Thursday, February 23, 2006

Fiesta based Bronco for under $10k ??

AutoBlog writes today, that Ford may build the Bronco concept on the Fiesta platform in Mexico. It's going to be the current Fiesta platform, not the upcomming new platform, again to save money, like the Focus. According to AutoBlog Ford wants to be able to sell it for under $10,000.
The original Bronco, which the concept take quite a few cues from in it's retro design, was built from 1966-1977. Standard engine was an inline 6 and optional was a small V8. I always wanted one of these, but surviving examples aren't cheap or are in baskets in someone's garage.
Toyota is also reaching into the retro closet with it's new FJ Cruiser concept, but it's been taking steroids with the chassis being the new Tacoma and having the 4.0 V6 as it's only engine.
The AutoBlog article says that the Bronco will be built in Mexico along with a 5 door Fiesta based B-segment hatch that will also come to the US (also on the outgoing Fiesta mechanicals.) This is of course a smart move on Ford's part, if it's not exactly what I had hoped for. Like the Fusion/Milan/Zephyr triplets, building them in Mexico keeps production costs down and allows them to say "North American built" on the window sticker. I love the idea of a plant making B-segment product for the US market, and the Fiesta platform is rock solid.
But here's a question, will the new Bronco really look like this? I mean the Ford EcoSport is on the same chassis and is a softroader like the Rav4/CRV/Element and Tuscon.
I would prefer that both came to market, the EcoSport as a higher volume unit and the Bronco as a niche model.
But I'm sceptical of the under $10k part. I know its important to fight the upcomming Chinese, but can you make a capable softroader and keep the price that low? Maybe a 5 door hatch, but not the Bronco. And if it's that cheap, will the quality be as shoddy as the Chinese?
Hyundai has enough problems keeping the price of their Accent low enough, they wouldn't consider trying to put the Tuscon out that low. Overall I'm happy that Ford is stepping up to the plate and not abandoning the bottom of the market.
But what powertrains will come to the US? I'm sure any all wheel drive will be optional like the Hondas and others, meaning that an all wheel drive version will be closer to $15k, and rightfully so.

But will it have the offroad ability that it's forebearer had?

I'll wait for more details to make my final decision, but I would have preferred to see a new flexible plant built in the US, and offering several models from the "New Fiesta" platform.

3 comments:

Shawn said...

The article in Autoblog can't be right...I'll wait for confirmation before I go nuts.

NLPRacing said...

I don't care what they call it, if it looks like that and costs around $10,000, I'll buy it!

Big Ford Fan said...

I have to admit that for that price I couldn't pass it up, even if it is built in Mexico.

But I'm sure "Under $10K" will be a stretch. Prices will probably be around $12k base and $17k loaded.

We'll see if it even makes production.