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Ford Spotted Benchmarking Jeep Gladiator Pickup Near Detroit Facility

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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.

We’ll have more on the future Bronco pickup soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Bronco news and ongoing Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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19 Comments

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  1. A Bronco Pick up? Now that is just Fugly. Ugly and silly to start with. Nothing like a International scout with a blue oval attached to it. Poor decision. And I am a Ford guy too.

    • The rarest Bronco from the past is the pickup Am all N, Teal 4 door thank you plz add the F150 bed generator

  2. The Gladiator has a Longer Wheel Base than the Wrangler, more than 10 inches. Ford should concentrate more on actually delivering broncos ( a few here and there would be nice) rather than contemplating making a bronco pickup.

  3. Make something original for once! Why you have to keep stealing Jeeps and the throwing a Ford name plate with a downgrade on it.

  4. Ford Ranger, Ford Maverick, and now reports of a Ford Bronco Pick up truck? And they’re making a Ranger Raptor for the US? I don’t see why they would add another mid-size ish truck to the market. Jeep just has the Gladiator. But FoMoCo must see a market!

    • Don’t be surprised if there if a “maverick raptor” in the works! maybe a dual turbo 3 cylinder “beast” as the fan boys like to call them! I wish ford would concentrate on building long lasting trucks, as they once did, not bic lighter types, you know the 4 cylinders ecobooms that just don’t last. Also do away with using chinese made transmissions. toyota has built a company world wide with a reputation of “built to last”, and in case anyone was watching, it has worked pretty well for them. There was a time when ford really cared about how well their product lasted……the times-they are a changing…

  5. Jeeps success is because they haven’t changed a thing on suspension Solid front and rear axels, something Ford Broncos once had. Wake up the average Jeep owner likes camping , adventure and scenery. Broncos TV commercial is in the desert, no camping, adventure or scenery.

  6. I guess you didn’t see the bronco with the camping tent 😕 Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The gladiator is one ugly truck wouldn’t waste my money!

    • I wonder how many BSs we’ll see with the tent and wench installed, picking up the kids from soccer-it really helps the image! I’m sure there will be plenty of area on the installed tent that will be “begging” for some kind of shining product, to match the tire shine! Loud wench covers will also be a must have!!! The Gladiator is an ugly truck, but so are a lot of really capable 4x4s (world wide), I guess if you’re going for beauty, and capable off road vehicles, you get into a murky area. I find it interesting how many people want a true no bull S*** off road vehicle, but must have leather seats, (heated), along with a heated steering wheel, carpet, sound proofing etc.. they have never actually been on any real off road trails, in the mud, etc. But they do like the “look”.
      The gladiator is ugly, but a stretched bronco/truck isn’t going to be a thing of beauty either. Ford has the baby bronco, the middle bronco, and talk of bringing to market a bronco (f150 based), I guess It will be called the papa bronco. If there is going to be a bronco pickup, why not wait until the papa bronco is ready, and just drop a different body on a 4×4 f-150?

  7. Ford can’t even get production rolling on their current vehicles … they need to concentrate on that first

    • All Auto makers are having problems putting out models not just FORD. There is a shortage supply of parts that may last a year or longer. That don’t mean you don’t show up coming models

  8. Ford should probably worry about actually producing the bronco. Years of hype and all I’ve seen so far is a POS escape covered in plastic and bronco logos.

  9. I agree with the author that a Bronco pickup makes perfect sense. It wouldn’t be all that hard to do either. Because the Bronco and Ranger share the same basic platform it should be possible to use the frame from the next gen Ranger. All they would need to do is close off the back of a four-door Bronco body, plop it on the Ranger frame and add a short bed. Because both the Ranger and Bronco are built in the same plant they would not really be losing a production spot for the Ranger but would be selling what I assume would be a higher priced vehicle. The 1st gen Sport Trac used the same basic formula. It used the Ranger Supercab frame and suspension with an upscale four-door body and a shorter bed than that on the Ranger.

    • I guess if the ranger/bronco pickup truck will be virtually the same, except the skin, there goes the v6 option, that pesky little 4 banger ecoboom would have to go, first thing. But there could be a maverick bronco, a unibody, soccer mom mobile II! Not to mention, the ford maverick/bronco tremor! A real beast, as the fan boys would say. As the ranger/bronco-ranger pickup/maverick pickup/maverick bronco would all be imported from mexico!

  10. The Gladiator is a competent vehicle and has been in my sights until the Bronco came along. I would consider giving up my spot in line for my (now) 2022 Bronco for a 2022 Bronco with a bed. Not like we are giving up a third row seating option.

    As far as wheelbase for a pickup is concerned, the 4 door Bronco already has a 6″ advantage over the iconic Land Rover Defender Double Cab (with bed) which certainly could translate into a litte extra bed space.

    • 2022 land rover defender double cab outside dimensions 170.2 Length, 2022 bronco four door outside dimensions 172.7. I believe this is 2.5 inches, 172.7-170.2=2.5. Of course, the new bronco is not offered with a diesel, so I’m guessing the bronco truck will also not be offered with a diesel.

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