As we reported earlier this week, during a discussion of Ford’s decision to ramp-up production in Mexico, a UAW-Ford Plant Manager let slip that the Ford Ranger mid-size truck and a brand-new Ford Bronco SUV are indeed coming to the automaker’s Michigan Assembly Plant.
The Ford Bronco’s return from extinction – not to mention the Ranger’s homecoming after years of being sold just about everywhere-but-here – isn’t exactly a foreign concept to anyone that’s been following the news, but this is the first real confirmation we’ve had that the murmurings were correct. This, of course, has us excitedly pondering what the new, North American-market Ford Bronco might look like.
Common sense says that the reborn Bronco would arrive as a mid- or full-size SUV with body-on-frame construction, built on the same platform as the next Ford Ranger (which, we presume, isn’t about to become a unibody à la Honda Ridgeline). We can only hope it’s given an appropriately square, brawny shape, paying tribute to the original Ford Bronco without looking too obviously like a retro-modern throwback.
But what about engines? The current Ranger T6 is powered by a choice of either 2.2-liter or 3.2-liter Duratorq diesel engines, the latter of which has already been federalized for the US-market Ford Transit (rebranded as a “Power Stroke” unit). The Ranger-based Everest SUV, which is offered in some Asia-Pacific markets and may set the pace for the next Ford Bronco, offers the same two options.
And of course, there’s always the possibility that Ford could offer the same 3.0-liter “Lion” diesel V6 expected to arrive in the Ford F-150 within the next several years.
But if there’s one thing that can be said about Ford, it’s that the automaker seems to take pleasure in putting its turbocharged EcoBoost engines in things. We ourselves wouldn’t be surprised to see the company’s 2.7-liter – and maybe even 3.5-liter – EcoBoost V6 mills make an appearance under the bonnet of the new Ford Bronco.
What about you? What engines do you think Ford is likely to drop in the forthcoming Ranger-based SUV in North America? Let us know in the poll below.