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All Currently Known Facts About the Upcoming Ford Bronco and Ranger

What we know about the Ford Bronco and Ranger so far

After years of speculation, Ford finally gave in and announced revived Bronco’s arrival sometime in 2020. Not only that, but seeing mid-size pickup market prospering again, they also decided to welcome the outlawed Ranger truck back into the U.S. market fold. New Bronco and Ranger still have some way ahead of them before making their respective comebacks, but understandably, interest is high. With that in mind, we’ve gathered all the relevant info currently known about the upcoming Blue Oval’s dynamic duo.

Ford Bronco

Ford has played it safe for a while now, waiting the most opportune moment in order to expand their SUV lineup. With crossover/SUV craze in full swing and with solid but oddball Flex gone, that moment has undoubtedly arrived. Come 2020, new generation of Ford Broncos will yet again roll off the assembly lines. Off Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan this time.

Development, however, has been left to Australian Ford Asia-Pacific Product Development Center in Victoria branch. This means upcoming Bronco will likely be based on one of their own products. With Ranger being developed there as well, that, more than makes sense. There are couple of options here, though. Ranger-based Ford Everest built for Australian market is one. Completely new, Ranger-based chassis is another.

Everest itself is a rugged and capable off-road SUV. That said, it’s the perfect choice of platform for any upcoming SUV aspiring to become the same. This would also keep the cost down, but is it the right way to go? Ford’s Chief Technical Officer Raj Nair said the new Bronco will be a unique vehicle. Given how much people expect from the iconic nameplate, this is likely for the best. Nair also added we should expect something smaller than the original Bronco but larger than Bronco II.

All sources, though, converge at the same conclusion that Bronco’s main competitor will be Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. That said, Bronco will come exclusively in 4-door setup and with a removable top. 2-door variant, although traditional in Bronco universe, is simply not profitable enough for Ford. At least not at this point.

Furthermore, Dana has already confirmed it’ll provide driveline components for both Bronco and Ranger. They also suggested both vehicles will get front and rear solid axles with AdvanTEK gear technology. Wrangler has them, so why wouldn’t Bronco?

Transmission and engine department is where things are still foggy. Since they share the same platform, Bronco and Ranger might share these as well. One of the EcoBoost units (likely 2.7L twin-turbo V6) should find its way into the new Bronco. Larger displacement naturally aspirated V6 or even a diesel also seem plausible. As for V8, chances of that happening are very slim. Expect 10-speed automatic transmission to become standard by the time Bronco arrives in 2020.

Another point of interest is where will Bronco slot in terms of prices? Base price of around $30,000 or thereabouts seems to be the most probable at this point. That’s more than base Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, but still affordable enough for a mid-size 4-door SUV.

Ford Ranger

Although it quietly abandoned the U.S. market after 2012 model year, Ranger never actually disappeared. It continued to live on in around 180 overseas markets. New American 2019 Ford Ranger will be built alongside Bronco in Wayne, Michigan plant. Since its arriving a year prior to its SUV sibling and is already available across the globe, we know more about it than we know about Bronco.

One Reddit poster recently presented himself as FoMoCo Product Development Center in Dearborn employee. He claims he’s working on Ranger development, and has disclosed some confidential details about the upcoming truck. For starters, he claims American models will be facelifted T6 Rangers. With that in mind, only interior will go through substantial overhaul while exterior changes should be limited to frontal fascia updates.

Like Bronco, however, Ranger will remain a proper body-on-frame vehicle. Although mid-size on paper, T6 Ford Ranger’s dimensions are much closer to half-ton pickups than you’d suspect. It’s practically around the same size as full-size trucks were some 15 years ago. This pits it against the likes of Chevy Canyonado twins, Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline. True compact truck aficionados will be disappointed, but small truck market in the U.S. has been dead for quite some time now.

Like Bronco, Ranger too will likely come with standard 10-speed auto trans. Manual might make it to options list, but only on two-wheel drive models. Same goes for powertrain choices as EcoBoost and diesel options look like the most likely candidates. In fact, source from Reddit states drivetrain combinations are still being considered. Ford is, however, monitoring Chevy Colorado diesel sales and Volkswagen’s dieselgate scandal fallout. Last available options are EcoBoost four bangers and naturally aspirated V6’s.

$20,000 to $25,000 is about the right price range for a future Colorado/Tacoma fighter. Anything more than that and Ranger will have a tough time competing with these already established nameplates. Another concern is cannibalism of sales from the F-150. All the more reason it should start from below the $25,000 mark and offer sub-par towing rates compared to America’s favorite workhorse. Knowing Ford, that’s exactly what Ranger will be – a scaled down F-150 with appeal to people that don’t need half-ton truck’s capabilities every day, and that’s also more affordable and efficient than the full-size rig.

Categories: Automotive News

Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Although driving a piece of junk, Nikola is a true car enthusiast. Precious few things move him as muscle cars do - especially those from the bygone golden era. Which makes him wonder; why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been able to enjoy the likes of Pontiak Aztek, Fiat Multipla, and their "lovely" coevals this way - right? (sigh)