At the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford dropped the news we’ve all been anticipating for seemingly permanently: The Bronco returns in 2020. Speaking to R&T at the program, Ford Executive Vice President Joe Hinrichs swore that the brand-new Bronco will be a bona-fide off-roader, hinting that the approaching SUV could be the first true rival to the extremely successful Jeep Wrangler in many years.
The original Bronco, developed from 1966 to 1977, provided a solid front axle, as did the second-gen full-size of 1978 and 1979. In 1980, Ford changed to the Twin Traction Beam independent front axle design that stuck around up until the model was stopped in 1996. We cannot say for specific that this is 100-percent evidence that the new Ranger and Bronco will use a solid front axle.
The accessibility of a solid front axle would be extremely great news for Bronco fans hoping for a real hardcore off-roader to take the fight to the Jeep Wrangler. With the upcoming Wrangler redesign promising plenty of new advances built on a standard 4 × 4 platform with solid axles front and rear, it sure would be fantastic to see a solid-axle rival from the Blue Oval team. Ford has already confirmed that the Bronco will be a body-on-frame style, based upon the Ranger platform; this in itself points to the Bronco being more hardcore than the normal unibody crossover.
Because the Bronco will be based upon the Ranger, we expected interior to share a certain resemblance. We currently do not have a main idea about the U.S.-spec Ranger’s interior, though it will probably look just like the worldwide Ford Ranger that’s been in showrooms around the globe for years. The United States Ranger will likely get a variety of updates and style changes over the present international truck, so that is what we ‘d guess the Bronco’s interior to look like.
A center-mounted shifter with a rotary dial for the 4WD is possible, in addition to large screens for the infotainment and driver information display screens. Anticipate keyless gain access to and push-button starting to be basic. Rear seat accommodations will be dependent on whether the Bronco is available in two- or four-door setups. In any case, anticipate it to seat five guests. The rear seat will likely divide 60/40 style for hauling cargo. We ‘d love to see a drop-down tailgate and a fold-up hatch out back. That would absolutely separate it from the current crop of crossovers.
As we said about the future Ranger pickup, the Bronco will likely obtain its powertrains from the F-150. We ‘d like to see the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 be the volume engine thanks to its 325 horse power and 375 pound-feet of torque. That would quickly out-gun the existing Wrangler JK’s 285-horsepower 3.6-liter V-8. Optionally, we ‘d like to see the well-regarded 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. Maybe Ford will save this engine for an efficiency model. That makes good sense when considering it makes an excellent 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.
Supporting both engines will probably Ford’s 10-speed automated transmission. It would be fantastic to see a six-speed handbook readily available as well, though we’re not holding our breath. Naturally, the Bronco will be provided with a part-time 4WD system. This implies it has a two-speed transfer case that sends out power to the front wheels only when the chauffeur picks 4WD high- or 4WD low-range. This transfer case will more than likely be electronic, indicating it runs by the turn of a dial rather than a shift lever on the floor. Expect Ford to include an electronic locking rear differential as well.
Pricing is a far-fetched thing to be discussing at this moment, but we anticipate the Bronco to be extremely competitive with the next-generation Jeep Wrangler. Rates for the Wrangler have been growing progressively, making it more costly than the cheap excitement it started as in the late 1940s. The existing Wrangler JK Unlimited begins simply under $28,000. When the new generation debuts, that cost will most likely crest north by a couple hundred dollars. In short, the Bronco’s cost will probably vary in between $30,000 to $45,000, depending upon alternatives and trim levels. Availability smart, the Bronco will not occur till the list below year after the Ranger pickup. That puts the SUV as a 2020 model, striking car dealership display rooms in late 2019.