Ford just teased an image of something we thought we’d never see again: a re-made Bronco.
If you don’t remember the Ford Bronco, don’t feel too bad. The Multi-purpose vehicle—so called because the term SUV hadn’t been invented yet—was made from 1966 to 1996. Initially billed as a competitor to the Jeep CJ and later the Wrangler, the Bronco kept getting more and more truck parts added to the design until it was basically a Ford F-150 with a roof over the bed.
Despite its legendary off-road performance and a cavalcade of Bronco enthusiasts, the fabled MPV was retired in ‘96 due to falling sales. By the late ‘90s the modern SUV would arise, which was basically the same thing but looked a little nice. Ford was surely kicking themselves at the time.
That was thought to be the last we’d hear from the Bronco until 2004 when Ford revealed the Bronco Concept. A reborn Bronco in an age where SUVs were king! Then oil prices spiked, the SUV market tanked, and the Bronco was once again shelved. Boo-urns to global economic forces.
Now it’s 2018. Oil prices are steady, if not cheap, and SUVs are seeing greater value not so much for their fuel economy as their ability to endure roads that you would expect to find in a third-world nation and not downtown Detroit. Now is the time for the Bronco’s triumphant return, and lo, Ford said let it be so.
In a recent press release, Ford outlined their plans heading up to 2020. As one would expect, there’s going to be a bunch of EVs and hybrids and all that other fun non-gas-burning stuff, but buried beneath the title was one word that nobody thought we’d ever see again: Bronco.
Attached was a single image of what we’re lead to assume is the Bronco beneath a tarp. What we see is something very reminiscent of the 2004 concept: boxy, flat, a tire on the back (the concept didn’t have this, but nobody’s perfect), and flared fenders.
By the outline, it looks like Ford is taking aim at the Jeep Wrangler, just like it did way back in the ‘60s. If so, Jeep had better watch out. Ford is once again coming. Maybe this time they’ll go the distance.