Those who’ve had the misfortune of reading my past articles should know by now that my taste in SUVs is of the boxy, no-frills variety. You know…Land Rover Defender…Mercedes-Benz G-Class…Suzuki Jimny. I like my off-road wheels dripping with machismo. Not Donald Trump’s weak-ass concept of manhood, mind you, but the kind you think of when you see Charles Bronson. In this sense, there’s one sport-ute that can out-Bronson all the above-mentioned vehicles, and that’s the Ford Bronco.
If you’ve been following automotive news in the last few months, you know that the American automaker is bringing back the model it retired in 1996 after having nurtured it through five generations starting from the ’60s. The firm already showed off a Bronco R race prototype back in November, with the official vehicle expected to be unveiled to the world this coming spring in the US (which usually means it will be timed around the New York Auto Show).
Last week, Ford shared a video of the new Bronco’s camouflaged prototype being tested in the Mojave Desert by professional off-road racer Brad Lovell. Now, it didn’t escape the attention of viewers that even in its masked appearance, the vehicle featured in the video had a pretty unremarkable shape—almost like a Ranger pickup with a camper shell.
“Well, let’s hope it doesn’t look anything like that,” said one person on YouTube.
“The design doesn’t remind you of the old-school Bronco, which everyone is waiting for,” commented another.
But perhaps the most sensible statement (or so I wish) is this message from one observer: “The body shown in the video is just a mix of different trucks and not the final product. What they are testing are the frame and the suspension.”
Indeed, Ford stresses in the video caption: “Experimental Bronco prototype. Not final vehicle.” Thank heavens.
The new-generation Bronco will reportedly be based on the Ranger and not the usual F-Series like before. As such, it will be a midsize SUV model instead of a full-size one. Even so, it should be significantly bigger than the original version, which was classified as a compact sport-utility vehicle.
The Bronco’s return further reinforces Ford’s product strategy of focusing on SUVs and pickups, especially in North America. Will this model come to our market? We sure hope so. It would be a tragedy if Ford Philippines didn’t launch it here. Just keeping our fingers crossed that it won’t suffer from the same mechanical gremlins that have plagued Ford vehicles in recent memory.