Ford made several announcements about its plans for the next few years. Among other things, we learned that the Explorer ST is officially happening, the upcoming Mach 1 electric SUV will have more than 300 miles of range, and Lincoln will show off a new Aviator SUV at this year’s New York Auto Show. But the most interesting information had to do with the new Bronco.
We’ve known for a while that the Bronco would go on sale in 2020, one year after the U.S.-market Ranger it will be based on. But beyond that, Ford hasn’t had much to say. Now, though, we learned that a hybrid version is officially happening. That doesn’t mean the Bronco will only be available as a hybrid, but until now, a hybrid Bronco was only a rumor.
When the new Bronco finally does go on sale, don’t expect it to be a hardcore rock crawler aimed squarely at the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. According to Jim Farley, head of global markets, Ford plans to position it as more of a Raptor-like desert runner. From the sound of it, the Bronco will still be a capable off-roader. It will just be more of an indirect competitor for the Wrangler.
Ford also announced plans for a smaller, still-unnamed off-roader. Expect it to be about the same size as an Escape and look a lot like the shadowy rendering shown above. Since it was just announced, we know even less about this mini-Bronco than we do about the real thing. But based on what we can see, it looks like an appropriately boxy little off-roader.
“Ford helped start the off-road phenomenon and has majored in off-road capability for decades—from the Bronco to the Raptor,” said Farley in a statement. “Now, we’re ready to reclaim our rightful place as the off-road vehicle leader.”