Update: we received a request from Ford lawyers to remove images of the Ford Bronco CUV that previously appeared in this article.
No, it isn’t the forthcoming 2020 Ford Bronco SUV that we’re seeing here, in the image above. It’s Ford’s future “baby Bronco”: a small, unibody crossover utility vehicle seemingly destined to go head-to-head with the likes of the compact Jeep Compass. Ford first announced the vehicle back in March of this year, as part of a (small) onslaught of rugged new utility vehicles to help Ford “reclaim [its] rightful place as the off-road vehicle leader,” in the words of Ford President of Global Markets Jim Farley.
The photo above, which according to Off-Road.com was taken at a Ford dealer meeting in Las Vegas, depicts a square, boxy, retro-looking CUV that certainly seems to mesh with the shadowy teaser image Ford published when the vehicle was first announced. To our eyes, the rugged CUV looks rather like a smaller version of the soon-to-be-discontinued Ford Flex, with some Jeep Renegade tossed in for good measure.
In a loving homage to the retro-fabulous round sealed-beam headlights of yesteryear, and their use in the original 1966-’77 Ford Bronco, this modern Bronco-inspired crossover has a set of circular LED daytime running lamps. We dig it.
In one of the images shown to dealers at Ford’s Las Vegas meeting, the baby Bronco’s shadow appears to be a silhouette of the actual 2020 Ford Bronco – as in, the one that will ride on the all-new Ford Ranger’s full ladder frame. So worry not; the modern Bronco will not be a unibody crossover, and the “Bronco” name won’t be applied to this separate off-roading crossover. Maybe. Unless Ford decides to call it “Bronco Lite”, or something.
Reportedly, this Ford Bronco-like off-road crossover will ride on the same platform as the all-new Focus – the one that’s not being sold in North America. It’s expected to ship with all-wheel-drive as standard, with a range of small, petrol-powered four-cylinder engines to choose from.