A few weeks back at the North American International Auto Show Ford finally officially confirmed the all new Ranger and Bronco. The two cars are going to share the same platform, engines and likely a very similar interior. However, while the first will be an all around workhorse, the Bronco is going to be something a lot more similar to the Wrangler regarding looks and performance.
Even though the two have been confirmed, unfortunately, Ford hasn’t actually released anything about them in terms of specs. This is rather odd, especially since the Ranger is set to be showcased at the end of the year.
A new body on frame SUV
Many people thought that this type of vehicle would never become popular, especially after the crisis a few years back. However, the US is stronger than ever and people once again started to buy trucks and large SUVs that use considerably more fuel than a sedan. Because of that there are many manufacturers that switched focus to SUVs and crossovers. While Ford still improves their regular cars, they started working quite a bit more on their trucks and crossovers.
The latest are the Ford Bronco and Ford Ranger, two brand new vehicles that are going to share the same platform. These are going to be built at Ford’s Michigan facility where the Focus used to be built. There is still no word on the pricing or release date but it seems the two might become available in showrooms in late 2018 or early 2019.
Are they needed?
Well, both Toyota and GM sell a lot of medium duty trucks while Jeep sells plenty of Wranglers. This is a good indication of the market’s desire for these types of vehicles, so there is no doubt about the fact that both the Ford Bronco and Ford Ranger are going to be very successful.
Ford Bronco and Ford Ranger
Under the skin
We did say the Ford Bronco and Ford Ranger are going to share the same platform and chassis. However, there are going to be some differences between the two. For starters, the suspension system is expected to be different. While the Ranger will more than likely receive an independent front suspension with coil springs and a solid rear axle with leaf springs, the Bronco won’t. Instead, the latter is expected to receive front and rear solid axles as well as coil springs all around the cabin. These should give it superior off-road capabilities while not taking away from the comfort offered by it.
On top of that, Ford even went as far as saying that the Bronco is going to be overbuilt. Because of that there have been some interesting rumors about a high strength steel chassis and steel body with aluminum panels such as the doors, hood or tailgate. This would assure a low center of gravity, great long-term utility and low overall weight. This treatment would also be used on the Ranger, especially since Ford developed their aluminum process considerably more than the competition.
If they manage to do that without increasing the cost then Ford will most likely have two winners with the Ranger and the Bronco.