Hopefully Ford delivers on the iconic Bronco styling and functionality

The 2017 Detroit Auto Show brought plenty of exciting vehicle launches, but perhaps the most talked-about vehicle wasn’t even present – the Ford Bronco. Ford however, did confirm the Bronco was coming for the 2020 model year and that it will ride on the same ladder-frame chassis as the mid-size Ranger Pickup, which is also coming to the U.S. for 2019. Sad speculation soon surfaced about Ford simply rebadging the Everest three-row SUV and calling it done. Now we can report Ford has officially debunked that claim.

New news comes from Autoline, who interviewed Ford executive vice president and CTO Raj Nair on camera. Nair spoke directly and without reserve about the Bronco and its construction and relationship with the Ranger pickup.

“This new Bronco will be based off the Ranger platform and so it’s going to be a similarly sized vehicle to what you see in the Ranger,” Nair confirmed. “Now, for our American customers who have never seen that global Ranger, it’s a bit bigger than the Ranger we used to have here in the U.S., so I would say it’s kind of in-between in what you saw with that really big Bronco and then the smaller Bronco.”

The two Bronco sizes he’s referring two are the original Jeep-sized Bronco sold from 1966 through 1977 and the F-150-based Bronco sold from 1978 through 1996.

Thankfully, Ford isn’t just reworking the Everest SUV for the U.S. market. “No, it’s a separate vehicle,” Nair said. “It will be an incremental vehicle from the Everest. The Everest kind of serves a lot of off-road capability; maybe the space the Explorer serves here in the U.S., but with a body-on-frame construction with a lot more off-road capability for the rest of the world. This Bronco is completely unique from that Everest. It is body-on-frame and so again, focusing on that off-road capability.”

While the Everest is a great SUV with impressive capability, it would overlap the Ford Explorer’s market here in the U.S., just as Nair mentioned. Introducing such a vehicle would be redundant. Rather, the Bronco will be its own vehicle. What’s more, Nair even named the Jeep Wrangler as one of its competitors. Perhaps this means Ford will develop a dedicated off-road machine that’s actually worthy of the Bronco name.

Now if Ford would just add a Raptor package, the world would be complete.

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Why It Matters

The Bronco nameplate (and the Ranger, too) already has a huge identity and fan loyalty. Resurrecting the name should be done in respect and honor of the past legacy that is the original Bronco. Thankfully, Ford has proofed itself at making modern tribute cars that recall bygone models. The Mustang is the best example, with the 2005 model introducing the “retro” styling that endures today. The GT supercar also pays tribute to a past model – the racing legend that is the GT40 from the 1960s.

The original Bronco has plenty of racing pedigree, as well, with several team running the Baja races in the 1970s. Hopefully Ford will use this as inspiration for its 2020 Bronco. Folks are already hungry for such a vehicle. The rendering done by Bronco6g.com has gotten a huge amount of publicity thanks to it combination of new and old design cues.

Only time will tell what Ford will come up with, but from Nair’s statements, it seems the Bronco’s future is in good hands.

Hat tip to Jalopnik

Read our full review on the upcoming Ford Bronco here.

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