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.”
Y’all excited about Bronco? Seems a few of you are, rushing rapturously to the computer every time a Blue Oval patent appears for an innovative removable top. The Bronco is indeed on the way, and with it a wide range of configurations and trims.
Joining it is a model born of a galaxy-brain moment at the Glass House: an Escape that’s not an Escape (but is). Yes, next year is shaping up to be a big one for the automaker, so let’s look at what we know about product timing and what words you’ll see emblazoned on fenders and liftgates/tailgates.
The affectionately nicknamed “Baby Bronco” is due to debut later this year. Unfortunately, rather than being a pint-sized ORV, the vehicle is presumed to be a crossover sharing parts with the Escape and Focus. While none of us should have been shocked Ford would make this into a lifestyle vehicle, many held out hopes that the Diet Bronco would be more than a city car playing dress-up.
Confirmation that the auto would be unibody certainly took some of the wind out of its sails, but the model is still surrounded by intrigue. Most that stems from wondering exactly how capable the Bronco Jr. will be on a gnarly trail. The rest has to do with what Ford is actually going to call it, as nobody was positive it would hold onto the Bronco moniker.
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.
It’s possible the 2020 Ford Bronco just had an unlikely reveal after photos of last month’s Las Vegas dealer convention found their way online. On a Ford website, no less.
Slated for production alongside the 2019 Ranger in Wayne, Michigan, the Bronco is returning to satisfy the burning itch felt by longtime fans of the rugged, body-on-frame SUV. But is this that vehicle?
Frankly, it’s doubtful many people imagined anything else.
Not content with just foisting a new Bronco on us (while keeping the design under wraps for an infuriating length of time), Ford will debut a new small SUV alongside the returning nameplate. Just don’t expect any sharing between the two.
According to a Ford exec, the “Baby Bronco” will do its best to mimic old Broncos of yore, despite sharing parts with the Escape and Focus. A body-on-frame bruiser this ain’t.