Three Big Reveals From Ford’s Press Conference
Earlier this month, Ford spoiled us by dropping a ton of information about upcoming vehicles all at once. The press release included details about the upcoming Bronco, the Explorer ST, the new Escape, and even a completely new compact off-road SUV that has yet to be named. There are plenty of new facts to digest, so here are the main things you need to know.
Okay we didn’t learn a ton about the new Ford Bronco. But Ford did give us a picture of it hiding beneath a mud-splattered sheet. And, as you can clearly see, it’s big and boxy – just the way we’ve been imagining it ever since rumours of the Bronco’s reincarnation began swirling. So, breathe a sigh of relief and bury any lingering concerns about the Bronco being a Ford Everest with a new name.
Conversation with Ford executives also revealed some more details about the burly off-roader. Jim Farley, Ford’s executive VP, outlined the strategy and market behind the Bronco: “We want to give people true off-road vehicles that are comfortable at higher speeds, on two-track trails and do well in deep sand on the beach. And they don’t want their SUVs to look like doomsday vehicles, or have spartan, government-issued interiors.” His comments refer explicitly to Jeep vehicles built for slow rock crawling.
Ford also decided to reveal an entirely new off-road vehicle that hadn’t even been previously reported. And, before you assume it’s just a version of the next-generation of the Ford Escape, take a look at the above picture. You can clearly see details like circular LED lights, huge fender flares, and red tow hooks. Some details are obscured, but the overall impression is rugged and boxy. While the wide chrome grin makes the unnamed off-roader look a bit like a Jeep Renegade, the overall design seems to suggest more of a shrunken FJ Cruiser.
Oh, and we’d be remiss not to mention the “FORD” badge on the front. In recent history, Ford has only stuck its brand name on the front of the F-150 and Ranger Raptors. It’s too early to say that this new SUV will be related to those trucks, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Ford also renewed its dedication to an electric future. In 2020, Ford will start selling hybrid and electric versions of the F-150, Mustang (an electric Mustang!), Explorer, Escape, and Bronco. By 2022, they will have six total BEVs (in addition to its hybrids). Having electrical assistance will not just improve overall fuel economy. It allows engineers to fill in torque gaps low in the rev range for better acceleration. And F-150 drivers will be able to use their trucks’ batteries as generators.
Wow, that’s a lot to take in. In the coming months, Ford will be literally pulling back the curtain on some of its new vehicles. We’re as excited as anyone to see the finished products, so keep checking here for the latest information.