Ever since rumors began to swirl surrounding a potential Bronco reboot, Ford has had to contend with worriers and naysayers concerned that the iconic name would be plastered on a boring commuter crossover. But in Detroit these days, two distinct trends have dominated the news cycle: the rise of the dreaded crossover and the escalating muscle car power wars.
The likes of the Dodge Challenger, Chevrolet Camaro, and yes, the Ford Mustang have given the domestic automotive market new life—yet all the while, a series of increasingly depressing crossovers have been selling like hotcakes, and manufacturers haven't been able to sit on the sidelines ignoring the public's clear love of the format. And so the mystery lingered: would Ford resurrect the Bronco with a bolder, rugged aim? Or would this be yet another marketing ploy aimed at capitalizing on an established name?
As fan renderings of a potential Bronco in all its off-roading glory have proliferated across the web, Ford has managed to keep the actual model's design relatively under wraps. The concept of a Baby Bronco emerged to the light of day, perhaps the perfect crossover little sibling of a rough-and-tumble big brother. And now, leaked photographs of a dealer presentation seem to point towards confirmation of both a Baby Bronco and potentially, a legitimate heir to the original Bronco's throne.
The pics were clearly snapped surreptitiously by a member of the audience, and were discovered first by Off-Road.com on what they claim was a publicly accessible report on the meeting itself. Regardless, the photos have spread like wildfire, and despite their low resolution, a few details stand out immediately.
Clearly, this is a model that is close to being ready for production. And it definitely has a bit of a modern-yet-rugged vibe, although bolting knobby tires onto a vehicle with relatively minimal ground clearance isn't going to comfort any true Bronco aficionados. But at second glance, there's the hint of another, more subtle reveal going on: a larger shadow behind the profile view picture doesn't quite share the same lines as the vehicle in the foreground.
Predictably, plenty of eagle-eyed Bronco fans have latched onto the idea that the shadow is, in fact, the outline of the full-sized model. Only time will tell whether the Bronco will be released first as a crossover, or whether the public's clamoring will be answered by a legit SUV product.