Will it be the large SUV or the baby Bronco?
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the all-new 2020 Ford Bronco that was announced over two years ago. Engine options haven’t been announced, but Ford CEO Jim Hackett reportedly confirmed that the Blue Oval automaker will offer a hybrid version of the upcoming off-roader. The news was revealed by Automotive News reporter Michael Martinez, who Tweeted that Hackett made the announcement during an investor meeting. What still isn’t clear, however, is which Bronco variant Hackett is referring to.
As well as the larger model, Ford is also building a smaller off-roader based on the Escape that is being referred to as the "baby Bronco,” although trademarks suggest it could be called the Bronco Scout. This is likely to be the model that receives the hybrid treatment since Ford already has experience making hybrid versions of the Escape.
The news of the 2020 Bronco having a hybrid option doesn’t come as a surprise. Ford has big plans for electrification having invested $11 million to electrify its product lineup over the next four years and has already confirmed the all-new Escape and Explorer will be offered with electrified powertrains.
The new Bronco could be offered with the same hybrid setup as the Explorer and Aviator, meaning it would utilize a 10-speed automatic and electric motor that doesn’t take up much more space than the standard drivetrain. Alternatively, Ford could use a version of the upcoming hybrid F-150’s platform, but no details have been released yet.
The hybrid Bronco is likely to launch alongside the model, which is expected to go on sale in 2020. It will also probably be mechanically identical to the gasoline version, meaning it will have a short wheelbase, independent front suspension, and possibly a live rear axle with coil springs. Don’t forget, too, that Jeep has confirmed a Wrangler plug-in hybrid is coming, which will present some tough competition for the Bronco hybrid.