Update: TTAC has received information refuting the claims below. You can read the update here.
While Ford finally confirmed the return of the Ford Ranger and Bronco at the North American International Auto Show earlier this week, the automaker remains stingy with details on the reborn models.
Ford aficionados — and Bronco lovers especially — want to know if the resurrected nameplates will offer the same magic as their dear, departed forebears. Perhaps eager to quench the public’s thirst for information, a shadowy Ford employee posted juicy — and potentially disappointing — details during a Reddit AMA.
On the Ford Ranger Reddit subreddit, a poster who claims to be a designer at Ford’s Product Development Center in Dearborn, Michigan, performed a question-and-answer session last night. Road & Track uncovered the thread earlier today.
If there’s truth to the comments, it looks like Ford hit the “easy button” on this project.
The Ranger details aren’t shocking. We already assumed the upcoming Ranger, due out in 2019, would simply be a facelifted version of the existing overseas-market T6 Ranger. That, apparently, is the plan, according to the designer. Don’t expect any cute regular cab versions to roll out of the Michigan Assembly Plant, either — extended and crew cab models only, the poster claims.
Drivetrain choice hasn’t been nailed down, though Ford is apparently keeping a close eye on consumer demand for manual transmission and diesel variants of the Chevrolet Colorado. Given the 2019 Ranger is a game of catch-up, it makes sense to mimic your closest competitor. It’s ballsier, of course, to be first in the game.
As for the Bronco, due out in 2020, Ford calls the upcoming SUV “a no-compromise midsize 4×4 utility for thrill seekers who want to venture way beyond the city.” What does that actually mean? Will the Bronco stand as a legitimate Jeep Wrangler challenger? Will it come with two doors? Will a removable top give carefree owners access to Vitamin D whenever they wish?
Maybe, no, and no, according to the Reddit user, who claims to have carefully concealed his or her identity.
Bronco fans hope and pray for a return of the boxy, slab-sided SUV of yesteryear, but the Ford worker claims the new model will simply be a facelifted Ford Everest SUV. Take one peek at the Everest (seen above) and feel the enthusiasm drain out of you. Yes, the Everest is an overseas-market, four-door, fixed-roof SUV based on the Ranger frame, sporting generic Ford styling cues. While a slight facelift for the North American market is expected, the poster says, there’s no retro bodystyle in the works.
(We’ve heard a rumor that Ford will potentially wait until the second generation of the model to give it some old-school flair.)
While there’s no doubt the upcoming Bronco will have off-road abilities, a warmed-over Everest wouldn’t be a Wrangler-fighter. A midsize body-on-frame, closed-cabin design makes the Everest a challenger to the Toyota 4Runner at best, at least in the design department.
[Image: Ford Motor Company]