What to Expect from the 2020 Ford Bronco
Gone but Not Forgotten
It’s been over twenty years since Ford has offered a Bronco, but in 2020 — it’s back! Ford confirmed at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show that the Bronco would make a triumphant return and that this all-new version of the iconic SUV will be built in Michigan.
An Icon Returning
Like all good off-roaders, the new Bronco will be built as a body-on-frame 4×4 that allows its passengers to make their own route. In Ford’s own words, it’s a “no-compromise midsize 4×4 utility for thrill seekers who want to venture way beyond the city.”
The Bronco will borrow its frame from the Ranger pickup, and speculation is that the construction will be aluminum like most competitors, in an effort to keep weight down. Features like solid front and rear axles and an innovative “Air Roof” make the 2020 Bronco even more versatile.
Although it’s uncertain if a two-door option will be available, it seems likely that there will be a smaller model introduced, probably based on the Ford Escape. Images from a dealer meeting in October reveal a smaller SUV with a square body being presented.
2020 Ford Bronco Features and Exterior
Details as to what the new Bronco will look like remain unclear. The original sketches seemed to showcase a Raptor-like design, but another rumor has it that the SUV will borrow much of its styling from the Ford Everest, a larger five-door SUV built on the Ranger platform (not currently sold in the U.S.).
However, glimpses of the vehicle under a sheet at Ford’s latest press event didn’t seem to lend much credence to either of these theories. The shape looks much boxier than the Everest, while the mounted spare wheel and the sloping roof are reminiscent of the Jeep Wrangler. It also harkens back to the Brazilian Troller.
Joe Hinrichs, head of Ford products, stated that the new Bronco will be based on the Ranger, unlike the previous model, which was based on the F-150.
Raj Nair, former Chief Technical Officer, denied Reddit claims that the Bronco would take its cues from the Everest and said that it will be a different SUV entirely. He said that people have certain expectations of a Bronco, and Ford has certain ideas about what a Bronco should be. He felt that Ford would be able to meet their own and customer expectations. As to size, he predicts that it will be smaller than the original Bronco but bigger than the Bronco released in the 1980s.
2020 Ford Bronco Engine
Popular knowledge suggests that Ford will probably opt for their EcoBoost engine for the new Bronco, following the trend it began with the off-road Raptor and GT supercar. This engine produces around 325 horsepower and a good amount of torque. In the case of the Ranger Raptor, that number is 369 pounds per foot. Hopes are high for a new diesel engine similar to the one that was designed for the Ranger, but it seems unlikely that the tried-and-true Duratorq will be used for the 2020 Bronco.
Odds are good that the engine and transmission offerings will match up with those available for the Ranger, which uses a Focus RS-derived 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission. It has been verified that the Bronco will also get a hybrid drivetrain.
There is a slight chance that a manual transmission option will be available for the new Bronco. Sources who indicate as such wish to remain anonymous, but they report that Ford is co-designing a new seven-speed with Getrag, possibly for use in the Bronco. While a manual Bronco wouldn’t sell as well as an automatic, off-road enthusiasts would love this option and value it over the Jeep Wrangler, which has a six-speed.
2020 Ford Bronco Production Details
The Ranger and the Bronco will be produced at the Ford plant in Wayne, Michigan, but most of the development for both vehicles will take place in Australia, specifically Ford’s Asia-Pacific Engineering Center in Victoria. This makes sense since the new Ranger was designed at the same plant and the two vehicles use the same platform.
2020 Ford Bronco Price
Only estimates can be made at this juncture, but they are well-informed estimates. By looking at similar vehicles that have gone to market, an educated guess can be made. The Ford Everest, were it to be sold in the US, would retail for about $40,000. Since production of the Bronco will be domestic and competitive models are running closer to the $35,000 mark, it’s safe to assume that the Bronco would cost about the same with a starting price in the low- to mid-30s.
2020 Ford Bronco Release Date
Sources that wish to remain anonymous but claim ties to Ford have leaked information to the press that gives a rough timeline on when we might see the Bronco and the smaller, Escape-like version. It’s said the smaller Bronco will launch first in January 2020 and the larger model will drop roughly six months later. Production will begin in January 2021. This information seems to agree with a report released that stated that a new F-150 will go into production before the Bronco. The source puts that date at June 2020, about six months before the Bronco.
Obviously, a lot of information about the Bronco is speculation and a lot of it comes from anonymous, although well-connected, sources. Ford has been tight-lipped and is keeping their new design and specs well under wraps.
However, from credible sources and bits and pieces of knowledge that have been leaked, we can form a reasonably clear picture of what we can expect from the 2020 Bronco.
The picture that’s forming is a tough, gritty off-roader that mixes fun new features with sturdy style with practical engineering. We look forward to seeing and testing the new SUV and seeing just what it has to offer. And in the end, Bronco enthusiasts are sure to be delighted no matter what.