By on January 12, 2017

Ford Bronco Concept, Image: Ford

Bronco.

While the name isn’t as intertwined in Ford history as much as Mustang or F-Series, the Bronco nameplate is something Ford can’t affix to just anything.

And according to rumors we’re hearing, we don’t need to worry about Ford refreshing an Everest for North American consumption and relying on a nostalgic nameplate to carry it off the lot.

Unfortunately, we need to walk a fine line here, as details we received have been shared completely off the record.

However, TTAC can reveal many of the details we are hearing about Bronco fly in the face of our report from yesterday, which detailed a supposed Ford designer dishing details on Ranger and Bronco on Reddit.

The details point to Ford’s Bronco rebirth being more of a Wrangler competitor than a 4Runner clone, bringing the fight to Jeep in a segment it has owned for decades. They also point to Bronco offering some features Wrangler lacks, though those details were shared off the record and can’t be reported.

Ford broke its silence during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, stating Ranger and Bronco will come back to North America in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Both vehicles will be manufactured at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan.

Ranger, which will return as a midsize pickup, will go head-to-head with the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, and Nissan Frontier. Those trucks accounted for 448,398 sales in the United States in 2016 — a jump of 25.5 percent over 2015 — and represent 2.7 percent of overall U.S. sales.

Bronco may only have one true competitor in the Wrangler, but Toyota’s 4Runner will likely give brand agnostic buyers pause if they begin searching for their next off-road capable machine in 2020. Jeep sold 191,774 Wranglers in the U.S. last year, a decline from 202,702 units the year before. The 4Runner sold just over half as often as the Wrangler, with Toyota pushing out 111,970 units in 2016 in the U.S.

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72 Comments on “Everything We Reported Wednesday About the Ford Bronco is Probably Wrong...”


  • avatar
    Higheriq

    The Bronco designer currently owns a 76 Bronco, so he should have some idea of what makes a Bronco, a Bronco. At a minimum, a Bronco has 4WD, removable top, and two doors. Everything else is up in the air.

  • avatar

    Best interpretation of a mountain cabin on wheels, the Bronco on the picture.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I don’t know if I can accept a world where anonymous Reddit AMA posts arent accurate.

    • 0 avatar
      Funky

      The reddit posts may have been accurate from the original poster’s point of view. Internal politics are most likely playing a major role in the decision making at this stage of their development process. There are probably multiple paths being seriously considered (the redditor may be too inexperienced to realize this).

      • 0 avatar
        Pete Zaitcev

        Quite. And the “features that Wrangler lacks” are probably the independent suspension and a fancy moonroof. Maybe the center differential if we’re lucky.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        No too late for them to still be considering which path to take, they have already chosen the path and are too far down it to try to turn around and take another one.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Remember the n++ movement? Try to be a little better than Jeff Bezos’s WaPo, publishing whatever is sent to them decrying fake news, admitting it was fake news, then begging everyone to stop calling you fake news. There’s no need for breathlessness here.

    • 0 avatar
      trollson

      Well, they did state that their source was reddit.

      The failure is purely editorial here. How someone could go ahead and publish hearsay from a troll filled forum as news is mind boggling.

      But I guess this is no different than other news outlets broadcasting shit they found online.

      It is up to the reader to have some critical thinking and not believe everything they see.

  • avatar
    jjster6

    Bronco in picture… please make that. Take my cash.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    There are no Ford designers named Pepe, and don’t believe the new model runs on Kek for reduced emissions.

  • avatar
    TheEndlessEnigma

    SO Ford has designed…..an H3?

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      That concept looks more like a Flex that’s been into Death Star’s trash compactor.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      That’s what you got out of this? Reading comprehension fail. That’s if you read it at all and didn’t just look at that many-years old concept in the picture and assumed it was the actual production model.

      The H3 was not a direct Wrangler compeditor, it was more in line with the BOF Pathfinder and 4Runner, WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT THIS ARTICLE STATES BRONCO IS NOT.

      Yes, it will be just like the H3, like the way the Subaru BRZ is just like a Ford Pinto, both being small RWD two doors lacking power.

      • 0 avatar
        TheEndlessEnigma

        Rage much dude? I was reacting to the physical appearance of the concept rendering (which I might add is the only vehicle representation provided). Keep in mind, Chief, the appearance of a vehicle is typically the FIRST thing about the vehicle a consumer uses to form an impression of the vehicle. I am sorry this obviously offends you, but the graphic provided is quite reminiscent of the APPEARANCE of an H3 from the same vantage point. I am not speaking about all the design consideration happening under the skin of the thing, it LOOKS like an H3.

        I can only assume you get lathered up when someone says the Jeep Patriot looks like the old Laredo? Obviously one was built on a truck platform and one is built on a car platform, but the Patriot DOES resemble the Laredo even though they are 2 very different cars/trucks.

        Again, I apologize for offending your sensibilities.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Ford – JUST SHOW AN EFFIN’ PROTOTYPE ALREADY!

    #EndTheSpeculation

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    That’s a Bronco!

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    In a perfect world, an Explorer has four doors and a Bronco has two. In our current world two door SUV type vehicles don’t sell very well so there would be a four door for sure and maybe a two door. A removable top may work to differentiate it form the Toyota.

    So is it BoF based on the F series or unibody like the Explorer?

  • avatar
    BlueEr03

    How long until we get footage of Al Cowlings driving around LA in a prototype?

  • avatar
    tylanner

    That concept is less aerodynamic than any vehicle on the market.

    Introducing the new Ford Bronco…the first automobile to have a perfectly bell shaped mpg curve.

    The design isn’t bad though…until you pull up next to a G Wagon…

    It will probably end up looking like a Subaru Outback.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I would tend to agree that the new Bronco will adhere more to the original one rather than the big F-150-based one of later years. The later one may have been more popular but it lacked the true go-anywhere ‘feel’ of the original CJ Jeep and the International Scout which were so much smaller than that later Bronco but a feel which the original Bronco supported and carried until Ford decided to cheap out on its design. Then you have to remember the Bronco II which tried to recover that feel but remained primarily an on-road car because it simply couldn’t be open-air…topless like the original. Even if most drivers never take that top off, having that ability is paramount to a Jeep owner and the lack of such is one reason why the late, great, Toyota FJ died.

  • avatar
    JohnB

    I was hoping the new Bronco would be a full size two-door.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I pray NOT. Full sized is simply too big. This is far more likely to approach the Wrangler in size, which is still larger than the old CJ models.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I honestly would love to see a reincarnation of the fullsize Bronco in the form of a very bobbed F150. Rolldown rear tailgate glass, full rear bench seat with a ton of room for cargo. Offer an FX4 package with Ford’s locking rear diff and some options for rear end gearing. That’d be a force to be reckoned with offroad, as well as at a stop light. A smaller more “OG” Bronco variant would be neat too. As would a potential 4 door Everest based rig. Just give us another true SUV on the market!

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          I would think any F-based Bronco would be too tall and too wide for any real bushwhacking.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Yeah I mean tight trails would constrain a lot of newer stuff including something like a gen 5 4Runner. A F150 based Bronco would excel on many trails out West where currently a half-ton truck might struggle on some of the switchbacks but otherwise do fine owing to ample ground clearance and rugged construction. A modern day F150 Bronco would be the perfect beach/surf rig to drive out on the beach somewhere like OBX.

  • avatar
    ArialATOMV8

    That’s a relief. I recently did a paper on how the Wrangler has a monopoly over off road 2 door convertibles in the US based on our importation system and what the automanufacturs dictate. A little competition could have a positive impact on this successful market.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      How big of a market is there for “off road 2 door convertibles,” though?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Considering how many 2-door Wranglers are on the road today, apparently pretty good.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          All the figures I can find say 2-doors account for between 20 and 30% of Wrangler sales.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            … which means about 66 thousand units, plus or minus. Maybe not great, but still quite a lot more than the TJ before it or the YJ before that.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Key part of phrase “off road”. There aren’t many places where one WOULD want to off-road an open cabin vehicle. In my part of the world you are going to suck a ton of dust during the dryer months. Crawling when wet or dry also means mosquitoes. Anyone hardcore enough to “off-road” and wear rain gear to shed all of the flying goo?
          Add to that getting slapped senseless by trail overgrowth.
          I’ve ridden dirt bikes and quads for years. I’ve been in open cabin vehicles and it gets old real real fast.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I suggest you go out to Moab or any of the other certified off-road parks around the country. Even in the east at Rousch Creek or Pine Barrens or other regional parks, Jeeps in particular tend to go topless unless it’s actively raining. Out in the desert, like Moab in particular, topless is common as well.

            I honestly don’t know where you’re off-roading if you’re that unfamiliar with the sport.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Vulpine ” There aren’t many places where one WOULD want to off-road an open cabin vehicle.”

            Um……

            I’m familiar enough to have that sentence in my comment.

            There are WAY more places to off-road where an open cabin becomes a PITA. Those who need to go to 4×4 “recreation” parks to play are about the only ones that have the luxury to “pop the top”.

            Have you ever been off-roading for several days at a time?
            Have you ever gone into a place where you don’t see another vehicle for days at a time?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Might I suggest you check out YouTube for Jeep videos? Maybe ToasterJeep dot com or wayalife dot com?

            I don’t have to have all THAT much personal experience when there are so many videos available showing what they do. Sure, some like to leave their tops on (or up) most of the time; I preferred using my soft top as a bikini top and took all the side and rear windows out for that open-air experience. I know I’ll be taking the top panels out on my Renegade whenever I’m taking a road trip when the weather warms up again. It hasn’t been warm enough for me to do that since I purchased it in late October.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Vulpine,
            I would tend to agree with Lou here.

            I would think the biggest reason for an open top 4×4 is more on-road pose than off road value.

            What Lou pointed out represents the majority of off roading. Even dust in the desert.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I guess it’s just a Jeep thing then, hmmmm? Because most Jeepers _I_ know do pop their tops when they off-road unless they’re planning on mudding… and sometimes even then.

    • 0 avatar
      ArialATOMV8

      Earlier I was referencing how the Wrangler is the only open top 4X4 in the US market and how they have a Monopoly. Of course more 4 door wranglers are sold but, people still want that shorter wheelbase for more hard-core offroading

      Next I know plenty of people (like myself) that question the reliability of a Jeep and would never want to be seen in one. We are missing out of the market and instead by more practical cars. By bringing another open top 4X4 model on the market, the demand would expand (people stop being practical and unleash the “wild/adventurous side”) and it would create competition and encourage both Ford and Jeep to try to outwit the other with lower prices and better value (good for consumers)

      Finally
      We all have different opinions about what works off road and on road. Exposure to the elements can definitely be a problem for open top 4×4’s. However I’m one of those people who would not mind getting soaked in mud here and there or in a colossal amount of dust. I’m a Eagle Scout who has gone camping many times and does not mind getting filthy (I’ve slept the night in a in a survival shelter made out of sticks during a rainstorm) and survived. I also love having the top/window down regardless of weather. With a 2 door, open top, Manual transmission Bronco, I would go to the beach and do a few trails and possibly use it as a snowrig since I’m a novice for offroading (I don’t live in area that is supportive of this hobby lol) Eventually I will work my way up to the more serious stuff like that park down in PA but, slow and steady wins the race.

  • avatar

    “Unfortunately, we need to walk a fine line here, as details we received have been shared completely off the record.”

    ffs, you’re a news organization with facts. report the damned facts you know! name “confidential sources” as the source. this embargo crap and off the record bollocks needs to stop in the automotive world.

    or just don’t claim you know something that you can’t tell us. friggin’ useless teasing.

    i just wanna know about the damned bronco. we need a wikileaks for autos.

  • avatar
    dwford

    There’s no reason for Ford not to offer a 2 door Bronco AND a 4 door Everest. Chevy is coming back with a new Trailblazer? based on the Colorado, and there really aren’t any other real 4×4 4 door SUVs other than the 4Runner left.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “Chevy is coming back with a new Trailblazer? based on the Colorado,”

      I wish, but the last article I saw on TTAC seemed to state that Chevy was going to bring out a CUV with “blazer” in it, sadly. We’d be living in heady times if we once again had a whole slew of BOF midsize SUVs to shop!

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @dwford
      Vast number of these outside NA: Isuzu MUX; Toyota Fortuner,Mitsubish Pajero i Sport,Ford Everest, Colorado 7
      These are all based on 1 Tonne Pickups

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Chevy does produce the Trailblazer/Colorado 7 elsewhere, but they have no plans to bring it stateside.

      The new /Blazer/ coming soon will be a midsize CUV (since the Equinox is now a compact) on the same platform as the Acadia, IIRC. Basically a SWB Traverse, or maybe the Tahoe to the Traverse’s Suburban.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Ford cannot compete with the Wrangler. They have no idea how to and the sheer size of the Wrangler aftermarket alone will dictate that a Ford version is destined to fail.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The aftermarket catches up with crazy efficiency. Every time there’s a new Wrangler generation, they have to scramble to almost beat it to market. The same with a new F-150, Silverado, Mustang, Civic etc.

      Figure most consumers of new Wranglers like to leave them stock early on. It’s the 2nd owners that go nutz with the mods, or when the warranty ends and or it’s paid off.

      The all-new and current Mustang, F-150 and Super Duty were released to the media, press events, where they could put their hands on them (no test drives), several months before they first hit showrooms. Why would the Bronco or Ranger be any different?

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I can’t see a cheap Wrangler competitor based on the Ranger platform.

    All one has to do is look at the price differences between the 4 door Prado and shorter wheel base 2 door. There’s not much in it.

    The cheapest possible Bronco has to be heavily based on the Ranger/Everest.

    This will make it quite an expensive vehicle. It will be a very competent off roader. But such short wheel base vehicles ride like sh!t.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – What makes you think the 2 dr Wrangler doesn’t ride like sh!t? There’s trade-offs to everything. Sports cars have choppy rides. BMWs too.

      The Wrangler has a stick axle, front end. The Bronco will be IFS. But I don’t know what you expect?

      You can’t expect a Bronco based on a current midsize pickup/SUV to compete head-to-head with the base Wrangler on price or ultimate off-road ability. Think “refinement” while more “car like” and obviously not beating you up on a long ride or commute.

      The Original ’66 Bronco offered “suburban buyers” coil front suspension, convertible hard-top plus options the crude/simplistic CJ5 didn’t at the time.

    • 0 avatar
      Eyeflyistheeye

      Pricing doesn’t necessarily reflect how much a vehicle costs to build. I can’t imagine that the mechanical build cost of a Lincoln MKC which can go up to $70k is significantly more than my $15k Focus that shares the same basic architecture.

      It’s obvious that the Everest is a much cheaper car to build than the Prado, even though they sell for roughly the same price in Australia especially since the Everest and its cousin the Fortuner are primarily aimed at growing third-world economies. When I was in the Philippines, I saw the previous Everest up close and I found it similar in execution the crude, simplistic AUVs there like the Toyota Tamaraw FX and Mitsubishi Adventure. In fact, it was marketed as a premium alternative to those three because of the Ford nameplate.

      In countries like the Philippines and Thailand, the Prado is still considered a notch above the Everest and Fortuner despite its lower tech because of its robust build quality and genuine heritage over a dolled-up Thai-built Everest or Fortuner and I would definitely go Prado over those two if I had AU$60k to blow on an SUV in Australia.

      The FJ Cruiser was derived from the Prado and cost much less than the genuine Prado which was sold as the Lexus GX here.

  • avatar

    Apparently, the Bronco was engineered and designed in Australia. Ford not only outsources manufacturing jobs, but also outsources engineering and design jobs.

    Go get them Trump……

  • avatar
    skygreenleopard

    “the Bronco nameplate is something Ford can’t affix to just anything.”

    Someone tell this to Jeep!

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