Ford Bronco To Become Its Own Sub-Brand, Sources Say

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Earlier today, images of Ford’s forthcoming small off-road crossover emerged, giving us a proper good look at the “baby Bronco” for the first time. The new vehicle will allegedly be based on the same underpinnings as the all-new, fourth-generation Ford Focus, making it a comparatively tame, affordable option for the Ford-loyal off-roading enthusiast, as compared to the future body-on-frame 2020 Ford Bronco.

Now, we’ve learned through Bronco6G that the “Bronco” name itself will allegedly become an off-roading sub-brand of Ford Motor Company, which at least partially answers the question: What on Earth will Ford’s small off-road crossover be called?

According to Bronco6G‘s sources, the Ranger-based body-on-frame SUV will simply be called “Ford Bronco”. This small, unibody off-roader will also go by “Ford Bronco”, but with an extra moniker at the end. It could be “Bronco Lite”, or “Bronco Flex” (we’re quite fond of that one), or even “Bronco AWD” – a subtle acknowledgment of its lack of a proper transfer case. Or, it could be called something else entirely, so long as it starts with the words “Ford” and “Bronco”.

Click for larger. Photo: Ford, via Off-Road.com

Bronco6G says that the body-on-frame Ford Bronco – the real, full-fat off-road SUV based on the 2019 Ranger platform – will come out within a couple of months of the smaller Focus-based crossover. The full-fat Bronco’s purpose, according to that site, will be to draw people into the showroom; the reduced-fat unibody Bronco, meanwhile, will be the more attainable, everyday version that will suit a wider majority of customers.

There are still plenty of unknowns with regard to the Ford Bronco story, of course. Will there be additional Bronco models beside this compact crossover, which will reportedly be comparable in size to the Jeep Renegade? What sort of powertrain options will the so-called “baby Bronco” offer from the factory? And most crucially, will Ford’s gamble on an all-new sub-brand pay off, allowing the automaker to siphon some amount of business from FCA’s iconic “Jeep” brand?

Stay tuned to Ford Authority as we uncover more of this story.

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Written by Aaron Brzozowski

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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9 Comments

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  1. Not a fan of this idea. If people are already calling it an FJ Cuiser copy, you got a problem. FJ was always seen as a “Wrangler wannabe”. People are expecting a big reveal for “New Bronco” but the message is now all confused with “Baby Bronco” & “maybe Bronco will be its own brand”. Ugh … just hit the mark by coming out with a great (not overpriced) new BRONCO. Stop diluting what could be a great win for Ford. Bronco should be targeting Wrangler & not step all over Raptor. After seeing this new messaging, it seems Ford’s gonna drop the ball and try to overdo the Bronco name with a cheap commuter Focus based Baby B. Nobody asked for a half-arsed “baby” Bronco “Flex”? (Flex is one of those generic Ford “F” names that says “blah…”). A “Bronco” should be a stretch to attain (but not too much). Come on Ford, you have a tiger by the tail… if the whole company jumps on its back for a ride, it won’t go very far.

  2. They haven’t tried this since the Edsel…. and for good reason. Just introduce the vehicle and stop over-thinking it. I suppose one could say they tried this same thing with the Lincoln brand not too long ago. No clue what they gained from that move either. Except for the Navigator, Lincoln sales are all in the tank currently.

  3. Hope the Company changes it’s naming strategy….geeez…keep it simple like others have said. A Focus-based bronco will do little to excite the demanding truck people. Bronco is an icon, please keep it that way! Right on Tom Thomas!

  4. what about the “ford bronco colt” and the “ford bronco filly” I think the small extreme off roader bronco should be called the “colt” and the soccer mom bronco should be called the “filly”

  5. You lost one customer already, me. 4 years waiting for soming that is still 2 years away from showrooms forget it. It’s going to be an ugly design, impractical for off road use and way overpriced. BroncoG6 has the design, but you seem tone reinventing the Edsel. KISS… Keep it simple stupid. Two door, 4wd, v-8, manual transmission, Dana locker diffs. Removable doors and roof.

  6. It looks like a Ford Flex. It’s too big and looks like all of the other minivans (sorry: cross-over or whatever) already out there. Two-plus years of hype has moved it 180 degrees from what we saw as the concepts. I’m not a big fan of the new Jeep Gladiator, but that should be the target for this vehicle.

  7. If the pictures are accurate, it looks like a Ford Flex: in other words, like all the other glorified mini-vans (sorry: cross over / suv’s out there. Not good. The Jeep Gladiator should be the target. I’m not crazy over the looks or size of that vehicle, but read the specs on it. It might look like a Wrangler, but underneath it’s built to haul and tow. Obviously with a two year wait and still not built, the “engineering by the mob” mentality has taken over. By the time it’s get here, no one will be interested in it anymore.

  8. I’ve been waiting for a new Bronco for 5+ years. I’m hoping Ford builds a Wrangler type vehicle with removable roof. Come on Ford Guys, I think this will work! That’s my 2 cents.

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