Bronco Watch May 2016: What We Know and What We Don’t Know
Winter is slowly changing over to summer as time continues to pass. As this time passes, we get closer and closer to what we believe to be the launch of an all-new Ford Bronco. Here’s what we know, and what we don’t know, about the truck so far.
Earlier in the year I proposed a reasonable timeline for the launch and sale of the Bronco and Ranger here in the United States. As of this time, I have no reason to believe that that timetable is inaccurate. Officially, news hasn’t been leaking out about the new Bronco, meaning we probably still are awhile away from the reveal of the concept.
However, we still have news we can report that supports our theory that a new Bronco is on the way. Recently, Ford announced that they’re building an all-new plant in Mexico with an investment to facilitate small car construction. That supports the news that Ford is moving C-Max and Focus production to Mexico. All of this, if you remember, means that the Michigan Assembly plant will have nothing to build in the near future.
While I’ll have a chance to harass some people within Ford about the Bronco in the coming weeks, nothing has changed from Ford officially. They don’t comment on speculation of future products.
Pickup truck and SUV sales are also at near-historic highs, but a report from an analyst earlier this week suggests that perhaps we’ve reached “peak pickup” here in the United States. Even though sales are strong, they might have reached their top. Everyone who wants a new pickup truck could potentially already have the pickup truck they want.
If that’s the case, a Bronco (and by association, a Ranger) would be better sooner than later. While peak full-size pickup might have been reached (I don’t believe it has), there is still room to grow in the midsize segment. There is also lots of room to innovate in the small truck and SUV segment; why do you think Honda revamped the Ridgeline instead of kill it?
As time progresses, we also believe more and more that the new Ranger and Bronco could utilize aluminum construction for the body. As we’ve reported previously, the F-150’s assembly plant has aluminum recycling down to a science. The quantities of scale in production has surely dropped the price needed to use aluminum in construction. Plus, it’d be a class exclusive on both the Bronco and Ranger, because the new Wrangler isn’t going all-aluminum.
Speaking of the Wrangler, there is talk that the new one will be powered by a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. That’d fit right in line with Ford’s EcoBoost offerings that we believe would be in the new vehicles. Though we still hope that the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 is offered on the top end. It’s just such a really good engine.
Finally for looks, we have absolutely no idea. We really enjoy the renderings that we’ve featured here in this post, but until we see some test mules or prototypes out and about, you guess is as good as ours.
What do you think? Let us know over in the forums!
renderings via [Bronco6G.com]