By on July 6, 2020

Like its Mustang stable mate, Ford’s returning Bronco finds itself with a brood. The Bronco is now a brand, comprised of the namesake, body-on-frame off-roader and the tag-along Bronco Sport — a retro-styled model based on the unibody Ford Escape.

That’s apparently just the start of it.

Ford isn’t shy when it comes to discussing the Bronco family’s future, though it can’t say for sure who exactly will turn up at roll call.

In a media call reported by Automotive News, Ford’s U.S. marketing manager, Mark Grueber, said, “We’ll start with the three models that we have … and continue to look to where there’s customers we could satisfy with Bronco and how to continue to expand the brand in the future.”

In this exercise, the two- and four-door Broncos count as separate products.

Dave Pericak, head of Ford icons (of which Bronco, like Mustang, is a member) admitted that the automaker runs the risk of screwing everything up and watering down the heritage and majesty of the returning off-roader if it just goes hog-wild with the nameplate.

“You can make the mistake with a family of vehicles if you just start peppering that family with things that don’t live up to the core tenets with what it is you’re building,” he said. “Everything we do … it will have to live up to that same DNA and that same goal that the Bronco has, otherwise it doesn’t belong in the family. We’re not just badge-engineering. It’s not the name that makes the vehicle, it’s the vehicle that makes the name.”

Some might use this quote to criticize the upcoming Bronco Sport, which reportedly boasts standard four-wheel drive and offers a nod to its cousin via a more athletic suspension and terrain management system. Bronco Purists will surely rebel at the interloper, while the vast bulk of the buying public likely won’t care one bit. We’ve heard the same sentiment voiced by Ford in relation to the Mustang and the new Mustang Mach-E SUV.

What form could an expanded Bronco family take? Well, new SUVs seem to be off the table. Ford’s so overstocked with existing and future utility models already, it’s reportedly considering ditching the midsize Edge once the current generation reaches the end of its cycle.

There’s talk, very unconfirmed, of a Bronco pickup to compete against Jeep’s Wrangler-based Gladiator, while a compact, unibody pickup tentatively named Maverick might prove another worthy candidate. After all, it would carry the same underpinnings as the Bronco Sport (and Euro-market Ford Focus).

Join the Ford Bronco Forum here.

Join the Ford Bronco Sport Forum here.

[Image: Ford]

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26 Comments on “Bronco Family: Two’s Not Enough?...”


  • avatar
    jack4x

    Can’t wait for the Bronco Mach B electric hatchback.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    It would be cool if they brought back the Sports/Utility and Roadster versions instead of just two different wagons.

  • avatar
    statikboy

    Is the Ranger selling well enough to be worth cannibalizing with a re-bodied version under the same badge?

    • 0 avatar
      Rocket

      Instead of two distinct models, they might be talking about the next Ranger. Bronco Ranger rather than Ford Ranger? Or possibly Bronco Scout, which has already been trademarked. We all assumed it was being considered for the model now known as the Bronco Sport, but maybe we we wrong.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I am willing to give the Bronco Sport a chance, but as it stands and until Ford offers specifics it’s just a very nice Escape

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @Lie2: Honestly, I wouldn’t give the Bronco Sport a second look as long as there’s a retro Bronco in production; the body style is simply not compatible with the Bronco name as long as the Bronco remains an off-road-designed vehicle. I felt the same way about the new Chevy Blazer, though I admit that if you ‘forget’ the history of the name, the Blazer today is a pretty nice vehicle. This may be true of the Bronco Sport as well but with an actual Bronco in the inventory, the Sport becomes a “sport”, if you know what I mean. I’m talking about definition 3: Biology; an animal or plant showing abnormal or striking variation from the parent type, especially in form or color, as a result of spontaneous mutation.

  • avatar
    lstanley

    If this big model is successful maybe they can make a little smaller version, I don’t know base it more off the Ranger? They could call it Bronco II.

  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    “We’ll start with the three models that we have …”

    Three? What’s the third? I know of the full sized and the Sport. Was there another one that flew under the radar or am I an idiot that missed something?

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    If Ford is going to re-brand their entire lineup, then they need a Galaxy class of large family vehicles. They could keep the F-series as is (don’t include any fully-enclosed body styles the way GM did with the Suburban, etc.) and maybe make a proper Falcon class of compact vehicles to replace the many different names of their mid-size and smaller CUVs. That would give them five separate classes of vehicle with only modest changes to what they already offer. The Galaxy class could be everything from the Flex through the Expedition; the Falcon could be EcoSport, Escape and Edge; F-series; Bronco series and Mustang series.

    Of course, they models would have to see a name change to fit their new class. The outgoing Flex could become the Galaxy Star, the Explorer could be the Galaxy Explorer and the Expedition could, like Explorer, just put Galaxy in front of it. The names fit.

    Same with the Falcon class, though a little imagination might be needed here. A Falcon EcoSport doesn’t sound right but a Falcon Kestrel would make sense. The Escape could become the Falcon Merlin (or just Merlin), while the Edge could become the Gyrfalcon.

    I think you can see where I’m going with this, yes?

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      If I’m not mistaken, the Galaxy is a European small minivan. Full sized Fords wore “Galaxies” badges.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Galaxie. Autocorrect got me

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        My favorite Galaxy will carry 15 Humvees (or 6 MRAPs) or two main battle tanks (or 6 attack helicopters)…

        …but it takes 50,000+ gallons to fill up.

        https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/products/c-5.html

        Extra credit: A C-5 Galaxy will burn approximately 23,000 gallons of fuel to transport 120,000 pounds of cargo from New York to Los Angeles. How many gallons of fuel will a 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 take to accomplish the same mission? (Assume multiple trips.)

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I don’t know, “Ford Galaxie” sounds like something George Jetson would drive/fly to a weekend at the Stardust in Las Venus

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Yes I see where you are coming from but lets see what Ford does with the Mustang and Bronco brand. Ford is bringing back the Maverick brand for their new compact pickup.

  • avatar
    Stonesguy1970

    Honestly i thin the next family member should be a full size off roader based off the f150. The expedition is more for hauling than trails. I think with would be something alone in the segment right now. if they keep the price reasonable

  • avatar
    Stonesguy1970

    Honestly i thin the next family member should be a full size off roader based off the f150. The expedition is more for hauling than trails. I think with would be something alone in the segment right now. if they keep the price reasonable

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