In a move squarely aimed at Jeep’s compact SUV Renegade, Ford is developing a similar small SUV that has already popularly earned the nickname ‘Baby Bronco’. While this will definitely not be the moniker that the future product will be badged with, what is certain is that the small SUV will be built upon the same platform that currently does duty under the Ford Focus.
Back in March 2018, Ford had revealed its ambitious plans of pushing electrification through its entire range, but what grabbed headlines were two teasers. One was definitely the new Bronco veiled in a cover just teasing its form. There was also another shadowy image of a small SUV which immediately confirmed rumors that Ford was indeed working on a Renegade-Rivaling product. The Blue Oval clearly wants the new SUV to take on Jeep’s Renegade as well as the Compass. Although the name ‘Baby Bronco’ is steadily becoming popular, Ford’s recent trademarking activities suggest a different name, most probably either Timberline or Maverick.
Even though people are alluding to the Bronco while mentioning the new small SUV, the two products will be quite different in philosophy. The Bronco which is based on the midsize pickup Ranger’s platform will be more of a boxy, bare-bones SUV. The forthcoming compact SUV does not conform to the Bronco’s principles and as such will share its platform with the Ford Focus. The new platform is a front-wheel-drive design and is capable of underpinning several products ranging from subcompact hatchbacks to mid-size sedans as well as crossovers. The new Focus which will arrive next year will be the first product to showcase the new platform.
At an investor meeting on Wednesday, Hau Thai-Tang Ford’s product development and purchasing in charge revealed the plans for its forthcoming architecture of which the Baby Bronco is a recipient. He also commented that the small SUV will be similar in size to the new Escape SUV currently under development, but will “carry a premium price” due to its “off-road positioning and imagery.”
The new Ford compact SUV will go on sale in 2019 as a 2020 model and will hark back to the original Bronco of the 1960s. The new Ford Bronco will also enter the market in 2019 as a 2020 model.