This is a huge disappointment to anyone expecting the Bronco we once knew.
It must be tough being a product designer for an automaker because when working on a top secret project of high importance, keeping a secret as exciting as the Ford GT seems to be a major challenge. Thankfully the anonymity of the Internet helps some designers vent their secrets for the world to see, and that’s just what one Ford employee working on the new Ranger has done during a recent Reddit AMA where he claimed that the upcoming Bronco would be a rebadged Ford Everest.
As with anything on the Internet, it’s important to take this news with a grain of salt, but it isn’t far-fetched to believe that Ford would simply rebadge Everest, which is not sold in the US and is based on the also not-for-America Ranger. While American Ford buyers get a unibody crossover in the form of the Explorer for a mid-size SUV, off-road enthusiasts have shunned the fact that no mid-size SUV is available from Ford with a body-on-frame chassis, a solid rear axle, and locking differentials. The Everest and Ranger, which ride on Ford’s T6 platform, tick all of the above boxes and are the most obvious picks for US-bound versions of the Ranger or the upcoming Bronco.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that the US versions of the Everest (Bronco) or the Ranger (also called the Ranger abroad) will be getting a drastic redesign that harken back to their ancestors. While the Bronco will compete with the Jeep Wrangler in terms of off-road ability, it won’t have a boxy shape to recall the model that was phased out in 1996. Nor will it have two doors and a removable roof for that matter, instead a panoramic sunroof will have to do. Diehard fans of the 2011 American Ranger will also be disappointed by the fact that the new Ranger’s dimensions will be bloated compared to the small truck we saw before, meaning it will side closer to the F-150 in size than the Toyota Tacoma.
In order to avoid cannibalizing sales of the F-150, the Ranger will only be a slightly facelifted version of the one sold abroad, meaning fans of stout lines will need to buy the Ranger’s aluminum-bodied big brother to get their fix. Again, bear in mind that the Internet isn’t always known for dispensing the truth, but if these statements hold any water, we’re on track to get two heavily watered down versions of cars we used to love come 2019.