Bronco & Ranger Confirmed! Ford to Revive Icons in U.S.
Both to be built in Michigan & hit showrooms by the decade’s end
Ford has officially announced the Ranger pickup and Bronco SUV will indeed return to the U.S. after an extended absence. The confirmation was all but expected as word of the vehicles’ return has long been rumored. Ford has not revealed any major vehicle-specific details, but the production timeline was announced.
Ford says the Ranger will fall into the mid-size pickup category and be “incredibly capable yet fun to drive.” It will hit showrooms for the 2019 model year, meaning Ford will debut the pickup in the coming year. Joe Hinrich, Ford’s president of The Americas, said this about the Ranger. “[The] Ranger is for truck buyers who want an affordable, functional, rugged, and maneuverable pickup that’s Built Ford Tough.”
As for the Bronco, Hinrich says, “[the] Bronco will be a no-compromise midsize 4x4 utility for thrill seekers who want to venture way beyond the city.” It will arrive in showrooms for the 2020 model year and will be classified a mid-size SUV.
Though no other information was given, it’s easy to speculate about Ranger and Bronco. Both vehicles will be built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan. This means they will likely share a good majority of parts, including their platform, engines, transmission, and interior.
Since Ford is sure to use a body-on-frame design for the Ranger, it would make sense for the Bronco to ride on the same underpinnings. Combine that with Hinrich’s words about a no-compromise mid-size 4WD utility for thrill seekers, and the suspicion of a body-on-frame SUV is undeniable. Perhaps Ford has the Jeep Wrangler in its sights.
Possible powertrains include the F-150’s new 3.3-liter V-6, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6, and hopefully, the new 3.0-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel. Perhaps Ford will also include the new 10-speed automatic transmission, as well.
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Why It Matters
The Bronco and Ranger nameplates are iconic for Ford, with both still holding an immense amount of brand recognition with even non-enthusiasts. The Ranger would then allow Ford to compete with GM’s Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, Toyota’s Tacoma, Honda’s Ridgeline, and Nissan’s upcoming Frontier.
As for the Bronco, no other automaker beside Jeep and Toyota offer a body-on-frame, mid-size SUV any longer. Even still, Toyota’s entry, the 4Runner, is rather long in the tooth and is outdated in almost every way besides outright off-road utility. The Wrangler, on the other hand, is a brand dynasty with a crazy amount of loyal followers. If Ford can tap into that same loyal market, it could have quite the cult following. The Bronco, after all, helped start the SUV craze in American way back in the 1960s. Sadly, Ford canceled the Bronco in the mid-1990s, leaving the it legacy to grow cold. Thankfully, that’s about to change.
Let us know what you think about the Ranger and Bronco return in the comments below.
Read our full review on the next Ford Ranger here.
Read our full review on the upcoming Ford Bronco here.