A few weeks ago, we learned that 2021 Bronco Sport went into production at the Ford Hermosillo plant in Mexico, courtesy of a leaked summer shutdown schedule. This news came as a bit of a surprise, because the “baby” Bronco was originally slated to begin production on July 13th, a date that was then pushed back to September 7th due to the COVID-19 shutdown. The summer shutdown schedule document stated that Bronco Sport production began on Monday, May 15th and will continue through July 20th before taking a seven week-long break, with production resuming on September 28th.
Confusing, right? Right. We’ve dug around and have the inside line on what’s actually taking place.
Sources familiar with the product tell Ford Authority that the 2021 Bronco Sport did indeed begin production at Hermosillo in May, but that the vehicles produced so far are not regular production models.
Around 100 units have been produced thus far, and each of them were loaded up on a train in a “maximum security” environment and shipped to several locations. Around a third of those vehicles are headed for crash testing, another third is slated for fuel economy and emissions testing, and the final third are headed to Ford for final-stage quality control and validation.
Right now, there isn’t an exact date of when the 2021 Bronco Sport will be unveiled, but we believe that it will be in July, following the 2021 F-150 reveal on June 25th. Like the virtual unveiling of the 2021 F-150, the Bronco Sport will probably see a similar digital reveal due to COVID-19 concerns.
Full-scale Bronco Sport production at Ford Hermosillo plant will start in early September, following the end of production of the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ at the facility, plus several week of planned downtime. If all goes according to plan, the Bronco Sport will begin arriving at dealerships in late September or early October.
Five trim levels will be available at launch, including base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, First Edition and the off-road variant, the Bronco Sport Badlands, which Ford Authority exclusively reported on just days ago. Roughly 18 months later, a pickup variant will arrive that may be called the Ford Maverick, though that name is subject to change.
The 2021 Bronco Sport will be available with two turbo-charged gasoline engines: the base Ford 1.5L EcoBoost I-3 or the optional Ford 2.0 EcoBoost I-4. Both are expected to be mated to the new Ford 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Bronco Sport will ride on the Ford C2 platform shared with the 2020 Ford Escape, and will even use the same independent four-wheel suspension. However, the baby Bronco will deliver a more rugged package, with a completely different exterior, interior, and product positioning factors. We also know that it will feature at least three different grille designs, and we’ve already shared a detailed, in-depth virtual tour of the interior.