New Ford Bronco development underway by Ford Australia

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A report posted by Motoring.com.au today claims that Ford Australia is leading the development of the all new Ford Bronco.


November 09, 2016

Ford's born-again Bronco now being engineered in Australia alongside next Ranger ute

Ford’s most anticipated SUV, the reincarnated Bronco, is being developed right here in Australia alongside the next-generation Ranger on which it will be based.

Much has been written about the new-generation Bronco, an iconic off-road SUV not produced for 20 years, since a US union official let slip last month (see below) that it will be built alongside the Ranger ute in Detroit.

Now, motoring.com.au sources have confirmed that Ford’s Victorian-based Asia-Pacific Product Development Centre is deep into the development of the reborn Bronco, which will be a direct rival for next year’s new-generation Jeep Wrangler.

Apart from developing a series of key regional models like the Figo, Escort and next Taurus, Ford’s Aussie-based design and engineering operation is the ‘homeroom’ for the T6 ladder platform that underpins the Blue Oval’s global Ranger.

As such, it is responsible for engineering all T6-based products including the Ranger ute, which is built in Thailand, South Africa, Brazil and, from 2018, North America — but won’t be shared with other manufacturers, including Mazda, in its next generation.

The T6 platform also underpins the Everest SUV. Indeed, Ford has made no secret other vehicles will be born of the program and a number of heavily camouflaged Ranger and Everest vehicles are already being tested at the company’s You Yang proving ground at Lara near Geelong (Vic).

These vehicles are largely early engineering prototype versions of the next-generation Ranger. But some are also early mules for the all-new Bronco, which will follow Ranger into production in the USA around 2020. Both models will be based on a reworked version of the current Ranger/Everest T6 platform.

At this stage it’s unclear whether the new-age Bronco, a model that was produced over five generations in the US between 1966-96, will be produced in right-hand drive for markets outside North America.

However, given the world’s penchant for SUVs and the fact both the T6 Ranger and Everest are sold worldwide, the sixth-generation Bronco is almost certain to be a global model.

It could also be produced alongside our Ranger in Thailand, which has a free-trade agreement with Australia. This would aid Ford’s intention to position the 2020 Bronco as an affordable 4×4 wagon positioned between Ford’s belated Territory replacement, the 2018 Edge, and the $55,000-plus Everest.

In the spirit of its predecessor, which was originally based on a shortened F-Series ladder frame, the 21st Century Bronco is expected to be based on a short-wheelbase version of the revised T6 ladder frame and will likely share all of the Ranger’s mechanicals.

That should mean four- and five-cylinder diesel engines (and potentially a petrol V6 for the US market) matched to manual and automatic transmissions comprising a low-range transfer case, which would make it an instant hit with off-road enthusiasts.

Ford is yet to officially confirm the existence of a new Bronco – a model most infamous for aiding OJ Simpson evade police. Letting the cat of the bag, however, United Automobile Workers union boss Bill Johnson did it for the Blue Oval when he defended the moving of Focus production from Michigan to Mexico.

“We hate to see the products go to Mexico, but with the Ranger and the Bronco coming to Michigan Assembly, that absolutely secures the future for our people a lot more than the Focus does,” he told the Detroit Free Press.

All five generations of the Bronco were built at Ford’s Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne outside Detroit – the same plant where Ford will produce the Aussie-developed Ranger from 2018 and the born-again Bronco from 2020.

While Ford’s Australian operation is laying the early groundwork for both models, engineering input could also be provided by sister product development centres in the US, China, Brazil and Germany.

The new Bronco’s final exterior design, which will be different to the Everest and could take some inspiration from the 2014 Ford Troller T4 concept (pictured), is likely to be signed off at Ford’s Dearborn HQ in the US.

According to Bronco enthusiast website www.bronco6g.com, Ford has purchased hard-core Rubicon versions of Jeep’s existing Wrangler two-door and Wrangler Unlimited four-door for benchmarking purposes.

This suggests the new Bronco will not only be available in both two-door and four-door body styles, but that Ford is targeting class-leading off-road capabilities for its all-new off-road SUV.

Previous Broncos (which were produced in Australia between 1981 and 1987, and powered by locally-made 4.0-litre six-cylinder and 5.8-litre V8 engines) were available in half-cab, roadster and wagon forms.





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Hack

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YAY!! I can't wait to see what it looks like!
 

Mustang313

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What are the implications of the new Bronco being built on the same T6 platform as the Everest? Does this help tell us whether the car will have proper off-road chops or not?
 

FL Trucker

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What are the implications of the new Bronco being built on the same T6 platform as the Everest? Does this help tell us whether the car will have proper off-road chops or not?
The Everest can do some off road. Not as hardcore as the Wrangler of course but it's not limited to just paved roads.
 

indyman

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The Everest can do some off road. Not as hardcore as the Wrangler of course but it's not limited to just paved roads.
It'll be a failure in the eyes of most Wrangler owners, even though the majority of them do not remove their roofs or go anywhere near a trail. For that reason alone it's possible Ford won't build something as trail ready as a Wrangler. The Everest/Troller with the latter's good looks will be what they build I bet.
 

39Mustang

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Ford really needs to get this right and to do so the Bronco should be on its own platform. Using the Ranger one will already prove its going to be too small like weak chassis and weak engine choice
 

Shocknawe

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It'll be a failure in the eyes of most Wrangler owners, even though the majority of them do not remove their roofs or go anywhere near a trail. For that reason alone it's possible Ford won't build something as trail ready as a Wrangler. The Everest/Troller with the latter's good looks will be what they build I bet.
Ford really needs to get this right and to do so the Bronco should be on its own platform. Using the Ranger one will already prove its going to be too small like weak chassis and weak engine choice
The Bronco has never been as hardcore off-road capable as the Wrangler. It's more of a lifestyle car. I think they can still get it "right" because 1) the T6 chassis is good enough for some off road duty, 2) Ford has better powertrains than FCA, 3) Ford has better quality than FCA, and 4) assuming they get the styling and packaging right.
 

fourbyfour

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What are the implications of the new Bronco being built on the same T6 platform as the Everest? Does this help tell us whether the car will have proper off-road chops or not?
Bronco on the T6 will be a legitimate competitor to the Wrangler for those who don't care for Fiat-Chrysler cars. Combine those people with owners loyal to Ford and you could have a sales coup.
 

Simmy

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Bronco on the T6 will be a legitimate competitor to the Wrangler for those who don't care for Fiat-Chrysler cars. Combine those people with owners loyal to Ford and you could have a sales coup.
The T6 platform has the potential to be legitimate competitor but I think whether it'll really be a legit competitor in the marketplace depends on how hardcore Ford gets with it. If it wants to steal Wrangler buyers that T6 platform will have to be paired with solid axles, removable roof, removable doors, and be modifiable.
 

Rozinante

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Everything in Simmy's post just above is true.
It would be so easy for Ford to get this right:
Copy the frame & body of the '66 Bronco, including the removable roof the and removable door windows. Modify the frame & body to increase suspension travel and perhaps to allow greater-capacity fuel tanks.
Go with current Ford engines. The truck Coyote 5.0 V8 is a must, but versions of the 3.5 V6 can be offered, too. If Ford develops a reasonably light truck diesel, offer this diesel as well.
A five-speed manual, at the very least--and a six-speed might be even better if it's bullet-proof.
The D-20 transfer case from the early Broncos.
Resurrect the world-beating 9" differential, and develop a reverse-cut high-pinion front 9" differential as well.
Modern seats--four reclining buckets--with possibly an optional rear bench seat.
Electric windshield wipers and more powerful lights.
Toggle switches on the dash instead of dorky controls on steering wheel column stalks.
Frame-mounted rollbar, or rollbars, or roll cage. Sadly, not everyone wants a cage...
Full length skidplates--bolt on so that future engine swaps or just headers will be easier to install.
Front & rear winch plates--let the purchaser swap on the winch(es) from their previous ORV or buy the winch(es) of their choice separately.
Big wheels, big ABS brakes (with disengagement possible), and a range of street-legal tires. Tires that aren't street legal need to be purchased separately.

None of this is hard for an automobile manufacturer.

Please add freely to these recommendations.
 

dhg1078

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When is the Ranger due for a new "generation." The T6 platform will be what, around 10 years old when its released in the states?
 

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