Last month, the long-awaited return of the Ford Bronco and Ranger was confirmed, sending shockwaves through the car internet. Since the Bronco and Ranger will share a platform, it sounds a lot like the throwback SUV will be developed in Australia, which is where the current Ranger is engineered.
Australia’s Motoring reports that Ford Australia will lead development of the new Bronco and Ranger, despite the fact that the Bronco will be built in the U.S. The current-generation Ranger, which isn’t sold in the U.S., was developed by Ford Australia, and is built in Thailand, South America, and Argentina.
The new Bronco will be a direct rival to the wildly-popular Jeep Wrangler, so Ford reportedly purchased two- and four-door Wrangler Rubicons for benchmarking purposes. Motoring expects the new Bronco will use a shortened version of the Ranger’s platform, and mechanically, the two will be quite similar.
Currently, the Ranger uses four- and five-cylinder diesels, which are expected to be carried over, but Motoring predicts the U.S.-market Bronco will get a gas-powered V6. Our pals at Car and Driver also predict the Ranger will get an EcoBoost four-cylinder as an option, so expect that in the Bronco as well. The Bronco’s engines will be mated to a low-range transfer case and a choice of manual or automatic transmissions. We’re praying the manual comes to the U.S.
The Bronco is expected to arrive around 2019, possibly for the 2020 model year, and for Ford it can’t come soon enough. Considering Jeep will have a new Wrangler next year, with a pickup version soon to follow, Ford needs to get the Bronco and Ranger to market.
Ford and Jeep might be fighting each other here, but since we’re getting a host of retro off-roaders, we’re the real winners here.