The Bronco nameplate has a rich heritage and a loyal following, especially in its homeland.
Suffice it to say, a lot of Ford Bronco fans have high hopes for the revival of the nameplate.
Based on reports from Car & Driver, those fans won’t be disappointed.
We already know the Bronco will feature boxy styling and round headlights inspired by the first Bronco (above), which debuted back in 1965.
While the retro styling, three- and five-door options, and removable doors and roof suggest a strong similarity to the iconic Jeep Wrangler, the new Ford differs in key areas.
Car & Driver reports the Bronco has been envisioned less as a low-speed rock-crawler, à la the Jeep Wrangler, and instead as more of a high-speed desert runner like the Ford F-150 Raptor.
Instead of a live axle up front, like the Wrangler, the Bronco will instead use independent suspension. A live axle will remain at the rear, however, as will leaf springs.
Car & Driver also expects the Bronco to borrow the locking rear differential from the Ranger Raptor and possibly the Torsen limited-slip front differential from the F-150 Raptor (above).
This talk of the Bronco being a high-speed desert runner also means that, like the F-150 Raptor, a turbocharged six-cylinder engine will be available.
The range will open with the same turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine as appears in North American Rangers.
In the Ranger (above), the turbo four produces 201kW and 420Nm and is mated exclusively to a ten-speed automatic transmission.
Car & Driver expects the optional engine to be Ford's twin-turbocharged 2.7-litre V6 engine.
Also mated to a ten-speed automatic transmission, the twin-turbo six produces 242kW and 542Nm.
Tantalisingly, Car & Driver reports Ford will also make a manual transmission available with this engine.
In a further nod to the Bronco’s heritage, the new model will be produced in Wayne, Michigan like every other generation of Bronco.
With a proper ladder-frame chassis and powerful engines, the Bronco looks like it’ll be able to both look and perform like a genuine off-roader.
Car & Driver had two more tidbits on the Bronco – it’s expected to have an imposing, Raptor-style grille up front and a tailgate-mounted full-size spare at the back.
Patent filings last year also revealed Ford may implement tubular doors with telescoping rods that incorporate side airbags. Filings also indicate the removable doors will feature a set of latches, negating the need for tools to remove them.
We’re getting ever closer to the Bronco’s debut, Ford having announced it’ll be revealed this Spring (our Autumn).
Much as Americans don’t have access to the Everest, we won’t be getting the Bronco.
Although the Bronco will be based on the underpinnings of the locally-designed and developed Ranger, and was developed in part by Ford in Australia, it won’t be produced in right-hand-drive.
Ford has deemed it uneconomical to make a right-hook version.
That leaves the Everest as the only rugged SUV in Ford’s local line-up.