By on March 20, 2020


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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32 Comments on “Ford Bronco Sport Details Leak; Model Looks to Distance Itself From Escape Sibling...”

  • avatar

    I daresay I like it and would certainly consider this over the EcoSport. I can’t recall if this is supposed to be an EcoSport/Escape tweener, an Escape/Edge tweener, or strictly a lateral step from the Escape with slightly beefier capabilities. The styling reminds me of the Renegade, a good thing, with proportions that are visually coherent and pleasing to the eye.

    I’d buy the 2.0EB

  • avatar

    I’m surprised they won’t offer this with a small V6, it would go well with the racing slicks and slip and grip AWD.

    • 0 avatar

      Damn I just realized, I have been thinking about the real Bronco all day, I decided I would put up with a base 4 cylinder 2 door despite being saddled with a turbo. I just realized Ford will likely saddle the real Bronco with auto start/stop too after looking at the specs on this faux bronco.

      I’m out, that’s a bridge too far for me.

      • 0 avatar

        If that stop/start is not defeatable I too am out :(

        • 0 avatar

          If it is fully defeatable as in able to be permanently turned off, I will put up with it. Though I would be weary of it due to replacement costs.

          Adding all of these unwanted components to vehicles makes them worth less to me, I’m not willing to pay as much money to put up with a lessened driving experience or with more major components.

          I’m not willing to pay any amount of money what so ever if the start/stop must be deactivated every time the vehicle is driven, that is unacceptable.

        • 0 avatar

          FWIW it was defeatable on the 2017 Escape at work, but it had to be defeated every time the vehicle is started.

          It was the 1.5 turbo. Between the stop-start, and the initial extreme turbo lag (at least here at 9100 feet elevation), near absent acceleration for the first twenty feet of travel from a stop, followed by sudden boost, it was a very herky jerky drivetrain off the line.

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      I think it safe to assume the 2.7 V6 is NOT a good fit for this platform. I can’t imagine Ford developing a smaller v6 mill for this application.

  • avatar

    This two pronged approach to the Escape and “Manscape” makes zero sense. Far too much of an investment and very little return.

    Ford (well probably not Ford but a competent auto maker) could have easily blended the new (and rather poor) Escape with this “Manscape” and had one vehicle that would have sold very well.

    But they didn’t and the result is two vehicles that suffer because the other one exists.

    • 0 avatar

      This is one of the biggest segments in the market, so it makes sense to offer more than one model. Look for other firms to follow.

      • 0 avatar

        They already do, we’re just talking platform sharing it’s not a new concept

      • 0 avatar

        It actually doesn’t.

        Like I said, a competent automaker would have blended the Escape and Manscape and the result would have been a vehicle that sold in similar numbers as the two separate vehicles while having much lower costs to produce.

        Conversely, if Ford made the Manscape more than a body reskin there may have been a compelling case for having both. Something to differentiate it rather than what they cobbled together.

        • 0 avatar

          Thanks EB/Silvy. It wouldn’t be a Ford article without you!

          At a time when most of my usual hangouts, bars, casinos, are turning out the lights, TTAC is still shining through, usual faces and whatnot. About brings a tear the eye!

          Yeah I miss [email protected], even BAFO/JC too.. We can’t forget BMW is the biggest US exporter of vehicles by far followed by VW, Mercedes, Subaru, Mitsu, Suzuki, Isuzu, etc.

          Thanks for your unwavering service!!!

          • 0 avatar

            Clearly the isolation has had a severe effect on you.

            Hopefully you can get some help and get well.

  • avatar

    “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. ”

    thank the maker.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hit a doozy of a pothole, and come away undamaged thanks to the big squishy sidewalls of my Ranger and it’s 16″ wheels.

  • avatar

    A rugged, manly (looking) car with a 3-cylinder engine…. okay!

  • avatar

    I wonder if this blocky styling was done with Hummer and FJ40 buyer types in mind?

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    If they wanted to distance it from the Escape, maybe they shouldn’t have styled it to look like a refresh of the first generation Escape.

  • avatar

    It would be quite sometime before I bought any auto stocks. There was a good article on IAG (British Airways) which is relevant here. IAG is one of the strongest Airline Groups in the world. It has build very large cash reserves that could mean they make it through a six month shut down (just about) without a bailout. But the author of the article basically said don’t buy their shares yet. Wait until the second wave of this virus hits and we are coming out the other side. At that point IAG will be the last man standing but might then start to issue shares to start a buying spree. Essentially they will attempt to buy as many airport takeoff and landing slots as possible from bankrupt airlines at record lows. In the long term then they will go from a success story to the dominant force in the industry.

    There is a lot of truth in that article that applies to many industries including Auto. Though in the case if airlines I doubt IAG will get it’s wish that no government bailout for the airline industry take place….

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    We need to take this serious and yes unfortunately their will be many businesses that close for good the longer this goes on. The car manufacturers will be hurt but they will be able to survive because they will make medical equipment and supplies but as for many of the auto dealers there will be many who will not survive.

  • avatar

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

  • avatar

    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. ;-)

    • 0 avatar

      I guarantee the FIRST thing some buyers of this thing will do is scrap those (sensible) 17-inchers for some 20″ hoops and 40-series tires.

      • 0 avatar

        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.

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