By on November 10, 2016

1973-Ford-Bronco-neg-CN6610-302 (1)

Even though Ford hasn’t confirmed it, we know a reborn Ford Bronco is on its way.

Long before a UAW rep spilled the beans about the manly model’s return, Bronco buffs were already giddy with anticipation. TTAC’s managing editor has hardly slept a wink.

Now, word comes that there is indeed a development team hard at work on the model (expected to appear sometime in 2018), but you won’t find them in the vast lands bordered by the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

Sources tell Australia’s Motoring that the Bronco is taking shape at Ford’s Asia-Pacific Product Development Center in the suburbs of Melbourne, deep Down Under.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the resurrected Bronco borrows the global Ford Ranger’s T6 ladder platform. Both Ranger and Bronco are due to roll off the automaker’s Michigan Assembly Plant once the Focus and C-max take a hike south, but the Australian is responsible for shaping all products that use the T6. That includes the Everest SUV, a product foreign to U.S. eyes.

Reportedly, early Bronco test mules have been spotted near the company’s You Yang proving ground near Geelong, Victoria.

The Bronco’s final shape and specifications is still a mystery that Ford hasn’t shed any light on, but its direct competitor will be the next-generation Wrangler. That iconic (#iconic?) model won’t see its boxy, utilitarian shape change much, so expect a rugged, square-rigged Bronco when the model does go on sale stateside, likely as a 2019 model.

Now, it would be nice if the Blue Oval fed the anticipation by releasing details on whether the model will come in two-door guise, or perhaps offer a removable hardtop. After all, a true off-roader calls for a feeling of danger and exposure to the elements that only comes through open-top motoring. For those too afraid to handle that, well, there’s always the EcoSport.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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