Ford's new Bronco is yet to be officially revealed, but reports out of the USA suggest the Blue Oval is already at work on a ute variant designed to do battle with the Jeep Gladiator.
The Bronco reportedly shares its platform with Ford's Ranger, so a tray-backed variant does make some sense. And given the Bronco itself is designed to battle Jeep's Wrangler, a Gladiator competitor should offer more than enough differentiation from the Ranger ute already in market.
Ford already an off-road focused ute, in the shape of the Ranger Raptor, but that vehicle isn't currently offered in the USA. While it is rumoured to debut there in its next iteration, the idea is that the Bronco pick-up would carry the retro-style design flourishes that would pit it against the Gladiator. The Jeep has proven ridiculously popular in the States, recording more than 25,000 orders in its first month on sale; results that had FCA boss Mike Manley describing it as "one of the quickest" sales booms he'd ever experienced.
The rumours, first reported by US outlet Automobile Mag, suggest the pick-up variant is confirmed, and is scheduled for production from 2024. Spy pictures of what is though to be a Bronco test mule also recently surfaced, republished here from FordAuthority.com.
According to the publication, the Bronco pick-up will be offered with the option of a hybrid engine, removable doors and, like the Bronco SUV, the possibility of two or four doors.
Little is known about Ford's Bronco SUV for now, though the company has confirmed it will be a "rugged" mid-size 4WD that will land in the USA in 2020.
“We’ve heard our customers loud and clear. They want a new generation of vehicles that are incredibly capable yet fun to drive,” says Ford USA's Joe Hinrichs. “Bronco will be a no-compromise midsize 4x4 utility for thrill seekers who want to venture way beyond the city.”
Various reports have suggested the Bronco will get a choice of engines; a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, or a 2.7-litre V6 that will have the option of a seven-speed manual.
What appeared to be Bronco test vehicles were spied testing in Australia earlier this year, but Ford locally has poured water on the idea of the new SUV being offered for sale here, saying there is no plan to introduce the Bronco to its lineup.
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