A new piece from website Gear Patrol cites an anonymous Ford engineer in stating that the future Ford Bronco might not live up to the expectations of the hardcore off-roading enthusiasts, and while such reports should be taken with a grain of salt, it still has us seriously bummed out.
According to Gear Patrol‘s source, the next-generation Ford Bronco is suffering from “paralysis by analysis,” meaning that clashing opinions regarding what direction the new SUV should take are coming in from engineering, marketing, management – basically every department with flesh-and-blood human staff members. The design currently resembles the Troller T4 – Brazil’s fiber-glass-bodied, Ford Ranger-based off-road SUV – but with four doors; a two-door version supposedly won’t be available as “there’s just no market for it,” says Gear Patrol‘s source.
Worse, according to the report, the Ford Bronco will aim to match the Jeep Wrangler in everything except for rock crawling ability, as Ford allegedly has concerns over the strength of its frame. It will be able to wade depths up to half-a-meter, says the source, but a high-performance “Raptor” version of the SUV is “not even in the works yet.” And for power, the next Ford Bronco will reportedly rely on something like the twin-turbocharged, 2.7-liter V6 in the Fusion V6 Sport, which produces 325-horsepower in that car.
At the very least, Gear Patrol reports that the roof will be removable, with three individual panels that can be taken out to expose the cabin to the sun. It will reportedly be sized somewhere between the original Bronco and Bronco II, and pricing should come in at around $30k, although a later hybrid version (yes, you read that right) will most certainly cost more.
Now obviously, we should exercise caution with respect to this report; there’s another two or more years between now and the SUV’s launch, for one thing, and that’s enough time for Ford to change its mind about plenty. That said, if the next-generation Ford Bronco comes along without some serious rock-crawling chops, we will be utterly heartbroken.