Ford’s fast-growing SUV range will welcome two new models with a more rugged appearance and off-road capability. A long-rumored and awaited Ford Bronco will hit the market for the 2021 model year with the Ranger-based underpinning and upright styling. However, another off-road-ready model joining the Blue Oval Brand portfolio is the 2021 Ford Baby Bronco. The model is just referred as the Baby Bronco but recent reports indicate it should bear a Bronco Sport nameplate. Reports suggested also that it might adopt the Adventurer, Maverick or Ford Scout name.
In any case, the new Ford SUV comes designed around the platform of the recently all-new Escape and based on its shape and purpose it will be a direct rival to the Jeep Renegade.
The unibody Bronco will come with the upright and rugged stance as evidenced by the leaked images and spy photos. It should share the powertrains with the sibling Escape model but the interior should be unique although two models will also rely on the same in-car technologies. The model should also get hybrid powertrains.
2021 Ford Baby Bronco: Design
Unlike the upcoming Ford Bronco which will share the underpinning and mechanics with the mid-size Ranger truck, the 2021 Ford Baby Bronco will be based on the car-like architecture sourced from the compact Escape SUV. The brand’s C2 underpinning is also used by the Ford Focus and Lincoln Corsair. Reports indicate also that the Baby Bronco should adopt the same 106.7-inch wheelbase as the Escape.
On the other hand, unlike the sleek Escape, the Baby Bronco will sport more rugged and upright body contours. The model will also wear some signature styling cues like the original Bronco such as circular headlights and FORD stamping on the grille. It will also have rugged front and rear bumpers designed for better approach and departure angles. The model will also come with additional underbody protection.
The cabin of the Ford Baby Bronco should be less “civilized” than it is the case with platform-mate Escape. The unibody Bronco will maximize interior space and come with more robust switchgear. It will also use durable materials in lower grades and offer some premium features in the upper trims.
The model will have an 8-inch touchscreen standing in the middle of the dash like in the newest Escape and physical controls for the infotainment system and climate. There will also be a rotary gear selector on the center console.
The Baby Bronco will also equip the brand’s latest in-car and safety technologies. The model will use Ford’s Co-Pilot360 safety gear as well as FordPass Connect and Alexa integration.
2021 Ford Baby Bronco: Powertrains
Sharing the platform with the Ford Escape, the Baby Bronco should also adopt a similar powertrain range.
The base 2021 Ford Baby Bronco should get power from the 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine producing 181 hp and 190 pound-feet of torque in the newest Escape. The engine will be mixed with the 8-speed automatic transmission.
In addition to the base turbocharged three-cylinder engine, the model should also debut with a more powerful 2.0-liter turbo-4 unit. This engine will again be in the combination with the 8-speed automatic transmission. The output should be around 250 hp and torque of 280 pound-feet like in the Ford Escape.
The model will offer both two- and all-wheel-drive setups. The all-wheel-drive system will be upgraded for better off-road capability compared to the one used by the Ford Escape. It will use a differential lock or low range gearing. There will also be selectable drive modes for different terrain and weather conditions.
The baby Bronco should also appear with the electrified powertrain options later in the life cycle. The model should offer both hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions. The electrified powertrain should again use similar setups as the Escape hybrid and plug-in hybrid. There would be a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine mixed with the electric motor and battery in both applications while the plug-in hybrid version will just get a larger battery pack.
2021 Ford Baby Bronco: Release, Price
It’s not confirmed yet when the 2021 Ford Baby Bronco will appear but it should follow a few months after the debut of the truck-based Bronco which should return this summer. The base price of the model should be around $25, 000.