Ford Gives Us a Peek at Its SUV Future, Teases 2020 Bronco and Mini-SUV
Ford gave industry insiders a look at its SUV future, including teasers for the 2020 Bronco and a Bronco-inspired mini-SUV due in 2021.
Foremost, the new Bronco, which was teased under a sheet, will almost assuredly maintain a retro form factor not unlike the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler. The upright bodywork, nearly vertical windshield, exterior-mounted spare tire, and rounded wheel arches link back to the original 1966 Bronco, while a narrow greenhouse distinguishes the Bronc from the similarly shaped Wrangler. The styling lays to rest any fears that the SUV would be a slightly restyled version of the Ford Everest—nothing against that global body-on-frame sport-ute, but its anonymous design would speak sacrilege to the Bronco name. Also making an appearance on the neo-SUV will be the original’s bucking-bronco logo and nameplate. Under the hood, expect a version of the 2019 Ranger’s 2.3L EcoBoost I-4, as well as an optional 2.7L EcoBoost V-6 (we hope).
Also slated for Ford’s future SUV lineup is a new model, a yet-to-be-named compact off-roader. Its stature draws parallels to the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk, which we presume will be this vehicle’s primary competitor. The Bronco Lite will likely be based on a unibody chassis, and in our dreams, it’s powered by the 1.5L turbodiesel I-4 found under the Transit Connect’s diminutive hood. Other likely powertrains include the company’s direct-injected 2.0L I-4 and turbocharged 2.3L EcoBoost I-4.
The company also teased the existence of yet another Ford Performance SUV, following in the footsteps of the Edge ST revealed earlier this year. The vehicle under those slinky sheets is almost certainly a next-generation Explorer ST, which will replace today’s Explorer Sport as the high-adrenaline family SUV. However, it’s also possible that Ford is teasing its promised “performance battery electric utility,” which will arrive in 2020. The zero-emissions SUV will be Ford’s first all-electric vehicle of the modern age, with an expected range of at least 200 miles.
Finally, Ford’s SUV and pickup lineup will benefit from hybridization and electrification, starting with the F-150 Hybrid. The pickup market should appreciate the F-150 Hybrid’s instant-on electric torque, and it will be able to serve as a mobile generator, according to Ford. A hybrid powertrain is also expected to spread to the next-generation Explorer and Escape crossovers, as well as the Bronco, interestingly. There will also be a hybrid Mustang, which Ford says will offer more low-end torque than even the V-8–powered model.
With two off-road SUVs, three performance-oriented crossovers (including one full-electric vehicle), and a handful of hybridized trucks and utilities, Ford is keen on future-proofing its lineup. Currently, the Blue Oval offers only a few electrified machines, and none of its utility vehicles offer the nimble off-road–readiness that some customers demand. That all looks like it’s about to change, starting sometime next year.