2020 Ford Bronco Gains Hybrid Variant, Smaller Off-road Sibling
Ford wants to be seen as a nimble, responsive automaker, quick to adapt to changing market trends, so today the automaker dumped a pile of product information on our heads.
Some of the vehicles Ford confirmed today were already known, like the upcoming Shelby GT500 super Stang, Ford Explorer ST, and hybrid versions of the Mustang and F-150. What we didn’t know until today was that the reborn Bronco, due out in 2020, will receive an electrified powertrain. Nor were we aware that it won’t arrive alone.
Ford’s calling the Bronco’s smaller companion the “Off-Road Small Utility” for now, but “Mini Bronco” sounds better to our ears.
By 2020, Ford wants an SUV lineup consisting of eight models, with the Ford Performance division gaining 12 new models, among them the 2019 Edge ST and 2020 Explorer ST. But you’re probably not reading this to learn more about the Explorer ST.
You want more Bronco.
The automaker teased the above image on Thursday, showing the Bronco sitting beneath a form-fitting wrap. Is it a concept vehicle? Prototype? Ford won’t say. It’s clear Ford aims to challenge Jeep with this offering, rather than offer a butched-up family hauler like the overseas-market — and Ranger-based — Everest (as some have feared). A flat hoodline, upright windshield, flat roof, massive wheel arches, and rear-mounted spare are the big takeaways from this image. Is there room for four doors between those arches? The jury’s out.
Ford didn’t say how broad the Bronco range will be, but a hybrid model is a certainty. The hybrid system planned for this model and others is apparently “more efficient and less expensive” than previous generations.
“The valuable capability [hybrids] offer – plus fuel efficiency – is why we’re going to offer hybrid variants of our most popular and high-volume vehicles, allowing our loyal, passionate customers to become advocates for the technology,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s president of global markets, in a statement.
The smaller off-roader is even more of a mystery. What platform it uses remains unknown, and powertrains are anyone’s guess. There’ll be EcoBoost power, though — you can count on it. Obviously, there’s a certain capability implied when an automaker calls something an “off-road” model. This vehicle, due date unknown, should surpass the off-pavement antics of, say, an Escape or EcoSport.
Given the timing of the announcement, we’ll surely learn more information at this month’s New York Auto Show.
[Images: Ford Motor Company]
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