Ford’s Baby Bronco to Get Retro Styling, Unibody Chassis

August 10, 2018 at 4:56 PM

The new compact crossover vehicle Ford Motor Co. plans to launch in the next two years will feature retro-styling reminiscent of 1960s-era Bronco off-road SUVs, sources tell Reuters.

The so-called Baby Bronco could debut as soon as next year as a 2020 model, according to the report. In March, Ford released a murky teaser image of the yet-to-be-named crossover, which is expected to compete against the Jeep Renegade.

The compact crossover will share a front-wheel-drive unibody construction and other components with the latest Focus sedan and Escape crossover vehicle. Ford’s larger Bronco SUV and Ranger pickup truck will ride on a rear-wheel-drive body-on-frame platform. Both chassis will support all-wheel-drive powertrains.

The two platforms are part of Ford’s plans to decrease the number of global architectures it uses from nine to five in coming years. Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's executive vice president of product development, detailed the strategy earlier this week at a conference in New York.

Thai-Tang describes the upcoming compact crossover as an “incremental utility” with “off-road positioning and imagery” that will support a premium price.

Ford says the average age of its vehicle lineup in the U.S. will be 3.3 years by 2020. This compares with 5.7 years today and 5.3 years in 2019.

Future Ford vehicles also will share as much as 70% of their parts with other models. Thai-Tang says 30% of the sharing will come from architecture-specific models. Another 40% will involve such components as center displays and seating systems shared across multiple platforms.