Escape II: Ford's Bronco Sport Leaked

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
escape ii ford s bronco sport leaked

Ford’s effort to generate two streams of customers for its Escape compact crossover by splitting the model into two nameplates, each with a distinct persona, is well underway, with the brawnier of the two bound for an April debut.

Unofficially, that debut is today, as leaked images have hit the web of an unclothed Bronco Sport, aka “Baby Bronco.”

The images come by way of revealing for the second time a boxier take on the new-for-2020 Escape. Images that surfaced in late 2018 showed a similar vehicle, though these pics of a pre-production model show Ford’s decision to more prominently display the model’s name. Note the use of BRONCO in place of a grille-centering FORD or a traditional Blue Oval badge.

Outback, it’s more of the same, though the “Sport” tags along here (albeit with smaller lettering).

Riding atop the same platform as its Escape sibling, the Bronco Sport will undoubtedly reach deep into that same parts bin for its propulsion. Expect a base 1.5-liter three-cylinder and uplevel 2.0-liter turbo-four; the Escape’s hybrid variants might not provide the image the Bronco Sport wants to get across.

Boxier, upright, and considerably more slab-sided than the Escape, the Bronco Sport seems to aim purposely for better front and rear departure angles. Its ride height seems greater than that of an Escape, too. Given its nameplate, Ford will want to endow the model with more than just butchier looks and two-tone paint.

I’m not the only TTAC writer who thinks this thing harkens back to the second-generation Escape (2008-2012), which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Land Rover Freelander came up in conversation, as well. While the round headlamps’ retro vibe is somewhat tempered by their large expanse of protective plastic, which looks awkward when viewed at an angle, the overall look is miles away from the Focus-on-steroids face of the Escape.

Outback, it seems the Bronco Sport received as much peer pressure from its namesake sibling as the Explorer. The tail lamps look an odd fit.

The actual Bronco is scheduled for a public debut this month, followed soon after by the similar-in-name-only Bronco Sport. The smaller of the two vehicles goes on sale first, arriving in dealerships late this year.

[Images: FullSizeBronco]

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  • Scott25 Scott25 on Mar 10, 2020

    There’s millions of people still driving 1st and 2nd gen Escapes (and things like Liberties and Patriots) who wouldn’t be caught dead in the newer one since they adopted the generic CUV styling and reduced ground clearance and less rugged (ie not as cheap and plastic) interior. This is for those people. Who cares what it’s named (though I agree the badge size is ridiculous)

  • Moparmann Moparmann on Mar 12, 2020

    What an absolutely (IMO) putrid color to pick for a showcase model.

  • Stuart de Baker I didn't bother to read this article. I'll wait until a definitive headline comes out, and I'll be surprised if Tesla actually produces the Cybertruck. It certainly looks impractical for both snowy and hot sunny weather.
  • Stuart de Baker This is very interesting information. I was in no danger of buying a Tesla. I love my '08 Civic (stick), and it feels just as responsive as when I bought it 11 years ago with 35k on the clock (now 151k), and barring mishaps, I plan to keep it for the next 25 years or so, which would put me into my mid-90s, assuming I live that long. On your information, I will avoid renting Teslas.
  • RHD The only people who would buy this would be those convinced by a website that they are great, and order one sight-unseen. They would have to have be completely out of touch with every form of media for the last year. There might actually be a few of these people, but not very many. They would also have to be completely ignorant of the Hyundai Excel. (Vinfast seems to make the original Excel look like a Camry in comparison.)
  • RHD This was awesome, in 1978. Now, it's very much obsolete - thirsty, slow, ponderous, noisy, rough, and dated design even in its time. Still, someone who wants to recreate some distant memories will buy it and restore it and enjoy it, and the seller just has to find that particular individual.
  • BEPLA Cybertruck may have made some kind of weird sense had it been brought on market on time, ie: before Rivian and F150 Lightning.But the market has progressed.If this were any normal company it would be ditched for a more competitive product.But in Elon's narcissistic dreamworld - well, we'll just see how it flops.