2021 Ford “Baby Bronco” news, Jeep Gladiator Chassis Cab and USA Only? [Ask Nathan]

Send in your questions/concerns to asknathan@tflcar.com

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • News on the 2021 Ford Bronco Scout “Baby Bronco?”  
  • I want a Jeep Gladiator Chassis Cab! 
  • You must buy from the USA – and no one else! 

The first question comes from a Nissan truck fan who heard that there is more information available about the 2021 Ford Bronco Scout “Baby Bronco.” 

2021 Ford "Baby Bronco" news, Jeep Gladiator Chassis Cab and USA Only? [Ask Nathan]
This is the test mule for what (we think is) the 2022 Ford Maverick. Or Adventure, or Scout… or?? (Photos: TFLcar)

Q: (Via NathanAdlen@Twitter) I am not interested in the Bronco. It will be too pricy. 

Want something that will compete with a Cherokee or Compass. You said it was the Ford Maverick “Baby Bronco.” Or whatever it’s called. Anything new about it? 

— Dennis from Oceanside, CA 

2021 Ford "Baby Bronco" news, Jeep Gladiator Chassis Cab and USA Only? [Ask Nathan]

A: Hi Dennis! 

We do have a few tidbits to add to the Ford Bronco Scout,  Ford Bronco Adventure, Ford Maverick… or whatever they opt to call it. Our last update covered some of the engineering we expect to see.

For those of you who don’t know: this vehicle is NOT truck-based like the Bronco. Based on the newest Ford Escape platform, and using a lot of the same components, this is a rugged crossover – not a truck. Power should come from a 1.5-liter turbo three-cylinder that makes 180 hp, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four with 250 hp and possibly, a 2.5-liter hybrid that makes 198 hp.

The biggest question is the all-wheel drive system. A Ford representative we spoke to said it would be extremely capable off-road. That leads up to believe that an aggressive AWD traction control system will be added. There is a chance that, like the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, it could have a trick rear end. 

2021 Ford "Baby Bronco" news, Jeep Gladiator Chassis Cab and USA Only? [Ask Nathan]
[Image: Bronco6G.com]

Keeping the Bronco name? 

Judging by the leaked pre-production image of the grille – it’s a good chance it will be called the Ford Bronco (fill-in-the-blank). For a while, many speculated that it would simply be called the Ford Scout, Ford Maverick or Ford Adventure – omitting the “Bronco” name. Now, it looks likely that the Bronco name will be part of the mix. 

2021 Ford "Baby Bronco" news, Jeep Gladiator Chassis Cab and USA Only? [Ask Nathan]

Other than styling cues, we don’t expect to see any parts sharing – other than (possibly) the infotainment system. We expect to see a similar, yet smaller interior from the new Ford Escape. That may include sliding rear seats and a multi-configurable cargo area. 


The next message also comes from long time Twitter follower who sent this to (NathanAdlen and TFLTruck@Twitter) regarding a chassis cab version of the Jeep Gladiator. 

Q: (Via TFLTruck and NathanAdlen@Twitter)

Any chance there’s a large enough group in the global overland/camping/lifestyle community to convince @Jeep to build a cab and chassis version of the Gladiator? 


A: Hello Craig! 

Thank you so much for your patronage! 

We’re fortunate enough to have access to the Jeep designers and executives at various events and (especially) at the Easter Jeep Safari. I will definitely ask them about it; however, it’s probably going to be a “no.” 

Last year, we discussed Gladiator variants and I was told that the platform has been painfully developed to be used as-is. In other words, they spent a ton of time and money creating this chassis to be used specifically by this setup. 

Still, I’m willing to bet that more than one up-fitter will play with this platform and create something interesting. The cool thing about that is that the Jeep guys pay close attention to what they see aftermarket shops do. So, you never know.



The last question/comment came from a disgruntled Facebook chat. He’s upset about folks who buy vehicles from “foreign” automakers. I summarized his comments below.  

Q: I am so sad. People are killing American jobs by buying foreign cars. 

If you buy a Kia, Honda or Toyota, it’s bad for American workers. We need to sell all American cars and trucks to Americans. Buy American and keep the profits in our country! 

— Anonymous 


A: That statement’s answer may be more complex than you think. 

Without getting into the minutia of what it is to be an “all-American” car. My points are somewhat broad – but they are only based on facts. That’s because I disagree with your perspective. So, I have a few questions for you. 

What is an “All American car?” 

Built in American by Americans… right?

Okay, nearly every Japanese, German and Korean car company builds many of the vehicles they sell in the USA right here. They use an American work-force and employ a multitude of American manufacturers for components.

Just to list a few locations: they build them in Tennessee, Kansas, Alabama, California, Michigan, Mississippi, Kentucky, South Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, Texas and many more. Most automakers also have development/design studio in various U.S. locations – separate from the factories. They also have several proving grounds which are scattered around the nation. 

Subaru plant Indiana

Each (foreign) automaker that builds in the USA employs thousands of local workers. Each worker needs a community built around them to supply resources. Hospitals, restaurants, schools, grocery stores, parks, governance/police and fire departments – and so much more… all are needed when thousands of workers live in town. 

American parts? 

Many of the vehicles driven on our roads have components built in other countries. Every automaker has a variety of components that are built or have components within themselves that were supplied from another country.

Oshawa Assembly Plant
General Motors’ Oshawa (Canada) plant. [Photo: General Motors]

Think of things as simple as copper wires and precious medals to items as complex as engine and transmissions. Much of the information is right there on the automaker’s sticker (Monroney). That window sticker (usually) shows the basics on where parts were sourced. It also shows where some of the components were made. 

What about assembly? 

You probably know that many “American” automakers build their vehicles in other countries. Not only do Canada and Mexico build many “American” products, several other countries do as well. That’s especially true for vehicles sold on the global stage. 

Then there’s the method to building these cars… 

BMW Plant Spartanburg

Remember: a huge portion of the vehicles produces are done so with robots.  Welding, fastening, molding, lifting, bending, mounting, painting and more are the domain of automation. It’s been that way for a long time. 

The thing is: most of these robots are not built in the United States. They come from Denmark, Germany, Japan, Korea and other countries. So, even if a vehicle is built here, in an “All American” factory, it may still have foreign labor involved. 

[Graphic: CNN Money]

It’s one of the largest industries on the planet. 

When you think of how many moving parts keep the automotive industry alive, it’s astounding how many countries are involved. Millions of people are involved. There is a ton of foreign investment into each automaker – including ones that began in the USA. 

Who are the top shareholders for each automaker? You might be surprised. Where do the profits go from each car sold in the U.S.? You might be surprised. What percentage of profit from each U.S.-built vehicle goes back to the worker? You might be surprised. 

There’s a lot more to this – I know. My point here is that, for the American autoworker and American buyer, the “All-American” title may mean something else. You should look into it. 



From day one, The Fast Lane Car has made it our policy to answer as many questions and comments as we can. We get thousands of emails and comments and feel that, as part of a tight-knit automotive community, having an open dialogue with you keeps things fresh and exciting.Got a question for Nathan? Drop him a line at: asknathan@tflcar.com.