Some Bronco fans thought the Jeep Wrangler wasn’t the only vehicle Ford would take on with the new Bronco. Upon its return, Ford officials said Bronco would be a “family” of vehicles, leading to plenty of speculation about what that could mean.
Apparently, it no longer means a truck to compete with the Jeep Gladiator. The original Bronco from the late ’60s did come with a pickup option, but the new models will not, according to Automotive News. The publication cited two sources “knowledgeable about the decision.”
Ford typically doesn’t comment on future products, but spokesman Mike Levine told Automotive News “we continue to see strong demand for our full portfolio of rugged trucks and SUVs, including our Bronco-brand utilities and our best-selling Ford truck line-up.”
The plans reportedly called for a pickup model to arrive as a 2024 model, built at Wayne (MI) Truck Plant where the Bronco and Ford Ranger midsize pickup are currently produced. Ford officials never formally confirmed the existence of a pickup truck.
A family of vehicles
When the Bronco and Bronco Sport were introduced in July 2020, Ford officials noted there were plans for additional vehicles beyond the two- and four-door Bronco and Bronco Sport — a family. Details weren’t provided but there has been plenty of speculation about what it could mean.
At the time, officials suggested they would always sport Ford’s “Blue Oval” badge, but the automaker would push Bronco as its own unique brand. Mark Grueber, the Bronco marketing chief, told TheDetroitBureau.com back then one of its hallmarks will be that every vehicle will be equipped with all-wheel drive, something it believes will give Bronco a leg up on competitors like Jeep and Land Rover.
Naturally, fans were left to explore what that could mean in terms of actual products. Part of that including the now-dead pickup as well as a variety of performance variants, including the Warthog or Raptor (both names have bandied about for the same vehicle), which is akin to the Raptor line-up for the automaker’s F-Series pickups.
The company produced a Baja-style model, dubbed the Bronco Type R, that raced in Mexico. That version, if it comes to life, may be called the Wildtrack. Then, there’s the potential for an EV model. Ford’s massively invested in battery electrics to the tune of at least $22 billion. Further, Ford CEO Jim Farley added a little gas to that fire in May via Twitter.
When asked by a Tesla fan on Twitter about why there isn’t an electric version of more new products coming out, specifically the Bronco, Farley’s response was “Why do you think we dont?”
Former CEO Jim Hackett confirmed in 2018 that a Bronco hybrid was also coming.
A plug-in would allow Ford to take direct aim against Bronco’s key rival, the Jeep Wrangler. A PHEV model — the Wrangler 4xe — went on sale last month. It can run 21 miles in all-electric mode, according to the EPA, while Jeep noted the 4xe can operate for at least three hours on batteries alone while off-roading.
“I would be shocked” if Ford didn’t electrify the Bronco, Sam Abuelsamid, principal auto analyst for Guidehouse Insights in Chicago told TheDetroitBureau.com in May.