It was nearly a decade ago when I was researching about the Ford Ikon in India did I come to know that Ford sells a pickup based on the Ikon in the South African and Brazilian markets.
For Brazil, the Ikon based pickup is called (or rather 'was') the Ford Courier. While for the South African markets, the pickup is called the Ford Bantam.
From the front, the pickup retains the styling of the Ikon. In fact, it is an Ikon until the part where the front door ends. Its only there that the actual 'pickup' starts. The Ford Courier/Bantam pickup had a maximum carrying capacity of 700kg as well.
However, we've learnt recently that Ford has stopped the production of the pickup in Brazil. While the remaining units would be sold, Ford will no longer accept bookings for the pickup.
In Brazil, Ford started selling the Courier from as early as 1998. Under the hood, the pickup was powered by the same Ikon engine. Which meant that both, the 1.3-liter and the 1.6-liter petrols were available as options. Both these Zetec-Rocam engine's propelled the pickup from 0-100km/h in 12 secs and 10 secs respectively.
While we've never driven the Courier (but we've experienced the engines), the general criticism the pickup received was positive. It was acclaimed for its engine and driving dynamics mainly. Though the Courier could not move heavy machinery with its 700 kg load capacity, those who needed it to move light loads were satisfied with the car.
Will Ford develop a compact pickup based on the next generation Figo to relaunch the Courier as a global product?
[Source - AutosSegredos.com.br]