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Five Things You can Expect Out of the New Ford Bronco

Updated January 19, 2018

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The Ford Bronco is a remarkably memorable vehicle for a model that was discontinued twenty years ago. It had a long run, remaining in production from 1966 to 1996. In the time since its termination, it has gained a reputation as both a formidable off-road rig and as a collectible classic (mostly the first generation).

Now, Ford has announced that, along with the Ranger pickup truck, it will be reintroducing the Bronco to the US market. The Ranger has been discontinued here since 2012 due to poor sales compared to the much more popular F-series of pickups.

Ford already makes an impressive number of SUVs, so it’s anyone’s guess as to what should be expected from the new Bronco. It will have to find its own niche in Ford’s lineup, one that makes it different from the Edge, Escape, Flex, Explorer, and Expedition.

Using a bit of expert speculation, here are a few things you should expect out of the new Ford Bronco:

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[nextpage title=”Off-Road Capabilities” ]

One thing can be safely assumed about the new Bronco: It will be a capable off-roader.

There are two reasons for this assumption: the success of the Ford F-150 Raptor and the fact that none of Ford’s current SUV offerings provide a good basis for an off-roader. Don’t get me wrong, they offer plenty with four-wheel and all-wheel drive. There’s just nothing that offers a good platform for modification and aftermarket add-ons.

The Raptor, on the other hand, has a huge selection of aftermarket parts and is routinely used as a platform for impressive off-road builds. It would be a smart move to make an equivalent SUV that could compete with the Jeep Wrangler.

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[nextpage title=”It will have an Ecoboost engine” ]

It is safe to assume that the new Bronco will contain Ford’s new Ecoboost 3.5 liter V6. Since the larger and less efficient V8 engines are being phased out of the new Raptor, and since the new Ford GT supercar is using a V6 instead of the V8 that graced the engine bay of the previous GT, it’s doubtful that the Bronco will see anything larger under the hood.

We may even see the 2.0 liter Ecoboost four-cylinder as an option for the base model Bronco. Even though that engine sounds too tiny for an SUV, just remember that the Focus RS makes 350 horsepower from the same powerplant. It also has the advantage of being extremely lightweight.

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[nextpage title=”It will be based on the Ranger” ]

It makes sense that the new Bronco will likely be based off of whatever Ford decides to make as the new Ranger in the US market. Similar to how the long-since discontinued Bronco II was based off of the Ranger, the new one may see the same connection.

Making a Bronco the same size as the F-150 would undercut sales of their own truck, but making a smaller, more off-road friendly SUV would fill a niche in Ford’s lineup while taking business from other brands.

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[nextpage title=”There will be a powerful SVT version” ]

Given the off-road pedigree of the Bronco name and given the success of the F-150 SVT Raptor, it’s inevitable that those two worlds will collide and result in a Bronco with a tuned-up Ecoboost V6 and Fox suspension.

The result should be a totally awesome and overkill version of the Bronco. I imagine the base model will be pretty capable, so the SVT version will have to go pretty far to make an impact. I greatly look forward to that.

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[nextpage title=”It will have a removable top” ]

One of the most important aspects of the old Ford Bronco is the fact that the top is removable. That top instantly makes it something fun and adventurous instead of boring and utilitarian.

For crash safety reasons, the whole roof may not be removable, but I would count on there being a large removable glass roof or removable plastic panels available on the new Bronco.

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Chris Riley
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I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. GearHeads.org gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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