Ford Could Introduce the Bronco Sport Hybrid As a 2024 Model
One of the biggest lingering areas of conjecture pertaining to the further development of the Bronco lineup has been whether or not there would be an electrically powered version arriving anytime soon. So far, there have been only plenty of rumors about a future Bronco EV -- though it's definitely in the works. However, at this point, we don’t know when or in what form the Bronco EV will be coming to the market.
Ford has been the indirect beneficiary of market testing through companies like Gateway and Zero Labs, which have both introduced fully electric Broncos to the market -- although in classic form and at high prices. But, what the average Bronco enthusiast might not realize is that we are pretty close to seeing a Bronco Sport hybrid model, as one could be introduced as soon as the 2024 model year.
In fact, it could be even sooner, since Ford already has access to all of the necessary technology through its previous production of a few different models.
Let's also remember that the Bronco Sport is built on Ford’s modular C2 platform, which already underpins several different models, including SUVs like the Ford Escape (Kuga in Europe) and the Ford Maverick compact pickup, which are already a big hit with buyers.
In fact, the Ford Maverick comes with a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder gas engine that features hybrid assistance and offers an overall power output of 191 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque. At the same time, Ford is offering the Escape Hybrid with precisely the same engine and power output (165 hp from the gas engine alone). So, it 's clear that hybrid technology has already been mated to Ford’s C2 platform.
To make things even more interesting, the Bronco Sport is assembled in Ford’s Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Mexico, right alongside the new 2022 Maverick.
So, it's basically just a matter of time before the Bronco Sport receives a hybrid setup. However, even though it will be pretty simple to introduce the model with such a drive train, there's a remaining problem. The current 2.5-liter/191 hp/155 lb-ft hybrid engine just isn't powerful enough for the Bronco Sport application.
At the moment, both of the Bronco’s existing engine options offer more power and torque, and since this model is designed to go off-road, if Ford was to release a Bronco Sport that couldn't perform on par with the rest of its model range, there would be some seriously negative fallout.
That's why we believe that Ford will wait until the 2024 model year and install its next-generation hybrid powertrain, which would match or exceed the current available power levels for the model. This way, customers will get the performance they want, along with fuel economy that would be significantly better than gas engine counterparts.
Ford definitely needs to hurry up though, since all its competitors in the segment already offer hybrid SUVs.