Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bronco may be coming ! Sort of, not exactly

OK, so this is the concpet Bronco that's been shown the last few seasons at the autoshows around the country. Love it, very much inspired by the original. Now this was never intended to be a big V-8 brute this time around, so news that if it comes to be it will be based on the Fiesta mechanicals didn't disturb me like the guys from AutoBlog. The concept was Diesel powered and showed hopes for real off road capability. Too early to judge, I'll wait until more details are out.
Now, this is the South American Ford EcoSport mini SUV based on Fiesta mechanicals with all wheel drive. From the picture I would say it should be at least minimally capable. Maybe not Rubicon ready, but enough for the average person. And let's face it, how many peole bring their SUVs and trucks off road. I have the "OffRoad" package on my pickup and have had occasion, but rarely.
This is the original Bronco built from 1965 to 1976 a very capable off roader with either an inline 6 or small block V8. The original had the option of removing the hardtop, installing a soft top or a "bobbed" cab. Very rugged, but more civilized than the Jeep CJs of the time.
Again the South American Ford EcoSport, what may be the basis of the new Ford Bronco. AutoBlog seems disapointed, but I'm optomistic. The EcoSport looks fairly capable and it's solid Fiesta underpinnings and promising fuel economy make this look like a perfect response to the new Jeep/Chrysler crossover SUVs and the crop of new foreign competition.

Wait and see, this could be a great vehicle for Ford if they keep some of the styling and off road promise.


Anonymous said...

hate to disagree, but it should be a true off road vehicle. not just another rav4. why waste an iconic name like bronco.

Big Ford Fan said...

I can understand what you'e saying, but let me ask you What is a "true off road vehicle" ?

How many people go "off road" anyway? If you are defining a "true off road vehicle" as one that has a dual range transfer case and 4 wheel drive, then many of today's small "soft roaders" don't qualify.

But what's selling? Mini utes like the Rav4, Element, CRV, Escape, Tribute, Equinox, Vue, Torrent, Sante Fe, Tuscon, Sedona, Sportage etc.... The list goes on and will grow. Ford needs a vehicle positioned below the Escape to compete with the new crop of smaller more economical mini suvs that are on their way.

And as for Iconic names, the Bronco didn't sell as well until it became the bloated F-Series based truck made infamous by OJ Simpson. The original Bronco while capable was not an icon in it's own time. What about the Bronco II ? The Ranger based mini suv of that was the father of the current Explorer.

I've said before that the EcoSport should be called Pinto, but people say that name is tainted.

Wait and see what the new model looks like and how it's going to be outfitted. And if it's not "Bronco" material, email Ford and suggest something else. How about Palamino or Maverick?

Anonymous said...

what makes a true offroader : Jeep Wrangler.

Big Ford Fan said...

Anonymous, asks what makes a true "offroader" and that's a tough question. I guess the real question is what do most buyers expect to do with their "offroader"

Many "off road" vehicles never see duty off pavement. And of those that do, how many do seriuos trail running?

The Wrangler has some real capability, that's true. But for most people the EcoSport would do just fine. And it would not desicrate the Bronco name.

In my humble opinion, Ford could use the Maverick name if resistance was high to the Bronco name. They've used it in Europe and Australia over the years on various small SUVs.