Bill Johnson, the UAW representative, almost broke the Internet last year with the claim that ‘the Bronco and the Ranger are coming back’! This was hands down a sensational piece of news for Ford fans looking for a midsize pickup or a proper off-roader. Since Americans traditionally have a huge need for trucks and SUVs, this might be a perfect time for the company to add new members to its lineup.
Ford released an official statement at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. They promised the Ranger to arrive in 2019 and the Bronco to be unveiled a year later. The company shed little to no details besides their presentation. However, there have been some alleged ‘facts and details’ circulating around the web lately. Let’s dig in.
First of all, let’s clear up something. The Ford Ranger isn’t dead! At least not technically. The current generation Ford Ranger is manufactured in South Africa, Thailand and Argentina and it is sold everywhere in the world besides North America. Great news about it is that Johnson mentioned that there are plans to produce a new Ranger in the Michigan Assembly Plant and once again sell it there.
An anonymous poster recently wrote on Reddit how the new Ranger will be a facelifted version of the foreign market model. And the guy behind this claim isn’t just some random person. This was a post written by a Ford designer, and that fact was verified by the moderators of the Ranger subreddit. So what’s in store for us when it comes to the new truck? It will feature a new grille, a new set of headlights and a completely new fascia. The rest will remain the same. We have mentioned the outer looks, but the cabin will get a complete redesign and rework for the North American market.
Therefore we expect the new Ranger to become a direct competitor for large-midsize trucks such as Honda Ridgeline, Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma. These pickups share same dimensions with the full-size trucks of 15 years ago. Unfortunately for fans of smaller models, this piece of news is not a reason to celebrate. Just like the alleged Ford designer said, by 2011 the market for small pickups eroded to the point that Ranger was selling quite badly, it was almost entirely propped up by fleet sales. What does that mean exactly? That means that the market for a legitimately small pickup truck exists no more!
Even though the current gen Ranger gives us a pretty accurate idea of what’s in store for us in the future only one of its existing engines, a 3.2-liter five-cylinder turbodiesel (used on Transit) can be a possible fit for the US market. On top of that, they might not offer that one at all. The Redditor stated that the company is monitoring the Chevrolet Colorado Diesel sales to see if it is worth selling a diesel version. Thanks to our colleagues at Car and Driver we believe that there will be two gasoline engines in the general picture. There will be an EcoBoost turbo four-cylinder and a naturally aspirated V-6.
Unfortunately, if Ford decides to offer a manual transmission, it will most likely only be found on the rear-wheel-drive model. Since the company seeks better fuel economy, we are more likely going to see Ford’s 10-speed automatic. On the other hand, offering only one transmission means cutting the production costs. When it comes to price, we are uncertain if the base Ranger will fit under the $20,000 price tag, but we hope that it doesn’t exceed $25,000 margin.
Contrary to the new Ranger we do not know much about the new Bronco. In 1996 the production of the last gen Bronco was halted, and it was based on the Ford F-150. Many speculated how the company could design new one based on the upcoming 2017 Raptor, our discreet hero (the Redditor) claimed that they will instead use the Ranger-based Everest for the design of the new Bronco.
Raj Nair, Ford’s CTO, delivered a slightly different statement. Nair claimed that the new Bronco will be a unique vehicle and not a reworked Everest! He also added that the SUV will be a bit smaller than the original Bronco but also bigger than the 1980s Bronco II. His statement also calmed down all those fans who believed that the new Bronco could be only a glorified version of the Explorer. Nair added: ‘People have an idea of what a Bronco should be. Certainly, we have an idea of what a Bronco should be, and we’re going to be looking forward to bringing that to our customers.’
We think that the possibility of new Bronco sharing an engine and transmission offerings with the Ranger might be very high since they will share the same platform. One possibility is that the company will use the 2.7-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 that is also available in the 2018 F-150 and the Fusion Sport.
This alleged designer also said that the Bronco will get an off-road variation to slot under the Raptor and its main purpose will be to compete with the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. That claim fits perfectly with Nair’s statement that the Wrangler will be the Bronco’s biggest competitor. Now, recently we even had a claim coming from an anonymous source that said how this ‘Raptor’ isn’t even in development yet.
Sadly we know that Ford isn’t keen on building a two-door Bronco and that it probably won’t happen even though we’d like it to. However, we do know that it will feature a removable roof, so that’s a perk of its own.
Another rumor claims that the Bronco could get solid axles front and rear. According to Dana ( the company that makes the upgraded axles for the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon) they ‘will supply driveline components for the Bronco and Ranger.’
Moving on to the 2004 Ford Bronco concept we recently discovered that it will make an appearance in Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s next movie Rampage. We expect this film to hit big screens next spring. To be honest, we do not expect the production model to look like the one from the movie, but we can all agree that it looks badass! The appearance of that vehicle probably has something to do with the partnership between The Rock and the company.
Last but not least we recently read a claim coming from an anonymous source that the Bronco would look similar to a four-door version of the Brazilian Troller SUV.
Ford plans to present the final variant of the vehicle at next year’s Detroit Auto Show according to our anonymous friend from Reddit. The price of the 2020 Ford Bronco will probably be somewhere around $30,000, and that is a bit higher than the price of the current Wrangler Unlimited.