While the automotive industry holds its collective breath in anticipation of the long-awaited Ford Bronco reboot, the company has been quietly getting the rest of its entire house into order for the foreseeable future. And now, despite leaks of the Bronco's potential two sizes, it appears that Ford will unveil the new Ford Explorer, as well as a new pickup truck, before the Bronco's official unveiling.
Ford made headlines earlier this year with the announcement that their entire lineup of cars, trucks, and SUVs would be based on only five platforms. That effort, intended to reduce research, development, and production costs for the entire international market, seemed to imply that the United States will see fewer models in the future. The streamlining fits into the broader industry trend that brands such as Volkswagen and Toyota have pioneered, and Ford's rival, GM, has followed suit by selling European holdings and announcing employee buyouts (read: forced retirements) in North America.
The potential return of the Bronco (or even two Broncos) seems to imply that Ford's model lineup will evolve, rather than simply shrinking, over the next few years, despite the reduction in platforms that their vehicles will be built upon. With the Bronco possibly slotting into both the crossover and full-sized SUV markets—as well as the North American return of the Ranger pickup truck—what remains for the Ford Edge, Explorer, and Expedition?
Now, it seems, that early 2019 will see the unveiling of a 2020 Ford Explorer. The storied SUV has received a massive reworking in an attempt to further refine the mid-sized SUV form—and rumors of a hybrid powertrain and even an ST-badged Explorer reveal Ford's intention to remain strong in the class. (The Edge, meanwhile, just became Ford's first SUV to receive an ST performance trim package.) The Explorer seems set for a big reveal at January's 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
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The sources at Offroad.com that have leaked plenty of Bronco, Ranger, and Explorer-related images, speculations, and innuendo are now optimistic that Ford will even debut a new full-size pickup—likely a revision of the F-Series—after the Explorer's official debut but before the Bronco is fully unveiled. With the Mustang GT500 also set for the big stage, the next few months could prove very exciting for fans of the blue oval.