What Does The Future Hold For the Ford Bronco?
After 25 years of waiting, which has included a few ill-fated concepts and a whole lot of delays, we're finally able to buy the all-new 2021 Ford Bronco. The unprecedented hype surrounding the Bronco brand shows that Ford has hit home runs with both the resurrected Bronco and the Bronco Sport.
These models had changed the off-road SUV game even before the first examples were delivered to customers. Getting to this point has been an enormous effort for Ford, so the questions remain . . . What will be the next chapter in the Bronco's story? What can we expect in the future, and in which direction will Ford steer this revolutionary SUV?
Even before the first production Broncos left the dealerships en route to happy customers; we saw several test mules and prototypes and heard rumors about future Bronco products. Today, we'll tell you more about six main scenarios and some things we're sure of.
Although there isn't any concrete information yet, we're very confident that Ford is working on some version of an electric Bronco and had begun this process even before the gas-powered model was introduced. The success of the Mustang Mach-E and the introduction of the electric F-150 showed that this company is very dedicated to moving to the EV market, so an electric Bronco is the next logical step.
We've already seen a few pictures of the hybrid Bronco Warthog (or Raptor, as it may come to be known) prototypes running around Dearborn, so it's clear that future Broncos will definitely be powered other fuel types, rather than just gasoline. However, exactly when this will happen is still unclear. Making a fully electric Bronco will require a thorough reengineering of its platform, adding a significant amount of weight, and installing completely different suspension components, which is both very expensive and time-consuming to develop .
Ford has always been well known for its line of pickups, and the F-150 has been a best-selling domestic vehicle for 43 years in a row, which is a fantastic achievement. Then there's also the Ranger -- a mid-size truck -- and the newly introduced Maverick, which is destined to be a big hit amongst people looking for compact trucks.
So, it's clear that the truck market is enormous and there will be plenty of buyers for a Bronco Pickup, if Ford decides to build one. And it most definitely will, not just because it's historically correct, since the first generation Bronco was also offered as Half Cab truck, but also because the Bronco is gunning for its nemesis, the Wrangler, and Jeep has a very successful Gladiator truck in its lineup.
One of the things working in favor of a Bronco pickup is the fact that it could be executed relatively quickly and that stretching the existing frame doesn't require a significant amount of costly reengineering. Offering a Bronco in that configuration will be undeniably cool and it will widen Ford's truck range and introduce the Bronco to buyers who are looking for more practicality, which will further enhance sales.
Bronco Warthog or Raptor
As soon as the first running, pre-production 2021 Bronco models were visible, the automotive paparazzi caught glimpses of the high-performance, and extreme off-road version of the Bronco, dubbed the Warthog. It looked menacing with its 37-inch tires, fender flares, unique suspension, and aggressive stance. Ford even showed a few official pictures but released no relevant information about this upcoming iteration.
The name Warthog had been somewhat loosely confirmed for the future, but now it looks like the well-known Raptor moniker is back in the discussion. Regardless, the new model will be called one thing is for sure, it will be an absolute monster both, on and off-road, thanks to a fantastic suspension set up and a 3.0-liter, turbocharged EcoBoost V6 that offers 450 hp. Also, recent spy photos have shown that there is also a hybrid version in development, so that buyers could be offered a plug-in option, as well.
The release date is still unclear, but seeing how far development has already come, we can expect that this high-performance Bronco will debut in about a year from now, possibly as a 2023 model.
Building dedicated off-road models that are designed for crossing deserts and climbing rocks is an undeniably exciting concept, and the market seems to adore it, but Ford strategists have to think about volume sales. At the moment, everybody wants a Bronco, and there are over 190,000 reservations in place that will carry Bronco production well into the 2022 model year in order to catch up, which is a great problem to have.
However, after that initial demand has been met, the Bronco will need to offer something more to buyers in order to remain relevant for users who will not be running through the jungle on a daily basis. The rumor is that Ford will introduce a three-row model, possibly in the Bronco Sport line. These three-rows will make this SUV far more practical than it already is and widen its appeal to family buyers. We just hope that introducing the third-row of seating won't ruin its off-road capabilities.
Even before the 2021 Bronco debuted, Ford had introduced an off-road racer called the Bronco R. This move showed that racing and racing heritage is a big part of sixth-generation Bronco marketing. From the very beginning, Ford backed several Bronco race cars -- from unlimited silhouette racers in 4400 Unlimited class to stock Broncos running the 4600 Production class events.
This means that the Bronco will continue to compete in various off-road events to prove that it's more than capable of battling competitors on the trail. However, the new Bronco still needs to win the ultra high-profile race, so we believe that Ford will concentrate on that in the future.
At the moment, Ford is selling the Bronco Sport in the USA, Canada, Mexico, and selected markets in South America, but interest in this model goes far beyond those countries. Since Bronco Sports use Ford's C2 platform, which is common in Europe, Asia, and Australia, there's no problem homologating this model for those markets. The regular Bronco is confirmed for select Middle Eastern markets, in addition to North America. Still, we firmly believe that both models would meet with global demand just as strong as what they've experienced at home. So, you can likely expect to see new Broncos in faraway places in the near future, though Ford has yet to confirm this.