Dealers Share Details of Ford Bronco Prototype, New Off-road Vehicle Family

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
dealers share details of ford bronco prototype new off road vehicle family

Dealers got an early look at a prototype build of the upcoming Ford Bronco. Gathered in Palm Beach, FL at the behest of the automaker, dealers were asked to hand over their phones in order to avoid any leaks. Fortunately, their memories were sufficient in giving us a better idea as to what to expect come 2020.

While the event’s focus stayed on the Bronco and some of its more-interesting features, Ford also shared its plan to develop a family of off-road vehicles to complement the model. Introductory vehicles include the Bronco, its smaller counterpart, and a little unibody pickup to slot beneath the Ranger.

Ford didn’t specify whether or not these vehicles would occupy a pseudo sub-brand but, according to Automotive News, dealers noted a similar, distinctive, styling trend among the utility models revealed in Florida — round headlamps and boxy, retro-inspired bodywork.

From Automotive News:

Dealers, after relinquishing their phones, were shown an early build of a two-door Bronco and told that a four-door version also would be offered, according to multiple sources in the room. The Bronco is designed to be customizable, with a removable hard top and removable doors that can be stored in the vehicle’s cargo area, the sources said. The side mirrors will be attached to the front pillars so they remain in place when the doors are taken off, unlike the Jeep Wrangler — one of the chief rivals Ford is targeting with its Bronco revival.

Here’s what we think happened. A few years ago, someone at Ford took a look at Jeep’s domestic sales volume and noticed it had effectively tripled since 2010. One important meeting later, the entire company decided it needed something that could more directly compete with the seven-slot brand, thus tapping into that energetic customer base. While that’s tantamount to accusing Ford of trying to ride Jeep’s coattails, it doesn’t make it a bad strategy. Ford’s master plan called for the abandonment of less-profitable cars and a focus on SUVs, crossovers, and electric vehicles. It would be foolish not to commit.

Likewise, the returning Bronco, which has been in development for a while now, finds itself hyped more by eager shoppers than the automaker. While Ford hasn’t said all that much about the vehicle, it knows its holding a stick of dynamite. Setting up a family of ORVs probably has as much to do with the presumed success of the Bronco as it does trying to out-Jeep FCA.

Dealers claimed the new Bronco “was twice as cool as I thought it would be,” and was “going to be a game changer.” No images were provided. Thus far, the manufacturer has only released a single teaser image of a very square utility vehicle under a dirty blanket.

Ford intends to build both two and four-door versions of the Bronco, “Baby Bronco,” and unibody pickup. However, it’s believed that the upcoming Mustang-inspired EV will remain a four-door affair. Bronco assembly should commence at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant (home of the Ranger) in the second half of 2020. Its pint-sized sibling should beat it to market, according to dealers, by a few months. Meanwhile, the pickup isn’t slated to see the light of day until 2021.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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4 of 27 comments
  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Mar 25, 2019

    Does it mean GM is forced to resurrect Hummer brand? Cannot imagine GM staying out of orgy.

    • See 1 previous
    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Mar 26, 2019

      @JohnTaurus Too baby the blew the Blazer nameplate.

  • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Mar 25, 2019

    It might be time for Corey Lewis and others who agreed to retract the "Bronco will be nothing but a Ford Everest with a different name" proclamation. It's all in good fun, my friend. Not seriously trying to troll you, haha. For what it's worth, I'm glad you were wrong. I only wish the new Explorer was an Everest with a different name, and the Aviator was just as it is. But, Ford would be pretty stupid to abandon the 7 passenger crossover (Pilot/Traverse/etc) market it thus far dominates.

  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.
  • Nopiho Kovaon GOOGLE
  • Inside Looking Out Scandinavian design costs only $600? I mean the furniture.