Ford Bronco Sport Details Leak; Model Looks to Distance Itself From Escape Sibling

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ford bronco sport details leak model looks to distance itself from escape sibling

Not everyone spent all week searching in vain for toilet paper. Someone with access to Ford’s dealer order site snapped pics of trim levels and powertrains pertaining to the upcoming Ford Bronco Sport, originally scheduled for a public reveal next month.

That debut could still happen, most likely online, but now there’s even less to learn about the Escape-based model that wishes it was a Bronco.

You’ve seen pics of the thing already. Clearly, Ford designers took great pains to erase clues as to the Bronco Sport’s real DNA. It’s retro all over, mimicking the equally leaked body-on-frame Bronco, but underneath its an Escape through and through.

The dealer site details published on show this clearly. On tap for the compact CUV is a brace of turbocharged powerplants: a 1.5-liter three-cylinder and a 2.0-liter four, each paired to an eight-speed automatic. The lesser of the two mills generates 181 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque; the uplevel engine is good for 250 hp/280 lb-ft, at least when found in the 2020 Escape.

There’s little reason to believe those figures will change.

Unlike the Escape, which carries the usual Ford trim lines (S, SE, SEL, etc), the Bronco Sport dons a manly list of brawny names that intrigued Ford aficionados when they appeared in trademark applications last year. Competing site published an image of the model’s trims, showing Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, Badlands, and First Edition models.

In a nod to the model’s heritage (at least, the heritage borrowed via its name), all-wheel drive will be standard across the board. If you’re looking for a grocery getter that shuns even wet pavement, buy a FWD Escape.

As seen in spy photos and leaked images of pre-production vehicles, Bronco Sport buyers will be able to choose from a choice of roof colors (black or gray) and a selection of seating options. Among the choice of chairs is ebony leather, Active Orange sport cloth, and the unusually titled Area 51 cloth. Are we to assume an intergalactic motif in that cabin? Maybe, but perhaps Ford execs were just on the lookout for any avant-garde locale in the United States.

It seems the Bronco Sport shuns the 18- and 19-inch wheel options offered by the Escape in favor of rim-protecting 65-series rubber wrapped around a 17-inch hoop. This is a model that supposedly will take you off-road, after all. (Most buyers will cover in fright at the thought of such an excursion.)

Arriving ahead of its namesake non-twin, the Bronco Sport should reach customers late this year.

[Images: BroncoSportForum]

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4 of 32 comments
  • Rev0lver Rev0lver on Mar 22, 2020

    I had an Escape as a rental recently. I found it loud and the 8speed was quite jumpy. Hopefully this is better than that.

  • Mackey Mackey on Mar 22, 2020

    I'm just glad they are putting real rubber under the thing. Honda missed the boat when they brought back the Passport, and even launched it as a more off road themed vehicle, but then only offer big wheels and low profile tires. As for the design of this new Broncos Sport, they should have just made THIS the new Escape, because it is more of a return to form for what the Escape originally was; a small, semi-capable, friendly SUV. They could still release the other new Escape, but call it a Kuga or any other name. Perhaps Granada. Because the world really needs a new Granada, as well. ;-)

    • See 1 previous
    • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Mar 23, 2020

      @BigDuke6 Apples to oranges, I know, but I went from a Mazda6 with the ginormous 19 inch wheels to a CX-5 with 17 inch donut tires and I couldn't be happier. I was always super paranoid about barking the 19s against a pothole or some such and destroying them, nevermind the $300 replacement tires. Sure the 19s were attractive, but the 17s on the CX-5 look perfectly cromulent. Would the switch you theorize destroy the suspension? My brother once had a Cavalier/Sunfire on which he fitted these garrish 20 inch rims. The tires wore out fast and the suspension pooped itself because that was the only change he made.

  • Redapple2 Cadillac and racing. Boy those 2 go together dont they? What a joke. Up there with opening a coffee shop in NYC. EvilGM be clowning. Again.
  • Jbltg Rear bench seat does not match the front buckets. What's up?
  • Theflyersfan The two Louisville truck plants are still operating, but not sure for how much longer. I have a couple of friends who work at a manufacturing company in town that makes cooling systems for the trucks built here. And they are on pins and needles wondering if or when they get the call to not go back to work because there are no trucks being made. That's what drives me up the wall with these strikes. The auto workers still get a minimum amount of pay even while striking, but the massive support staff that builds components, staffs temp workers, runs the logistics, etc, ends up with nothing except the bare hope that the state's crippled unemployment system can help them keep afloat. In a city where shipping (UPS central hub and they almost went on strike on August 1) and heavy manufacturing (GE Appliance Park and the Ford plants) keeps tens of thousands of people employed, plus the support companies, any prolonged shutdown is a total disaster for the city as well. UAW members - you're not getting a 38% raise right away. That just doesn't happen. Start a little lower and end this. And then you can fight the good fight against the corner office staff who make millions for being in meetings all day.
  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )
  • Thehyundaigarage Yes, Canadian market vehicles have had immobilizers mandated by transport Canada since around 2001.In the US market, some key start Toyotas and Nissans still don’t have immobilizers. The US doesn’t mandate immobilizers or daytime running lights, but they mandate TPMS, yet canada mandates both, but couldn’t care less about TPMS. You’d think we’d have universal standards in North America.