Spy Shots

Is This An Early Test Mule Of The Baby Ford Bronco?

The ‘Baby Bronco’ will launch within the next couple of years, but Ford could be testing it already.

The recent Ford Uncovered event previewed the manufacturer’s upcoming onslaught of new SUVs within the next two years, which will include the long-awaited reborn Bronco. The Blue Oval automaker also showed the first teaser image of a “yet-to-be-named off-road small utility” resembling a baby Bronco but didn’t share any more details about it. This, however, could well be an early test mule of Ford’s upcoming small SUV, or possibly a different model entirely to compete against the VW T-Roc.

Yes, the test mule spotted by our spy photographers appears to be a Ford Fiesta, but there are a few clues suggesting it could be a test mule for Ford's new SUV. The body is noticeably wider and longer than the standard Fiesta, with a wider track under the fenders, flared wheel arches, and a longer wheelbase. It also has a significantly different ride height than a typical Fiesta, suggesting it could be a small SUV in disguise. The biggest giveaway this is not a Fiesta-based car, however, is the presence of five-bolt wheels when the Fiesta has four-bolt wheels.

Even the unloved Ford Ecosport only has four-bolt wheels and drum brakes, so Ford is most likely working on a more premium SUV and a mini Bronco could fit that bill. The Ford Fiesta seems like an unusual choice for an SUV test mule, though. You’d think a model like the Escape compact crossover would be more suitable. Alternatively, it could be separate model being planned for a global launch or specific region like Europe to compete with the VW T-Roc. Either way, expect to see more mules and prototypes of this mystery model over the next few months.

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