Ever since the sixth-generation Ford Bronco debuted for the 2021 model year, many have been waiting patiently for a hybrid version of the rugged SUV. Such a combination seems inevitable, after all, given Ford’s big hybrid push and the fact that its direct competitor – the Jeep Wrangler – is already sold in 4xe plug-in hybrid form, and has been for years now. However, as we enter the 2024 model year, there’s been no indication that a Bronco hybrid is in the works yet – though the recently-revealed Ford 2.3L EcoBoost Hybrid powertrain would be the perfect fit for such a model.
The Ford 2.3L EcoBoost Hybrid was unveiled in the brand-new 2025 Ford Ranger PHEV just this past week, electrifying an engine that’s used in both the Ranger and Bronco already. Thus, that same powertrain would apparently be an easy fit for the Bronco, particularly since those two models share the Ford T6 platform and are built alongside each other at the Michigan Assembly plant.
With fuel economy and emissions standards on the rise, it seems almost inevitable that the rather inefficient Bronco is destined to add a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and/or all-electric model to its lineup, though it certainly isn’t a given. In fact, the Ranger PHEV isn’t slated to be sold in the U.S. – at least for now – and is only headed for Europe and Australia, the former of which is a hot spot for plug-ins.
Regardless, the Wrangler 4xe has been a smash hit with consumers in the U.S. since its launch, and that model is also receiving a refresh for the 2024 model year that expands the number of PHEV offerings in the lineup to include the new, entry-level Sport S 4xe, while all 4xe models are getting what Jeep calls the “Power Box,” which supplies 30 amps of electricity via four 120-volt outlets.
Thus, a Bronco hybrid packing the newly electrified 2.3L EcoBoost-based powertrain would be the perfect way to help it keep up with its most fierce competitor, all while offering those seeking a bit more efficiency precisely that. And, while FoMoCo is at it, it could also utilize the same powertrain in the Ford Explorer, which is offered in PHEV form in Europe, but not in the U.S.