We’ve been anxious to see the return of an icon for years, and now Ford narrowed down a time frame for the Bronco. To those keen to see the company’s modern interpretation of its classic SUV return at the LA Auto Show: Sorry, it’s not happening. That space is filled by the Ford Mach E, the Mustang-inspired electric crossover. The Bronco will instead launch in Spring 2020, sometime around the New York Auto Show in April. Ford could also reveal the Bronco at a standalone event, independent from the auto show schedule.
What we know (or have a hunch on) so far
While this doesn’t give us an exact date, we at least know Ford’s making good on its original promise that the new Bronco is “Coming in 2020”. Beyond that, there have been a few other clues that slipped through the net on what the Bronco’s all about.
For instance, that boxy design is a given. It’s a hallmark of the Bronco brand, and Ford won’t deviate from that design. The company’s aiming squarely at the Jeep Wrangler with this model, so we expect to see two- and four-door versions covering a body-on-frame SUV with some credible off-road chops. From prototypes that have been running around in the past, we know the Bronco will share its platform with the midsize Ranger pickup. What’s more, Ford will build the Bronco at its Wayne, Michigan plant alongside the Ranger.
Those expecting a massive V8 engine under the hood like Broncos of yesteryear will be sorely disappointed. From the evidence we’ve seen thus far, it’s looking like this model will share its powertrain with the Ranger as well. That means we’ll see a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine mated to a ten-speed automatic transmission. However, rumors suggest it will have a manual option like the Wrangler, and we certainly hope it does.
I also have a hunch Ford has a Raptor version up its sleeve as well, complete with the larger 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 from the Ford Edge and F-150. That may be wishful thinking, but that makes the most sense as an optional powertrain, if Ford is thinking in that direction. Another promising sign of the Bronco’s off-road cred are its chunky 33-inch tires, shown on the prototype above. Patent drawings have also shown removable doors and a removable roof design.
Will its baby brother launch first?
Ford has locked down the new Bronco for Spring 2020, but what about its little brother? The Escape-based “baby Bronco” — which should be either the Bronco Scout or Bronco Sport, based on recent reports — may actually launch before the full-size version. It makes some sense, as it would give us something to talk about while we’re waiting for the big reveal. The smaller Bronco looks like it could be a fun package in its own right, as well. That would then build the anticipation for the full-on Bronco later in the spring.
We may yet see the baby Bronco debut in Los Angeles next month alongside the Mach E. If it doesn’t launch there, then it may premiere at the Chicago Auto Show in February. Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more details on that and the full-size Bronco coming soon!