Bronco family: smaller car-based crossover to augment trucky Bronco
The internet is ablaze with Bronco speculation yet again. This time because of pictures from a recent Ford dealer meeting in Las Vegas that were reportedly posted on a Ford website by accident. First discovered by Off-Road.com, the images give us our first glimpse of a rugged-looking future Ford vehicle.
But let’s set the record straight. This is not the Ford Bronco that is coming in 2020. The Bronco will be a body-on-frame, rear-wheel-drive SUV, sharing its underpinnings with the new Ford Ranger pickup, and very capable off-road. The Bronco is expected to look like the Broncos of old. It will also be offered as a hybrid.
The leaked pictures are of a smaller vehicle, nicknamed “baby Bronco,” that is also due by 2020. This baby is front-wheel-drive-based, using the same architecture as the next-generation Ford Focus, EcoSport, and Escape, which means unibody construction.
Baby Bronco will be the size of a Ford Escape, but while the Escape will be a more urban vehicle, the new crossover will have off-road capabilities and the right approach, departure, and breakover angles as well as Terrain Management and all-wheel drive.
The image on the right closely matches the baby Bronco teaser Ford released earlier this year. In fact, it uses the same exact background. This new rendering clearly shows a boxier vehicle, and though some body lines appear different from the original teaser, it’s possible that first shadowy image showed an earlier design. Another clue that this is the baby: Look closely at the side view image in the center and you’ll see the big Bronco silhouetted in the background.
The baby Bronco is designed to compete against the Jeep Wrangler—even though it is unlikely to have the same degree of capability and may not be able to cross the Rubicon. At a press event earlier this year Jim Farley, Ford’s head of global markets, said Ford’s definition of off-road is not Jeep and Moab, but dirt trails and sand dunes and general lifestyle adventures while retaining strong on-road capability, like the Raptor.
The smaller crossover, which expands the SUV lineup, won’t be a shrunken Bronco but should have some Bronco design cues. And it should have Bronco as part of its name, part of a mini Bronco family. Think Rogue and Rogue Sport; Discovery and Discovery Sport—you get the idea.
Photo source: Off-Road.com