Ford Authority

Ford Bronco Adventurer To Arrive Before Regular Bronco

The new Ford Bronco is on the way, and for those who may be unaware, the Blue Oval brand will offer two separate Ford Bronco models as part of a two-tiered product strategy. The two-tiered strategy includes a smaller unibody crossover model named Bronco Adventurer (previously nicknamed the “baby” Bronco), as well as a larger “regular” Ford Bronco based on the Ford T6 platform. Now, according to sources familiar with future Ford product plans who spoke to Ford Authority on the basis of anonymity, the smaller Bronco Adventurer crossover will debut prior to the “regular” Ford Bronco body-on-frame SUV.

2021 Ford Bronco Adventurer prototype

This latest rumor certainly coincides with everything else we’ve seen and heard thus far. As evidenced by recent spy shots, we know the new Ford Bronco Adventurer is currently in integrated prototype form, which essentially means it’s further along in development than the “regular” body-on-frame Bronco, which so far has only been spotted running around on public roads as an early test mule.

The Ford Bronco Adventurer will be built on the Ford C2 platform, the same underpinnings utilized with the 2020 Ford Escape, the new Ford Focus, and the Lincoln Corsair. As for engine options, the Adventurer will cradle a number of turbocharged four-cylinder powerplants, while three-cylinder, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid variants may be offered as well. Front-wheel-drive will be standard, while all-wheel-drive will be optional.

2021 Ford Bronco Adventurer prototype

The Ford Bronco Adventurer is expected to arrive late into 2020 for the 2021 model year, officially kicking off the return of the Ford Bronco nameplate for an all-new sixth generation. Interestingly, Ford has not yet trademarked the Bronco Adventurer name, but has registered “Bronco Big Bend” and “Bronco Outer Banks,” suggesting the automaker has at least a few limited-edition models, trim levels, or model variants in the works.

Still chomping at the bit to learn more about the return of this iconic vehicle? Stay up-to-date by subscribing the 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.

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  1. Thomas Wagner

    Interesting on the timing. The “regular” Bronco was initially supposed to follow the Ranger, the next model year. They introduced the Ranger at NAIAS Jan 2018 and arrived at dealers early this year. If the reporting is right here, the Bronco arrives somewhere on the scene late 2020 or early 2021. What’s the hold-up? Both these vehicles can’t arrive soon enough as sales continue to slide at the blue oval and they struggle to maintain market share (down from almost 20% in 2002 to 14% today).

    1. TS

      The holdup is that the forthcoming Bronco has gone through three different designs in an effort to make it appeal to Bronco enthusiasts, stay true to it’s roots, and not be declared just another SUV.

    2. Fx4man

      you say so much, without saying anything at all. What’s the hold-up? why don’t you know? You’re on the wrong blog, Einstein.

    3. Scott

      The Ranger Based Bronco is coming out on an updated T6 platform. The current Ranger frame can only fit inline I4 Gas/Diesel engines. The updated T6 will be able to take a V6 without any major issues.

      The Ranger/Bronco introduction was a giant cluster fuck by Ford-which was part of the reason why Fields got canned. The design study for the Bronco actually didn’t start till around then-the Bronco Adventure was actually one of the concepts for the Bronco during that time and Ford decided that BOF Bronco would be the best fit at that time. So the Unibody design study was canned/frozen in place

      Fast Forward to Fields getting canned and new management coming in-Changes were made (get rid of sedans) and the Unibody design study was revived as part of the new lineup and splitting the C class CUV market into stylish/soft roader (Escape) and a Brawny/Tough looking Bronco Adventurer.

      Since its based on the C2-the vast majority of work has been done already-I’m guessing the only major differences will be with the suspension (development wise) and new sheetmetal/interior over the current Escape. Thus why it should be in production this time next year. The BOF Bronco is going into production late fall/winter of next year.

  2. Bart Tatlock

    Something tells me Ford is gonna do literally anything and everything they can to prolong the debut of the actual Bronco. First it was gonna be a 2020 model that would debut right after the Ranger, then it became that it would debut the year after (2019), then it became a 2021 model we wouldn’t see at anytime during 2019; that it would be early next year. Now it’s set up where the smaller one will debut now and that the regular one everyone ACTUALLY wants will debut in the middle of next year. This new Bronco better be the absolute best vehicle Ford has ever released or I have a feeling a lot…and I mean a LOT of people are going to be pretty ticked. I know good things take time but dang. We’re more worried about redesigning everything else at once than actually doing one thing at a time.

    1. TS

      So, why would they prolong the debut?

    2. You're Wrong

      It was never introduced as a 2020 model, it was introduced as coming in 2020. The plan was ALWAYS to introduce the small SUV after the Escape debut since it is built on the Escape platform.

  3. Cris Eckert

    Ford seems to be very confused on how to design and launch a relatively simple vehicle. This isn’t anything “new”, it is a body-on-frame, 4×4, period. Why do they need to over-complicate everything? The appeal of the original Bronco was its simplicity and durability (they go hand in hand). Ford is going to screw around, and make something so “technologically advanced”, that it will be unreliable, expensive, and impossible for the average gear head to fix – and I assure you, it WILL need to be repaired now and then. What ever happened to the K.I.S.S. principle? The current class of automotive designers need to remember – not everything, needs to have a “big screen” in the dash, heated leather seats, voice activation, and a hundred different “faulty” sensors.
    Come on Ford – Quit making excuses, and get it done!

    1. jdc

      Simple doesn’t always mean reliable. Take carburetors vs fuel in

    2. Thomas Wagner

      If I recall correctly when they introduced the Ranger back Jan 2018 they showed a teaser of the Bronco under a sheet – that’s a year and half ago. And at that point whatever was under the sheet seemed pretty far along in development.

      I agree with Cris here, keep it simple and true to its rugged roots, all the new gadgetry detracts from the essence of the Bronco. Does everyone want all that new technology? Most vehicles I would argue yes, but not all vehicle especially a niche vehicle like the Bronco. I think the majority of Bronco drivers aren’t necessarily interested in “big dash displays, heated leather seats, voice activation, a hundred different ‘faulty’ sensors.” By the same token if the vehicle comes out without all the new features, it will instantaneously get widespread criticism from within the industry.

    3. TS

      Well obviously it isn’t that simple.

  4. Gary Bruce Kempf

    I’ve been driving ford pickups since 1976, they been good to me but I have a feeling ford is going to screw the bronco up . Don’t over think it ford! Just build a touch bronco that is as dependable as the F series.

  5. Bryan H

    Looks like a Subaru Forester to me. I sell Fords in Colorado and our Ford Customers wants trucks. Hey Ford Motor Company the Bronco needs to be on the F-150 frame not the Escape platform. Pretty sure Ford is going to mess this up…

    1. Micks

      Did you not read at all? This is the smaller baby Bronco that is based on the same underpinnings as the Escape. The “big” Bronco will be body on frame using the same frame as the new Ranger.

  6. spolcyn

    They are most definitely going to screw this thing up. They want to take on the Wrangler but the mule we have all seen has IFS. IFS has never and will never hold up to real world wheeling.

    Ford your chance to beat the Jeep is in your hands. This could be an easy win for you. The parameters are very simple. Solid axle front and rear, selectable transfer case with low range, manual shift, fully removable doors and top and a V-8 option. The latter is the only thing not available in the Wrangler and it will sell.

    1. Cris Eckert

      I could not agree more. The parameters you mention, are basic, simple, and necessary. I certainly hope Ford has considered, and accepted, this simple formula….. especially the V-8 option. It (V-8) doesn’t have to be ridiculous, just a solid 5.0 L / manual trans. would be the perfect combination. PAY ATTENTION FORD!

    2. TS

      Rest assured, there will be NO V8 option. The calendar hasn’t been rolled back 25 years; we still have CAFE.

    3. Brandon

      Wrangler has gotten in the ring with a couple of contenders in the last decade.

      1) HUMMER H3 – it was a fluke in a time GM was going through had times.
      2) Toyota FJ Cruiser – this one could have worked if Toyota would have stayed true to their utility-focused FJ-40 roots

      BRONCO wins if they bring back the 66-77

  7. Patrisco Perez

    Is the coyote motor coming out with the new broco in 2020 if not am going with the hellcat grand cherokee

  8. Scott

    The primary reason the Bronco is taking so long is the current T6 platform wasn’t designed for V6 engines. It’s getting the next gen T6 platform that can take a V6 Ecoboost without any major gymnastics on the assembly line. The next gen Ranger on this platform will be out roughly 18 months later.

    The other issue was Ford completely botched the announcement of the Ranger and Bronco, partly because they didn’t have anything else to show off then, which was one of the reasons the old regime under Fields got canned. The design study for the Bronco only just kicked off around this time and guess what? The Bronco Adventurer was part of that…but Ford came to its senses and went the BOF Ranger route instead.

    Fast forward to the current management and the killing off of sedans and going whole hog on SUV/CUVs-the CUV Bronco concept was dusted off and since most of the development work was already done with the C2 Escape, this project moved along pretty quickly.

    The Bronco name will become a sub brand for Ford, and we will see a whole line of Bronco branded products-
    2 Door Bronco SUV
    4 Door Bronco SUV
    Bronco pickup/SUV
    Bronco Adventure CUV that will appeal the the less hardcore crowd or want a more inexpensive product.
    Plus others-all with the intent of going after Jeep.

    Don’t expect the Bronco to be a clone of the Wrangler-Ford is doing there own thing that is like it, but not as compromised and will actually be comfortable drive every day and have all the creature comforts that the market wants.

    Oh and you knuckledraggers that want a stripped down V8 Bronco-No going to fucking happen. Your just salty that you can’t afford it.


    “Chomping at the bit”? Seriously? The correct expression is; Champing at the bit.

    1. Lee Anderson

      Either expression is correct, as “chomping” is derived from “champing” (and the word “champing” has no other usage in modern English). Insisting on only using the original spelling of “champing” is needlessly pedantic.

  10. Reggie

    I bought Fords exclusively for many years, however I moved on several vehicles back when they lost appeal. I want a simple vehicle with a manual transmission and I do not need a big-screen entertainment system. I do like good audio, so I hope they don’t integrate a giant HMI screen, I would rather have a double-DIN so I can go aftermarket.
    Unlike what I am reading is the target audience (rock crawling Wrangler type), I actually wouldn’t mind the baby Bronco as I had an original (pre-jellybean) Escape that served me well over a quarter million miles, and is still going strong with the new owner. I doubt Ford will provide what the customers REALLY want. I mean, I have yet to see a Ranger in the wild, so I don’t think they’re flying off the lots.

  11. joe

    Why can’t we just get a plain Bronco / Bronco II truck at an affordable price just a truck not a luxury car

  12. Oh Canada

    Well ford if that’s the approach your F’d , the Defender is launching and those who couldn’t afford the worlds best loved suv in every country would opt for the American bronco knowing it was rough and basic and true; don’t get me wrong I love the idea of a new bronco – if they thought bronco-of old days with international scout of old days size and played the coyote engine in its a winner. I agree that the roof has to come off and a Raptor type edition for off road would be killer!
    Ford can do this – just go out in a parking lot outside of Detroit (maybe West coast) and see every half assed suv out there (Hyundai/ Kia /Honda/) and they are winning with lame designs and singer sewing machine engines.
    If we wanted a lame frame and an EcoBoost small engine with no guts and no low end torque., We would have picked a Kia.
    So last chance build a worthy SUV or pack up your desk and bow down to the Koreans Cuan the Telluride is already here and it looks like a Ford.


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