Ford is planning to base their upcoming “Baby Bronco” off the outgoing Focus hatchback.
We’re hearing a lot about what Ford wants to do with the reborn Bronco. We got our first teaser images earlier this year when Ford released a picture of a tarp covering a bunch of boxes that they said was the upcoming Bronco. It could have easily been some mud-covered boxes under a swatch of canvas, but we trust Ford not to pull a fast one on us like that.
We know that the new Bronco will be based off the also upcoming Ford Ranger, using a body-on-frame approach to turn it into an SUV. Now we’re getting reports that the upcoming Baby Bronco will be similarly based off the outgoing Focus and the still-stickin’-around Ford Escape.
According to Reuters, Ford executive vice president of product development and purchasing Hau Thai-Tang told a group of investors in New York that the Baby Bronco would share components from the Focus hatchback slash sedan and Escape SUV. It would be a small SUV, likely a compact crossover, with a more rugged appearance than the Escape and a design that pays homage to the Bronco of the mid-’60s.
It will likely debut as either a 2019 or 2020 model and compete against the Jeep Wrangler and Renegade.
Thai-Tang made a point of impressing investors with Ford’s greater emphasis on modular design and shared components which will greatly reduce the Baby Bronco’s manufacturing time and cost. Not only does this make the Baby Bronco cheaper to build, but also much faster to bring to market.
Ford is set to phase out their car lineup starting next year. This means that the Focus hatchback and sedans will no longer be manufactured for the North American market. Instead, Ford plans to replace the Focus with a crossover version called the Focus Active, which will compete for market space with the Subaru Outback.
We’re still waiting on official word from Ford on what the Bronco and Baby Bronco will actually look like.