We Think We Know A Lot

I read a lot of Bronco stuff in my research for this article and let me tell you right away that we are in for the ride of our lives. Ford has some balls and, if we are lucky, it will probably give us just what we wanted - a retro looking 2020 Ford Bronco with live axles, three doors, a cool “no-roof” mechanism, a modern engine, and a freaking spare tire slapped at the back. A gazillion rumors have surfaced over the past few years about the new Bronco, but the last teaser picture revealed a lot.

The Bronco always was a cool vehicle. All the way from 1966, but it wasn’t until that OJ Simpson situation that it reached the status of an automotive icon like no other. Interestingly enough, we’ve had to wait a quarter of a century for Ford to reveal an all-new Bronco, a vehicle that will be a staple of American off-roading culture and the first one in a long time to attack the likes of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

This is what we know about the 2020 Ford Bronco.

Made In the USA

Here's Everything We Know About the New Ford Bronco
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Ford will assemble it at the Michigan Assembly Plant next to the new Ford Ranger

Back in 2017, just after the announcement that a new Bronco will be coming, Ford disclosed that the car will be a “Made in USA” product. Ford will assemble it at the Michigan Assembly Plant next to the new Ford Ranger. To adapt the production facility for the new Bronco and Ranger, Ford had to invest $850 million. All just to retool and prepare the facility for the production of the new vehicles.

As the Bronco shares its T6 platform with the Ranger, Ford managed to keep the costs down and produce the car at the same place. Something all of us should appreciate because the Bronco will be available worldwide. Ford had to make it like that to make sure its business model will work at all. So, yes, it will be based on the Ranger, and it will be produced in the same facility as well. Luckily, one in the U.S.

It Will Be A Hybrid

Here's Everything We Know About the New Ford Bronco Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Electric motors can help a lot in off-road tasks with plenty of much-needed torque at low rpm

Ok, I do not expect it to be available only as a hybrid, but Ford mentioned more than once that its new line of vehicles (well, SUVs) will be hybridized.

“Hybrids for years have been mostly niche products but are now on the cusp of a mainstream breakout,” Jim Farley, Ford President said. “The valuable capability they offer – plus fuel efficiency – is why we’re going to offer hybrid variants of our most popular and high-volume vehicles, allowing our loyal, passionate customers to become advocates for the technology.”

In the same paragraph, Ford mentioned the Bronco as a “part of Ford’s new strategy that includes going all-in on hybrids to bring more capability to customers of our most popular and high-volume vehicles.”

While hybridized off-roaders aren’t that unimaginable anymore (the Range Rover P400h for example), it will be kinda cool to see the Bronco with its own hybrid setup. First of all, electric motors can help a lot in off-road tasks with plenty of much-needed torque at low rpm. This is something every off-roading enthusiast can appreciate. Unfortunately, Ford is tight-lipped about the new hybrid Bronco. It did say that the new system is designed to "ease ownership experience by addressing customer pain points that currently hold back broad adoption today.” It will have a seamless electric recharging system and a compact hybrid system that does not interfere with space inside. We will have to wait to see more of it.

Apart from the hybrid system, the Bronco is expected to get a 2.7-liter EcoBoost. Probably much the same as in the Fusion. In this case, probably with 325 horsepower. Apart from four-cylinder engine options (maybe even a diesel for some markets), this V-6 may be the most powerful engine option for the Bronco.

Developed In Australia

Here's Everything We Know About the New Ford Bronco
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The latest Ford Ranger and its T6 platform had been developed in Australia

Ford did not actually confirm this, but some clues do suggest this is probably the case. See, the latest Ford Ranger and its T6 platform had been developed in Australia. More precisely; at Ford’s Asia-Pacific Engineering Center in Victoria. As the Bronco will use the same architecture and sport many of the same features found on the Ranger, I can only assume that much of the development has been done down under. Australia’s automotive publication Motoring actually reported that Ford Australia led the development of the Ranger and the Bronco, but they did not provide a credible source. Considering that Motoring published this two years ago, I believe them.

Rolling On The Same Architecture As The Ranger

Here's Everything We Know About the New Ford Bronco Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Using a short wheelbase version of the T6 architecture makes life easier for Ford engineers and allows them to develop a vehicle that will be sold worldwide

So, what does it mean that the Bronco shares the T6 architecture with the Ranger, the Everest, and the Troller? First of all, using a short wheelbase version of the T6 architecture makes life easier for Ford engineers and allows them to develop a vehicle that will be sold worldwide. Secondly, it enables them to use technology from other cars on the platform, and thirdly, the T6 is actually a body on frame architecture that can support an unlimited number of different body styles with the same basis underneath.

However, apart from saving a lot of money and making life easier for everyone at Ford, the T6 chassis actually offers the perfect basis for an off-road SUV the size of the Bronco. With it, Ford does not have to utilize as much aluminum as what would be required if the F-Series platform was used. Furthermore, with the F-Series platform, the new Bronco would have to be too big. And, if you remember, this car was never big. Actually, at the very start, it was tiny. Now, according to some sources, the dimensions of the Bronco will fall somewhere in between the Explorer and the Expedition. It will be a midsize SUV after all.

Could Be Inspired By The Brazilian Troller

Here's Everything We Know About the New Ford Bronco
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While the looks of the thing are still a mystery, word on the Internet is that the Bronco will look a lot like the Everest

While the looks of the thing are still a mystery, word on the Internet is that the Bronco will look a lot like the Everest. Then, others say it will look a lot like the Ranger. Finally, others think it will look a lot like the Troller. So, what is it then? If I am to guess, I would say that Ford will do this right and create a retro-looking truck. The latest teaser picture Ford released suggests that. It was covered, but its sharp edges, boxy looks, and almost flat front and bonnet suggest it will be retro. So, the Troller - a cool body on frame truck produced for the Brazilian market under the Ford license is our best bet.

Raj Nair, while still at Ford, said that people know what they want of the new Bronco. "I think the Bronco’s got a pretty good name on its own, and people have an idea of what a Bronco should be. Certainly, we have an idea of what a Bronco should be, and we’re going to be looking forward to bringing that to our customers."

A car that has at least one or two obvious throwbacks to the one from the Eighties would be a jackpot. “I’ll take it instead of a Wrangler” kinda jackpot.

Solid Axles

Here's Everything We Know About the New Ford Bronco
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The Ford Bronco and the Jeep Wrangler, clear competitors, will have the same axle supplier

While I cannot confirm the 2020 Ford Bronco will have solid axles in the front and rear, Dana, the supplier who was chosen to supply some components for the new off-roader, did infer at one of the investor presentations that they will create “front and rear axles featuring its latest AdvanTEK gear technology.” Road and Track and AutoNews reported this in January 2017, but we haven’t seen much new info on the matter since. Looking at the past, the Bronco featured a front solid axle design option until 1980. If the new Bronco actually gets this tech, I can confidently say that the Bronco will be the biggest competitor to the Wrangler, probably ever. Axle manufacturer Dana actually supplies its solid axles and other hardware to Jeep for the use on Wrangler. Interestingly enough, the Ford Bronco and the Jeep Wrangler, clear competitors, will have the same axle supplier.

Three Door Off-Roader

2021 Ford Bronco II aka "Baby Bronco"
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The Bronco is short; it has a short wheelbase, looks boxy and angular, has a spare tire on the back door

The last teaser picture Ford revealed shows the new Bronco under a vesture. No, we cannot see one bit of it, but some things are clear. The Bronco is short; it has a short wheelbase, looks boxy and angular, has a spare tire on the back door (just where it should), and features a somewhat classic look that is usually associated with older SUVs. Now, a layout like this does promise one thing - only two doors. For over two years I’ve been reading that the new Bronco will be a five-door SUV. Many reported that Ford simply could not produce a two-door Bronco as no one would buy it. However, after seeing this teaser, I am thinking that the Ford PR team did a great job of making us believe that the new Bronco will be a five-door. Now, this could be a plot twist that will get us all excited. A new two-door Bronco. Astounding.

However, Jalopnik journalists actually contacted one of Ford’s PRs and asked: “what is this under the tarp?”. The answer he got is
“Since we’re so far away from actual production of the vehicle, we don’t have vehicles yet,” he said, “because we’re still trying to figure out what it’s going to look like, so [designers] use clay to...create different design themes.”

It may be a clay model under that tarp. Not an actual car. So, maybe not a three-door after all. Clay models can be reshaped. Or melted away.

It Debuts In Detroit And You Will Be Able To Buy It In 2020

Here's Everything We Know About the New Ford Bronco
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The Bronco is scheduled to come to the market in 2020, but I am quite sure we will see it in a few months at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show

Ford officially announced the Bronco and the U.S. Ranger at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. The Bronco is scheduled to come to the market in 2020, but I am quite sure we will see it in a few months at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The 2020 Ford Bronco will probably start at $35,000 with the top of the line models selling for $50k. Apart from appearing in the U.S., the Bronco will be a global effort, so it will probably have diesel engines available for some markets. In its entry form, I expect it to have the 2.3-liter, I-4 from the Ranger, with the high-end model getting that EcoBoost V-6.

Further Reading

Here's Everything We Know About the New Ford Bronco Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Ford Bronco.

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

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Read more Ford news.

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