Anxiously awaiting news about the new Ford Bronco? You’re not alone. It’s the single most widely searched automotive nameplate, according to Google, an astounding accomplishment considering it won’t make its formal debut until 8 p.m. tonight.
Wondering what will be revealed during the online webinar? We’ve been gathering string for weeks, Ford revealing some choice details during an ongoing series of media backgrounders – though many of the details are under embargo until tonight. Here’s what we can tell you at this point.
To start with, expect not just one but at least three models to start things running. Based on leaked images and spy shots, that will include retro-styled two- and four-door models as well as a more modern Bronco Sport. But they are very likely to be just the start, Ford announcing last week that Bronco will be treated as a brand unto its own with the possibility of an even bigger “family” of products to follow.
The automaker has stressed that Bronco models will be all-wheel-drive and even the Sport will be no soft-roader, with extensive off-road capabilities.
We know that the two- and four-door models will share the same underlying architecture as the familiar Ford Ranger, albeit likely having gone through some extensive revisions. The clear betting is on Bronco Sport to be using a unibody platform that has also been heavily modified. Word has it the underpinnings are a radical remake of the Escape. Emphasis on “radical.”
No surprise, the new Ford Bronco will be going up against some of the toughest off-road brands on the market, and its most direct competitor will be the Jeep Wrangler. So expect it to share some of that model’s unique features, starting with removable doors, according to various leaks.
Other technical details include the likelihood of having a mix of powertrain options that will all but certainly include various forms of Ford’s turbocharged EcoBoost engine technology, including one displacing 2.3 liters, another 2.7. The smaller package makes 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque in the Ranger.
Jeep Monday morning teased plans to add a V-8 to the mix for the Wrangler. Could Ford follow suit? We hope to find out tonight. Powertrains will be paired to a choice of seven-speed manual or 10-speed automatic.
Look for a solid rear axle and a front independent suspension, numerous sources have confirmed.
One of the more interesting features expected on both Bronco and Bronco Sport has been dubbed “GOAT mode,” a more sophisticated version of the Terrain Management Control found on more pedestrian Fords, like the Explorer, it instantly adjusts a variety of vehicle settings, including throttle, transmission and electronic nanny systems, to maximize grip, whether riding on snow or ice, sand, mud or rock crawling.
What other technology the big and baby Broncos will offer is something we’ll have to wait until Monday night to find out.
If you’re one of the many folks looking to catch the big announcement tonight, we’ll make it easy. Simply click here by 8 p.m. EDT on Monday July 13.
If you don’t want to catch the whole event, Ford is partnering with Disney tonight and will air a series of specially made short films on three of its channels, including one during the Country Music Association’s “Best of Fest” program.
ESPN will air another during SportsCenter, while Academy Award winner Jimmy Chin produced a third airing on National Geographic. And you can follow up later on Hulu which will have a full round-up of all the video streaming coverage.