Ford fans who, through the various delays and hardtop woes, were holding out hope that eventually Dearborn would cook up a Jeep Gladiator competitor based on the new Bronco 4×4 are going to want to sit down for this. The Ford Bronco pickup, which seemed inevitable, has apparently been canceled, according to a report from Automotive News.
The Bronco pickup wasn’t going to be a pure Gladiator clone, as it likely would have made do with a relatively short bed like the original Bronco pickup and a price we expected to undercut the Jeep. But it would be a profitable model that would likely eclipse the mechanically-similar Ranger pickup (on which the Bronco is fundamentally based). Think about the strategy that Ford employs with the smaller Bronco Sport and its more carlike Escape sibling, and you’re almost there.
That truckier Bronco sounds like a lot of fun and a strong addition to the Bronco family. But Ford is apparently canceling development, sources told Automotive News, and telling suppliers as much. Ford won’t comment on future product, but we surmise the move may be to protect the more important Maverick compact pickup. Ford has a lot of trucks in the works, the semiconductor shortage isn’t going away, and the Bronco SUV is seeing its fair share of teething issues and delays, so maybe the Bronco pickup needs to go back on the shelf for a while until Ford can make a bigger splash with it, and when the Lightning and Maverick pickups are more established.
Same goes for the other Bronco variants we expect are still moving forward, like the hybrid version that then-CEO Jim Hackett confirmed back in 2019. We assume that’s still on. Same goes for the Bronco Raptor (sometimes known as the Warthog), which Ford itself has teased wearing 37-inch all-terrain tires and beefy suspension components. These should slake our thirst for Bronco-related models until Ford decides, perhaps, to dust off the Bronco pickup idea and bring it to market.
Don’t forget that there’s probably a new Ford Ranger on the way soon, which could also factor into to the alleged decision. The Ranger hit our market well into its global product life cycle, and we’re expecting the next-generation model to be a more contemporary truck with similar capabilities but perhaps a greater array of powertrains and a better focus on our market.
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