Moray Callum’s been driving around in an 1976 Ford Bronco. Why should you care? Well, Callum’s been tasked with designing the first Bronco to come off a Ford production line since 1996. The rugged, boxy, off-road machine, inextricably tied to OJ Simpson’s police chase, filled an important niche in the Ford lineup. Is this a rare look backward from a company that’s been doing a lot of looking forward?
The next few years are going to be wild for Ford. Within five years, their lineup will feature a hybrid F-150, a hybrid fully-autonomous vehicle with no steering wheel, an electric SUV, and a redesigned Ford Ranger. Wow. Also in 2020, Ford will be reintroducing the Ford Bronco. A Michigan union chairman leaked the off-road’s return back in October. Now, Ford has made the announcement formal. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean we have more details.
So, we know the Bronco will be built in Michigan. Unfortunately, we don’t know much more than that. That’s why it’s so interesting that Callum is commuting in a ‘76. Maybe Ford enthusiasts can expect a return to a more compact, boxy look. Of course, it’s not like the Bronco was ever sleek or rounded. By 1996, not much had changed in aesthetic terms, but it had gotten bigger. In its two decades of life, the Bronco had grown nearly a metre in length. By the end, it looked more like a standard pickup truck of today.
But, with the Ranger returning to complement the F-150, there isn’t be room in Ford’s lineup for another standard pickup truck. The Bronco will have to distinguish itself by emphasizing its sport and utility. Insiders have reported that the Bronco will have solid front and rear axles. Dana will be supplying the parts – featuring the “latest AdvanTEK gear technology.” If you were wondering, those are the same found in the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.
Unfortunately, that’s the clearest picture we can provide right now. We’ll have to wait a couple years for a more definitive sketch. But, with the number of exciting new vehicles Ford is planning to introduce between now and 2020, most people won’t mind waiting.