Everything We Think We Know About the 2020 Ford Bronco
This post is being continually updated as we learn more about the 2020 Bronco. It was last updated 10/9/18 with rumors that it could get a manual transmission.
The Ford Bronco is coming back. Ford confirmed the return of the legendary off-road SUVat the Detroit Auto Show in 2017, and we expect the 2020 Bronco will make its debut there next January. Naturally, Ford hasn't released many further details on the 2020 Bronco, other than one teaser image, but we know it's based on the 2019 Ranger, which debuted earlier this year.
Pictured above: a rendering of a 2020 Bronco from fan forum Bronco6G.com.
Here, we've compiled all we've heard about the new Bronco, including the details we can glean from the Ranger.
Ford released the very veiled teaser image above last month, and graphic designer Michael Clark put together speculative renderings for us. Here's what we think the Bronco will look like, at least in profile:
The last-generation Bronco was based on the F-150, but Ford product head Joe Hinrichs told us the 2020 will be based on the new Ranger. Someone claiming to be a Ford designer on Reddit said that the Bronco will be similar to the Everest, a Ranger-based SUV sold in other markets.
Former Ford Chief Technical Officer Raj Nair, however, contradicted that assertion—he said the new Bronco will be a unique vehicle, not a reworked Everest. Size-wise, he said we expect something smaller than the original Bronco but bigger than the 1980s Bronco II. And if you're worried the new Bronco will be a glorified Explorer, don't be. He followed it up by saying "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 wouldn't be surprised if Ford's new Bronco shares engine and transmission offerings with the Ranger since they'll share a platform. For the US market, the new Ranger gets a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder derived from the Focus RS. Ford hasn't released detailed specs for the Ranger's engine, but it has confirmed that it'll be equipped with a 10-speed automatic. Ford did, however, confirm in its 2018 Q1 earnings call that the Bronco will get a hybrid drivetrain of some sort.
Interestingly, there's a chance the 2020 Bronco could get a manual transmission. Per anonymous sources who spoke to Bozi Tatarevic over at Jalopnik, Ford is working with Getrag on a new seven-speed (!) manual for possible use in the Bronco. There's a chance this gearbox—or any manual, for that matter—might not come to the production Bronco, but here's hoping. A manual Bronco might not be a big seller, but it would give this 4x4 some serious enthusiast cred, and better position it against the Jeep Wrangler, which offers a six-speed stick.
The alleged Ford designer on Reddit did say that the Bronco will get an off-road version to take on the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. That fits with Nair's assertion that the Wrangler will be the Bronco's chief competitor. As for a Raptor, that's anyone's guess. Ford is making a Ranger Raptor, but it'll only be sold in Asia-Pacific markets. Ford Performance boss Jamal Hameedi didn't rule out the possibility of a Raptor-ized Everest at the Ranger Raptor's launch, so perhaps there's some hope for the Bronco.
It's unclear if Ford will offer a true throwback, two-door Bronco, or solely a four-door, which would surely be a bigger seller. Previously, we heard Ford isn't planning on building a two-door Bronco, but a teaser shared by the automaker makes it seem like a two-door is possible. We do know, though, that it will get a removable roof. So that's encouraging.
We've also heard that the Bronco could get solid axles front and rear. Dana, the same company that makes the upgraded axles for the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, said recently that it will supply driveline components for the Bronco and Ranger.
Interestingly, as Jalopnik first discovered, it seems like Ford's 2004 Bronco concept will make an appearance in Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's upcoming film, Rampage, which is due out next spring. While we don't expect the production Bronco to look like this, it's inclusion in the movie likely has something to do with Ford's partnership with The Rock. In other words, the fact that The Rock is Instagramming this isn't a coincidence.
Recently, an anonymous Ford source told Gear Patrol that the Bronco would look like a four-door version of the Brazilian Troller SUV (pictured below).
The Bronco's base price should be around $30,000, which is about the same as a 2018 Wrangler Unlimited. It's not yet confirmed, but we'd be shocked if the 2020 Bronco didn't debut at next year's Detroit Auto Show. Watch this space in January 2019.