A new trademark filing could hold the answer.
For the past few months, we've come to know this particular vehicle by a name we know Ford won't use for production. Thank goodness. The Blue Oval's upcoming Focus-based "off-road" crossover has been known as the "baby Bronco," which makes some sense considering it'll be a smaller and less expensive crossover version of the reborn, Ranger-based Bronco SUV. Both vehicles are slated to debut in the very near future. But now we might have our first indicator as to what Ford will ultimately call this crossover.
Ford Authority did some digging and discovered that Ford filed applications to register both the Bronco and Bronco Scout nameplates with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Both filings took place last week. Each one is specifically for "land motor vehicles, namely, passenger automobiles, pick-up trucks, sport utility vehicles." Also worth pointing out is that Ford also requested rights to the "Scout" nameplate as well. It wouldn't be without precedent for Ford to sell two vehicles with the name "Bronco" attached, in some way.
Starting back in 1984, Ford sold both the Bronco II and Bronco in the US. The latter was a two-door compact SUV built on a shortened Ranger platform. The regular Bronco at the time relied on the F-Series platform. There is another possibility with this latest trademark filing. Ford could simply be preparing a future Bronco variant instead.
Again, this is purely speculation at this time but we'd be surprised if Ford didn't somehow tie-in the off-road-focused crossover to the real deal SUV with a similar name. Remember, the recently revealed all-new Escape, also based on the Focus architecture, has been designed to appeal to those seeking a more car-like experience, though one with a raised ride height, of course. More details should start arriving fairly soon now that the new Escape and Explorer have had their respective debuts. Add the Ranger mid-size pickup truck to that list, too. It'll soon be Bronco time.