The 2020 Ford Bronco: What to Expect
Long gone are the days when a major automaker when could debut a major new model out of nowhere. Today it seems we know about most new vehicles years before they eventually reach production, and at the moment there aren't many upcoming models more talked about than the 2020 (or is that 2021 now?) Ford Bronco that Ford long-ago confirmed is in the works.
At this point we still don't know when exactly the Bronco will go on sale or when it will debut, although the upcoming American auto show season as a logical guess. Ford has also been pretty skim on details, but using the bits of info gathered we can have a reasonable idea of what to expect when it arrives.
For starters, we know the basic profile of the new Bronco and the fact that it will share its underpinnings with the current Ford Ranger pickup we was launched in the US for the 2019 model year.
It's now been nearly a year and half since Ford released a teaser image of the new Bronco under a cover, and there have been some heavily disguised spy shots that have surfaced since then but the official teaser still gives us the best idea of how it should look.
From the profile we can see the Bronco will have a squared-off look heavily inspired by the Broncos of the past—particularly the highly popular first generation models. The rounded fender openings look massive and the length suggests the Bronco will be available as a two-door as well as a four-door not unlike the Jeep Wrangler.
From the rear you can also see that the Bronco will sport an externally mounted spare tire, something also seen on the Wrangler as well as the just-debuted Land Rover Defender.
As for its underpinnings, it's reasonable to expect a lot of similarities with the Ranger, which in America comes powered by the turbocharged EcoBoost 2.3 liter four cylinder engine similar to the one in the Mustang.
The current Ranger makes 270 horsepower and 310 pound feet of torque, and we already know the 2.3 EcoBoost has made as much as 350 horsepower in certain applications so it will be interesting to see if the Bronco gets a power bump when compared to the Ranger.
There have been rumors that the Bronco may also be available with a more upmarket EcoBoost V6 engine option as well, but that remains to be seen. Depending on the pricing structure, it wouldn't be be surprising at all to see more than one engine choice.
Like the Ranger, we expect the Bronco's engine to be mated for a 10-speed automatic transmission although there have also been rumors that a manual gearbox will be available as well.
One question to be asked is whether there will be a two-wheel-drive version of the Bronco offered when it goes on sale. While the Ranger is offered in both 2WD and 4x4 versions, if the Bronco is positioned as a specialty model as we expect, 4x4-only seems like a strong possibility.
Given the Bronco's aim toward off-road enthusiasts we'd expect the harder core versions of the Bronco to borrow from the Ranger Raptor, which currently isn't offered in America.
Among the changes Raptor gets underneath are beefier suspension components, Fox dampers, larger brakes and unique tuning for its terrain management systems. While some American enthusiasts may be disjointed that Ford doesn't offer the Ranger Raptor here, we expect a lot of its tricks to show up on the Bronco.
And speaking of Ranger variants not sold in the US, it should be mentioned that since 2016 Ford has already offered an SUV based on the current Ranger. It's called the Ford Everest and is offered mainly in Ford's Asia-Pacific markets.
As you can see, the styling of the of the Everest looks to share almost nothing with the Bronco teaser but at the very least the Everest does give us a good idea of how the Ranger works as an SUV platform.
One thing that we really know nothing about at this point is the how the Bronco will look inside. The current Ranger cabin doesn't really offer much of a preview because not only is the Ranger interior layout pretty old at this point, we also expect the Bronco's cabin to a lot more stylized with a solid dose of heritage inspiration.
The good news for those anxiously awaiting the 2020 Bronco is that there shouldn't be much longer to go. If speculation is to believed we expect the Bronco to be fully unveiled sometime in the next few months with sales to begin about a year from now.
Time will tell whether these predictions ring true or whether Ford has some surprises in store. Whatever the case, we'll be counting down the days with the rest of you.
In the meantime, if you want to see another retro-inspired 4x4 coming to the market soon make sure to check out the all new Land Rover Defender 90 and 110.