Back in the summer of 2019, Ford Authority reported that the 2021 Ford Bronco would eventually spawn a pickup truck variant of the SUV. A pickup version of the Ford Bronco pickup would obviously be a natural fit for a vehicle set to do battle with the Jeep Wrangler, which has its own pickup version in the Jeep Gladiator. The Bronco pickup is expected to launch for the 2023 or 2024 model year, which is likely why we spotted Ford benchmarking the Jeep Gladiator near a metro Detroit area facility for the second time.
We know that this Gladiator isn’t just some test vehicle because it’s wearing manufacturer plates, and it was spotted entering a Ford truck facility. But the fact that Ford would want to benchmark the Gladiator pickup is pretty easy to digest given the fact that it’s reportedly working on its own rugged SUV-turned-pickup.
The Bronco pickup will follow essentially the same formula as the Gladiator, likely retaining the Bronco SUV’s overall styling and interior elements, as well as powertrains. Ford will simply replace the cargo area present on the SUV with a pickup bed, which is obviously not as easy as it sounds and requires Blue Oval engineers to integrate the body structure elements into the extremities of the cab, and away from the bed.
Regardless, the boxy lines of the Bronco should translate well to the pickup version, as we can see in these Ford Authority renderings from last year. The biggest question here is whether Ford will put a shorter bed on the Bronco pickup, or opt for a longer unit like the one present on the Gladiator. The tailgate-mounted spare tire seen here likely won’t make it to the production version, however.
Either way, a Bronco pickup makes too much sense not to happen. The Gladiator has been a sales success to date, and there are plenty of buyers who would love to see a proper pickup version of the Bronco offered as well.