Leaked: 2020 Baby Bronco Takes a Bow at a Ford Dealer Meeting
Compact Off-Road Crossover Takes Aim at Jeep Compass and Renegade Trailhawk
Keen-eyed reporters at Off-Road.com have captured images of what they think is the 2020 Ford Bronco, found at a “publicly accessible part of a Ford website.” We haven’t seen these pictures before, but they do indeed appear to reveal a member of Ford’s upcoming off-road SUV lineup.
However, we think there’s a chance these are actually photos of the “baby Bronco” that will be based on the same architecture as the Focus and Escape. While the big Bronco will likely get Ford Ranger bones to make it a dedicated Jeep Wrangler rival, the smaller Bronc will be aimed primarily at Trailhawk versions of the Jeep Compass and Renegade.
Ford teased the small Bronco variant a few months ago, and this machine looks very similar. Keen eyes will note differences in the headlights, and the SUV that was shown at the dealer meeting might feature frame-mounted steel bumpers as opposed to the baby Bronco’s plastic bumper covers. But while those differences suggest the orange and silver machines featured above are of the fullsize Bronco, Ford did include one clue in the dealer meeting that they’re actually of a smaller, crossover-ized Bronco variant.
Look closely at the center photo and you’ll see the orange vehicle in profile is set against a silhouette of a squarish SUV with an externally mounted spare tire and a decidedly retro hoodline. Is that shadow a teaser for the actual Bronco? If so, that would make the leaked machine very likely Ford’s entry-level Bronco crossover. Furthermore, Ford’s be-sheeted Bronco teaser from March looks totally different from the machine in the leaked pictures above.
If that’s the case, then it seems like Ford is turning some of its most legendary names into fleshed out model lines (see also: the rumored all-electric Mustang crossover and five-door fastback sedan). A body-on-frame Bronco makes sense as an off-road halo SUV, but so does an efficient Bronco crossover (Bronco II, perhaps?), which would effectively compete with the Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 Adventure. The company could even reintroduce a fullsize off-road SUV with Bronco styling, giving the Expedition a dedicated off-road sibling.
We hope to know more soon, and with the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show just around the corner, Ford has plenty of opportunity to prove us right or wrong.