and all-weather driving, making it even more broadly appealing. It likely wouldn’t impact one of the biggest inherent benefits of a hybrid — fuel economy — too greatly. 2024 Maverick trucks with the EcoBoost and AWD return 23 city mpg, 30 highway mpg, and 26 combined mpg. That’s 1 mile less than the FWD model across the board. With AWD, the Maverick hybrid could still deliver over 40 mpg in the city. That’s what you’d call a win-win.

Ford renews focus on hybrids as sales, profits rise

Ford potentially sweetening the pot with the award-winning Maverick lines up with its renewed push to emphasize hybrids in its portfolio. The automaker delivered 17,997 hybrid vehicles in April, its best-ever month for hybrids. Sales of the F-150 PowerBoost hybrid rose nearly 94% year-over-year in April, and it remains America’s top full-size hybrid pickup.

At the Bernstein Annual Strategic Decisions Conference on Thursday, Ford CEO Jim Farley said that the company views hybrids as a solution rather than a bridge between ICE-powered vehicles and EVs. What’s more, Farley says hybrid vehicles like the Maverick have become more profitable than counterparts powered solely by an engine. By making the already red-hot Maverick hybrid even more viable to more customers, that trend could very well continue into 2025.