We’ve known for some time now that Ford’s upcoming 2021 Bronco Sport will ride on the same C2 platform as the 2020 Ford Escape / Kuga. But what we didn’t know is that it will also share the Escape’s suspension design.
Sources familiar with the product told Ford Authority that the 2021 Bronco Sport will feature the same four-wheel independent suspension setup as used on the Escape. That consists of an independent MacPherson strut design with a stability bar, plus twin-tube hydraulic gas-pressurized shocks at the front. The rear, meanwhile, features an independent double lateral link setup with a stabilizer bar, progressive-rate springs and hydraulic gas-pressurized shocks. In other words, this won’t be a hardcore off-roader.
However, we wouldn’t dismiss its off-pavement prowess just yet. Its relatively short front and rear overhangs should give it surprisingly decent approach and departure angles for a compact unibody crossover, enabling it to go where the Escape can’t.
In addition, one of the biggest improvements to the 2020 Escape suspension is a new rear subframe that delivers improved ride isolation. We’re told that this setup will also make its way to the 2021 Bronco Sport.
Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS will handle stopping duty, while steering will be conducted by an electric power-assisted steering configuration. Both components are carry-overs from the 2020 Escape.
Colloquially known as the “baby Bronco”, Ford’s 2021 Bronco Sport will expand Ford’s vehicle lineup at a time that the Dearborn-based automaker is phasing out all sedans, including the Fiesta, Focus, Taurus and soon, also the Fusion.
The Bronco Sport will look and feel completely different inside and out compared to its platform mate, the Escape. Noteworthy elements will include a boxy and rugged exterior, three grille options, a totally different cabin versus the Escape, plus the aforementioned approach and departure angles.
The 2021 Bronco Sport will be offered with a choice of two small-displacement, turbo-charged gasoline engines. The base motor will be the Ford 1.5L EcoBoost I-3, while the ubiquitous Ford 2.0 EcoBoost I-4 GTDI will be optional. Both boosted DOHC mills are expected to be mated to the new Ford new 8-speed automatic transmission co-developed with General Motors.
Five trim levels will be on tap at launch: base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, Badlands, and First Edition. Roughly 18 months later, a pickup variant will arrive that will be called Ford Maverick.
The 2021 Bronco Sport will be joined by the “real” Ford Bronco – a body-on-frame model available as a two- and four-door SUV. It will also offer a pickup truck variant later on in its lifecycle. The ladder-frame Bronco will launch several months after the Bronco Sport.
Production of the 2021 Bronco Sport has already started, albeit on a limited basis, at the Ford Hermosillo plant in Mexico. The vehicle is expected to begin arriving at U.S. Ford dealers in the August-September timeframe, circumstances allowing.
We’ll continue reporting about all things related to the forthcoming Bronco Sport, so be sure to subscribe to Ford Authority for more Bronco Sport news, Ford Bronco news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.