Ford Authority

New Ford Bronco Will Get Two-Vehicle Strategy, But Not The Way We Thought

Back in June, we brought you photos of a strange Ford test mule that looked like a really short F-150 Raptor. It was the first time we had ever seen this prototype out in the wild, leading us to believe it was a tester for a hypothetical full-size Ford Bronco, therefore serving as real-world proof of Ford’s two-tier Bronco strategy. It made sense, given that the F-150-bodied mule followed on the heels of another Ford Bronco mule based around the Ford Ranger spied back in March. However, we’ve now learned that – even though The Blue Oval indeed has a two-vehicle strategy for the new Ford Bronco – it won’t be in the way we originally speculated.

An early test mule of the upcoming Ford Bronco

This fresh update comes to us courtesy of sources familiar with future Ford product plans, who spoke to Ford Authority on the basis of anonymity. According to our sources, the original mule we saw in March – the funny-looking one based around the Ford Ranger – is indeed a mule for the all-new, 2021 Ford Bronco. As the tester’s proportions clearly show, the final vehicle will have small dimensions while offering a short wheelbase and short overhangs front to back, blessing it with impressive approach, departure, and breakaway angles.

A teaser of the upcoming Ford Bronco released in 2018

We’ve also received confirmation that the new Ford Bronco will source motivation from the Blue Oval’s ubiquitous turbocharged 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. Exact output figures are still unknown, but they shouldn’t deviate much from the 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque that the powertrain produces in the Ranger. When it hits the market, the new Ford Bronco will go head-to-head with the Jeep Wrangler, and to a certain degree, the Toyota 4Runner.

What’s more, Ford will offer an even-smaller Ford Bronco model – which is something Ford has previously announced. Unofficially referred to as the “baby Bronco,” that vehicle will be called the Ford Bronco Scout, according to sources. Notably, Ford filed to trademark the Bronco Scout name back in April.

A teaser of the upcoming “baby Ford Bronco”, which will be called “Bronco Scout”

Unlike the body-on-frame Ford Bronco, this new “baby” Bronco will be based on a unibody architecture, most likely derived the new Ford scalable, front-drive platform that underpins the all-new 2019 Ford Focus and 2020 Ford Escape, as well as the Lincoln Corsair. The architecture will also underpin all future Ford vehicles with a front-drive, transversely-engined powertrain configuration.

As of this writing, we have yet to see the Ford Bronco Scout undergoing testing, so spy shots of the model do not exist at the moment.

Originally believed to be a mule for a hypothetical full-size Bronco, this F-150-based mule has nothing to do with the Bronco program.

Ford Bronco Rumor Summary
Full-Size Ford Bronco Mid-Size Ford Bronco Compact Ford Bronco
Not happening On track for 2021 model year On track on unibody platform as Bronco Scout

Of course, all this fails to explain the strange F-150 mule we spied in June. Luckily, we’re in the process of digging up some information about that vehicle and will provide additional information on it in a follow-up post shortly. In the meantime, subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Bronco news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

Jonathan is an automotive journalist based out of Southern California. He loves anything and everything on four wheels.

Subscribe to Ford Authority

For around-the-clock Ford news coverage

We'll send you one email per day with the latest Ford updates. It's totally free.


  1. vbondjr1

    I figured as much. I said before that i didn’t think Ford was going to do anything right when it comes to the Bronco. Just another cool name thrown down to be dragged through the mud. Car companies are getting ready to do this with all of the cars that we knew and loved to make the people who were fans of them, not fans. Everything we loved about cars is now gone and the bean counters are enjoying the fact that they can screw everyone up the @$$ and just put out vehicles that no one really wants anymore but since people need cars, we will buy them anyway and spend money the way we don’t want to while the engineers keep giving us broken vehicles from the factory that we have to waste time back and forth with, recall after recall and nothing gets done. They’re forcing everyone to give up ICE cars to go with these BS electric cars so they can control what we do, where we drive, how we drive and all of that. Battery operated cars are more harmful to the environment than conventional cars but they want people to believe that regular cars are what is plaguing our planet and it’s not! But I guarentee no one will listen, someone will even respond with calling this post garbage or worse. But in a few years when everything is exposed. some of you will remember this post and go “Dammit, he was right!” by then it will be too late!

    1. Alex Luft

      Not sure what isn’t “right” about doing a Bronco that takes on the Wrangler head-on, followed by a crossover that’s a major departure from the pedestrian Escape. Seems like the right strategy to me. They already have the rest of the bases and segments covered.

      1. trailhiker

        And if needed…they could always bring out a shorter wheelbase 2-door Expedition with offroad chops. They could even use the Supercab with the clamshell doors for that matter.

    2. JohnTaurus

      So go buy a damned Toyota. They’re proven all over the world, where the Ranger is nipping at its heels. And guess what? Those amazing worldly Toyotas dont have 6 cylinders or V-8s, they have 4 pots.

      So, 4 cylinder trucks are baaaaaaad, except with Toyotas. And your brother In law works for a Ford dealer so that settles it.

      Enough boo-hooing and ranting. Either give it up, or go buy an over hyped and overpriced Toyota TuRD. And tell these damn kids to get off your lawn!

  2. Clark Platt

    make a baby bronco with fwd not 4wd.then you could buy anything ,nothing special.and the cars that are decent with 4wd are out of price of mere mortals ..been a ford fan for decades.have bought with cash ,or leased more cars than the age of some salespeople.and im sure if ford really comes out with a bronco in my lifetime .it will be out of the range of most people .as for the ranger my brother in law works for ford. with the ranger and having no incentives ,or’s better just to get a f150.also i don’t know about a 4cyl engine in any pick up .no matter what the horse power .has to work alot harder than one with a 6cyl.if i had to choose one ranger or tacoma ,sorry ford ,toyota is proven all over the world in the harshest conditions,where fords dare not tread.also i haven’t seen one ranger on the road since they have been out .still like ford.don’t get me wrong .

  3. Don

    The 2.3 4cyl EcoBoost works well in the Ranger. I’m a huge fan of the EcoBoost having a 2.0 in my Escape and a 2.7 turbo charged V6 in my Edge Sport. I don’t see an issue after test driving a Ranger. It was quick and had no issues performing in the Ranger.It will work great in the Bronco. Reading a reply talking about EV distroying the world. First, where did that information come from and theres no mention of a EV Bronco. Possibly a Hybrid, but that’s a completely different engine combination. With Ford getting a patent for the Broncos removable doors and roof. I think the Bronco is going to be a great off-road SUV. Before passing judgement on the 2.3 EcoBoost. Test drive a Ranger.

    1. JohnTaurus

      He just wants to rant and bellyache about trivial facts he doesnt understand. If ONLY Ford “listened to the customer” and made him a one-off V-8 Bronco for $14,000 + $3500 cash back and 0% with no credit check, that’s how theyll be a great success.

  4. Paul

    I think this is a good strategy because it seems these smaller car based SUV’s are what most of the people seem to want.

  5. Jerome

    “Ford neuters the Bronco brand.”

  6. Jerome

    Ford neutered the Bronco brand.

  7. PattyLathrop

    Waiting patently

  8. William Carleton

    Now driving 2010 Ranger having 150,000 miles and how long will it last . Reading in the USA Today
    that Chevy El Camino Ford Ranchero and Hyundi Santa Crruz will be coming out but just when
    because what I have now my not make it Let me know today Sept 22,2019


Leave a comment