Ford says that simply getting the trademark for some names doesn’t mean they’ll actually be used. We don’t buy it

The Ford Bronco is the next hot thing in the world of SUVs. Relying on the cache built up by the original Bronco that was discontinued in 1996, the new model is tipped to sell in big numbers if Ford gets the recipe right and revives an off-roader revered for its no-nonsense attitude. We’re now hearing that the name ’Scout,’ along with the ’Bronco Scout’ moniker are in the process of being trademarked by Ford through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The ’Scout’ name can either refer to the upcoming ’Baby Bronco’ or just a trim level of the Bronco itself.

Information has been thin regarding the 2021 Ford Bronco, which is set to go into production this year. We’ve heard a lot of rumors, but few can be checked and considered as facts. For instance, we’ve heard that the Bronco will come with either two or four doors and a removable soft top option will be available as Ford plans to take on the Jeep Wrangler - a rumor backed by these patent fillings. We also reported that the 2019 Ford Ranger and the 2021 Ford Bronco will sport the same underpinnings and that the Bronco might be fitted with a seven-speed manual after all. Let’s let the rumor mill spin a bit more and talk about the Scout.

The ’Baby Bronco’ is said to be based on the 2020 Ford Escape

You can say almost any off-roading fan is at least remotely interested in how the 2021 Ford Bronco will shape up.

That’s because, somehow, we’ve come to expect a return to the roots of what an off-roader used to be, something that we only find in vehicles like the Wrangler or the Suzuki Jimny that, annoyingly, popped up at the 2019 New York Auto Show but will never be available in the U.S. - it just made the trip to the East Coast to irk every 4x4 fan out there.

We first talked about a ’Baby Bronco’ in March of 2018 when a teaser image was released by Ford followed by some leaked images supposedly revealing the compact SUV in its entirety. As mentioned, one of the hypotheses that come into play is that the ’Bronco Scout’ and the ’Scout’ names will be both associated with the ’Baby Bronco’. The other hypothesis is that the ’Bronco Scout’ name will be associated with the (most?) outdoorsy version of the big Bronco.

Ford's Latest Patent Filing Hints at the Name of the New Baby Bronco
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According to Ford Authority, Ford filed on April 15th, 2019 the applications for the two nameplates that refer to "land motor vehicles, namely, passenger automobiles, pick-up trucks, sport utility vehicles" as well as a broader spectrum of things: "and motor vehicle parts for passenger automobiles, pick-up trucks, sport utility vehicles, namely, shock absorbers, shock absorbing springs, vehicle anti-roll bars, braces for suspension struts, exterior metal decorative and protective trim, exterior plastic extruded decorative and protective trim, differentials, gear shifts, hoods, fascia, steering wheels, seat trim, parking brakes, wheels, brake discs, brake calipers, brake pads, engines, engine or motor mufflers, exhaust pipes, exhaust headers, air intakes, oil fill caps, coolant fill caps, engine valve covers, ignition coil covers, radiators, and exterior insignia badges."

The ’Baby Bronco’ is set to feature the same scalable unibody FWD platform as the 2020 Ford Escape. The platform itself, a replacement for Ford’s Global C-Platform, will see action as part of the architecture of the 2019 Ford Focus as well.

2019 Ford Focus Exterior Interior
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2019 Ford Focus
The steel chassis is said to be lighter and stronger than the outgoing C-Platform and is also highly flexible as it can house a host of 1.5-liter, three-cylinder Ecoboost engines making up to 180 horsepower as well as 48-volt hybrid systems.
Ford's Latest Patent Filing Hints at the Name of the New Baby Bronco
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In our in-depth look at the ’Baby Bronco’, we argued that, while the crossover will follow the design path of its bigger brother, it will be boxier and, as in the case of the very early test mules we’ve seen strolling around with Ford Ranger front ends, the SUV will have extremely short overhangs and a tall ride height for ultimate rock-crawling ability. I’d expect the interior to be pretty straightforward although we’re in 2019 and that means you can’t make a car without a digital screen in between the seats, voice control, phone compatibility, and so on and so forth so the ’Baby Bronco’ will at least feature some of these but with the prospect of soft top being offered, I guess Ford will want to make the cabin as rugged and dirt-proof as possible.

Now, since the Escape and the more compact Bronco will share the same platform, it's likely they'll share engines too.

Stateside, the Escape is available with the following three mills: a 2.5-liter unit that cranks out 168 horsepower and 170 pound-feet, a 1.5-liter EcoBoost that delivers 180 horsepower and 185 pound-feet, and, lastly, the 2.0-liter EcoBoost that’s good for 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of twist - although this engine is on the death row and its replacement(s) is/are already in the pipeline.

2020 Ford Escape drivetrain specifications

1.5L EcoBoost 2.0L EcoBoost 2.5L FHEV 2.5L PHEV
S, SE, SEL SEL,Titanium SE Sport, Titanium SE, SEL, Titanium
Configuration Aluminum block and head, In-line 3 cylinder Aluminum block and head, In-line 4 cylinder Aluminum block and head, Atkinson-cycle I-4 Aluminum block and head, Atkinson-cycle I-4
Bore and stroke 3.31 x 3.54 in. 3.44 x 3.27 in. 3.50 x3.94 in. 3.50 x3.94 in.
Displacement 91.4 cu. in./1,497 cc 122 cu. in./1,999 cc 152 cu. in./2,488 cc 152 cu. in./2,488 cc
Compression ratio 10.0:1 9. 3:1 13.0:1 13.0:1
Horsepower (targeted) 180 hp 250 hp 198 hp 209 hp
Torque (targeted) 177 lb.-ft. 275 lb.-ft. N /A N /A
Transmission 8-speed automatic 8-speed auto with SelectShift® with paddle shifters PowerSplit: Electronic Co ntinuous Variable Transmission PowerSplit: Electronic Co ntinuous Variable Transmission
Bring These 5 SUVs Back!
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International Harvester Scout
What I can say for now is that the choice of name is interesting because Scout was the name of International Harvester's Bronco-battling 4x4 that was introduced in 1961, a full four years before the Bronco debuted.

The original Scout was born to challenge the Jeep Willys and featured removable sliding side windows and a fold-down windscreen. These early trucks were powered by International’s own four-pot engine, although engines of AMC origin (and even Nissan diesel mills) were employed later on when the Scout II was introduced in 1971 as a direct answer to the expanding market presence of the Bronco. In all, between 1960 and 1980 when production ceased, 532,674 Scouts were produced. To put it into perspective, Ford would sell well over 100,000 Broncos a year in the 1980s.

2020 Ford Bronco Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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2020 Ford Bronco

Talking now about the big Bronco, we gathered together all the things we (think) we know about the future body-on-frame SUV here. For starters, we know that it will be made at Ford’s Michigan plant and will share the T6 platform with the Ford Ranger. It is also very probable that the Bronco will also be available with some mild hybridization just like its baby brother. What’s certain is that it won’t be a rebadged Everest, although the two might bear some similarities to one another. Solid axles are a distinct possibility as well with one insider saying that "power will come from ’something like’ the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6. In the 2018 F-150, that EcoBoost makes 325 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque."

In the end, all we can do is to wait and track Ford's moves to see when it will release into the wild the next Bronco mule because, as the unveiling date nears, we must start seeing mules wearing the production body around Detroit or in other areas.

It’s been said that the big Bronco, which might not be as rugged a 4x4 as you may expect, will drop before the ’Baby Bronco’ and Ford also plans a new pickup truck and also a budget model after killing off the Fusion, the Focus, and even the Fiesta to focus on pickup trucks and crossovers entirely in the U.S. I still consider that a bad move and if the Bronco will be more of a highway cruiser than an off-road puddle-splasher, I bet FoMoCo fans will be further disappointed.

Further reading

2020 Ford Bronco Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our speculative review on the 2020 Ford Bronco.

Ford's Latest Patent Filing Hints at the Name of the New Baby Bronco
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Read our speculative review on the 2021 Ford "Baby Bronco."

2019 Ford Ranger Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Ranger.

The 2020 Ford Escape Is Smarter But it Looks Like a Focus or Fiesta With an Upside-Down Grille
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Read our full review on the 2020 Ford Escape.

2005 Ford Bronco
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Read our full review on the 2005 Ford Bronco Concept.

Source: Ford Authority

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