The Ford Bronco SUV appears all but certain to return from the dead, at least in the US, with UAW Michigan Assembly Plant Chairman Bill Johnson letting the cat out of the bag in early September while discussing the Focus and C-MAX’s impending shift to a new Mexican production facility. “With the Ranger and the Bronco coming to Michigan Assembly that absolutely secures the future for our people a lot more than the Focus does,” he said.
Now, Australian website Motoring reports that the next-generation Ford Bronco is in-development alongside the next Ford Ranger mid-size truck in the Land Down Under. The new SUV’s development is reportedly being carried out by Ford Australia’s Asia-Pacific Product Development Center in Victoria, although it’s uncertain whether a right-hand-drive version of the Ford Bronco will even be made available.
It’s possible that the Bronco will be nothing more than a rebadged Ford Everest – a Ranger-based SUV already sold in Australia. Alternatively, a RHD Ford Bronco for the Australian market could be produced alongside the Ranger in Thailand.
Motoring further reports that according to website Bronco6G.com, Ford has acquired two-door and four-door examples of the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon for benchmarking. This suggests that hardcore off-road-ability will be a target for the future Ford Bronco, and that the SUV might be offered in both two-door and four-door forms.
Mechanically, the next Ford Bronco – which is anticipated to arrive for the 2020 model year – ought to be identical to the Ranger on which it’s based. Motoring suspects this means both 4-cylinder and 5-cylinder diesel engines will be offered, with a manual and an automatic transmission to choose from, and a low-range transfer case.
Sadly, we’re having difficulty picturing a manual Ford Bronco being sold in the United States. We suspect that at least one petrol engine option for this market is a given.