What a Modern-Day Ford Bronco Might Be Like
The Internet is a-buzzing over the thought that Ford might actually bringing back the Bronco and selling it in the United States. It would be part of a larger deal with the United Auto Workers to keep production at the Michigan Assembly Plant humming after Ford stops building the Focus and the C-Max there. We suspect that a new Bronco might not be what you’re expecting, but what can you expect from the new ride? Here’s some of our predictions.
We have it on good authority that the main purpose of the Michigan Assembly Plant would be for production of a new, U.S.-bound version of the Ranger. Since the plant would be tuned for that platform, it’s only logical to assume that the new Bronco would be based off the Ranger platform. Now, in 2018 when this rumored deal is to happen, the Ranger might be an entirely different animal, so don’t get your mind set on the Ranger of today (which isn’t even designed for the United States).
Powering this body-on-frame Bronco (assuming the Ranger retains body-on-frame, which we have no reason to doubt) would be one of Ford’s EcoBoost engines. Based on the current engine lineup they have now, we could see the 2.3L EcoBoost from the Mustang and Lincoln MKC as the base engine in the new Ranger, and presumably the Bronco.
The upgraded engine would be the 2.7L EcoBoost found in the Edge Sport and the new F-150. Both engines are great mills, and both have already been adopted for the longitudinal installation required for a rear-wheel drive architecture.
Of course four-wheel drive will be on tap, and we expect there to be a FX4 version for off-roading. It’s possible, depending on how off-road focused they want to be, to include a variation of their Terrain Response system that’s found in the Explorer.
In order to stay competitive in the segment, the new Ranger will need to be able to tow around 7,000 pounds. Since the Bronco would be sharing most of that equipment, the Bronco should also have similar towing capacity.
We wouldn’t expect the Bronco to have a SVT or Raptor variant, at least not at launch. If consumer demand is there, anything is possible, but at the price a high-performance variant of the Bronco would demand, we don’t expect to see too many people interested.
Now here’s where the real blasphemy will probably happen; don’t expect the Bronco to have two doors. Two door vehicles have fallen out of style the past few years, and Ford has stopped the two door versions of many of their vehicles. Especially in a SUV, it just makes sense to have four doors.
Also, don’t expect a removable roof. Crash safety requirements will surely come into play, and the best you’ll see is a panoramic moonroof. Not that those are bad, but they won’t be the same as the full roof off experience.
This is speculation, and of course we can be completely off, but if Ford is going to do a Bronco, this seems like the way that’ll make the most sense.
What do you think? Let us know over in the forums!