The rumors were floating around for a bit, but it is now official. Ford will be bringing back the Ranger and Bronco.
According to Ford’s Media Center:
Ford is bringing back the Ranger midsize pickup truck to its North American vehicle lineup in 2019 and Bronco midsize SUV to its global vehicle portfolio in 2020. Both vehicles will be manufactured at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan.
“We’ve heard our customers loud and clear. They want a new generation of vehicles that are incredibly capable yet fun to drive,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of The Americas. “Ranger is for truck buyers who want an affordable, functional, rugged and maneuverable pickup that’s Built Ford Tough. Bronco will be a no-compromise midsize 4×4 utility for thrill seekers who want to venture way beyond the city.”
The specifics are yet to be released to the public, but we can make some pretty good guesses of what to expect.
Let’s start with the Ranger, slated to arrive in 2019. Technically, the Ford Ranger never died. The current generation is sold pretty much everywhere except North America. They are built in Thailand, South Africa, and Argentina. The new Ranger will likely be a face-lifted version of the foreign-market truck. New headlights, a new grille and front facia, the rest of the truck will look the same. That would put the Ranger in competition for large-midsize trucks like the Chevy Colorado, Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma.
So now we have an idea of what size truck we are talking about, let’s look at engines. The EcoBoost turbo four-cylinder is a likely contender along with a naturally aspirated V6. With diesel rising in popularity, the 3.2-liter five-cylinder turbodiesel found in today’s Transit could fit the U.S. market nicely.
Sadly, the 10-speed automatic will probably be the only transmission choice. If they do offer a manual transmission, that will likely be on the rear-wheel-drive base model. Good news is, offering only the one option will keep costs down. Best guess is the $25,000 and up range.
With the new Ranger, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect, but there is much less certainty surrounding the Bronco. It was 1996 when the last Bronco was produced and that one was based off the F-150. Then there was a Ranger based Bronco II that sold from 1983 to 1990. Some fans speculate that the 2020 Bronco will be based off of the 2017 Raptor, but other sources say it will instead be the Ranger platform. That sounds like the Bronco vs. Bronco II comparison.
We do know that it will arrive in 2020, but the platform hasn’t been confirmed. Most speculation points to sharing a platform with the Ranger, which would put it on a capable 4×4 platform, rather than something car based, like the Escape or Edge. Reports say that the new Bronco will be developed in Australia, which would make sense, since the Ranger was engineered there.
It is still unclear how many doors it will have. The original Bronco was a two-door, but there are very few 2-door SUVs these days. Jeep sells many more four-door Unlimiteds than two-door Wranglers.
Ford has another vehicle that is sold elsewhere, called the Everest. Built on the same platform as the Ranger, this gives us another idea of dimensions. Although, according to Ford’s Chief Technical Officer, the new Bronco will be a unique vehicle, not a reworked Everest. Expect something bigger than a Bronco II but smaller than a Bronco.
It was said that Jeep Wrangler Unlimited will be the Bronco’s chief competitor. So we’re expecting classic styling, a removable roof, and a very capable 4×4.
According to Ford we will be seeing three more Utility Vehicles added as well. Unsure what to expect, but one thing is for sure.. this will create a lot of jobs in Wayne, Michigan.