When Ford announced earlier this year that it would bring back both the Bronco and the Ranger, we were stoked. Not only would there be a new midsize competitor for trucks like the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma, the Jeep Wrangler would finally get some competition again.
Sadly, Ford also said the new Ranger wouldn’t arrive until 2019, and the Bronco would be another year behind that.
Since then, Ford’s been tight-lipped about production details, leaving us with all kinds of questions, especially about what kind of vehicle the new Bronco will be.
Will it look anything like the Bronco concept Ford showed off back in 2004? Will it borrow a page from the Brazillian-market Ford Troller‘s book and be a boxy, utilitarian off-roader? Or will it be a suburb-friendly mainstream SUV like the current Ranger-based Everest?
Based on these spy photos, you might think Ford has decided to waste the Bronco name on a warmed-over Everest. But based on what Raj Nair, Ford’s chief technical officer, told Autoline back in January, it doesn’t sound like that’s Ford’s plan.
In that interview, Nair said the “Bronco is completely unique from that Everest.” Plus, as you can see, the Everest that was caught testing is right-hand drive.
There may be a few things on the front end that Ford doesn’t want us to see, but this mule is probably as undisguised as it is because the final product will get a different look.
A few months ago, a supposed inside source claimed to have some juicy information on the Bronco. “If you’re familiar with the Troller, out of Brazil, that’s the basic concept, but it’ll look like a four-door version of that,” the alleged leaker said.
In an ideal world, we’d love to see a two-door Bronco, but the market for two-door SUVs is pretty small. And a four-door Troller would be pretty awesome no matter what badge it wears.
Then again, we also have to take this anonymous source at his word for now since there’s no way to verify his statements.
Even if the alleged insider is making it all up, we do have the promise from Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, that the new Bronco will be “true to its heritage” and that “you’ll recognize it as a Bronco.”
Hopefully, that means what it sounds like it means.
Photo source: Brian Williams Photography