Spied: possible Bronco mule seen testing in Detroit

95CobraR

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It could just be a staged design? My main concern is the drive-train.





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BroncoMike

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Early test mules rarely bear ANY resemblance in look to the final product. There is absolutely no news here, except for the hidden rear suspension (they don't want it to be seen right now, and there's a reason for that) and the fact that no attention was given to hiding the front suspension. And perhaps that, *IF* this is a Bronco mule, they are right on track for early 2021 release.

Now, let the wild, hyperbolic speculation begin on the "why" for those two things.
 

MuhThugga

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Yuck ... I don't know about any of the mechanical aspects, but this body style looks horrible! It's a bubble egg and too small. Been thinking all along that Ford is going to mess up this come back :(
It's clearly a Ranger with a chopped bed and cap. There is nothing "final" about the body design at all. This is simply a mule for testing the underpinnings.
 

Funkdoobiest

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It's clearly a Ranger with a chopped bed and cap. There is nothing "final" about the body design at all. This is simply a mule for testing the underpinnings.
I do believe you hit that square on the head, but man this thing is ugly.
 

Bustin Bronco

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Anyone think this might just be a Ranger Raptor and not the new Bronco? Windshield very sloped back on the vehicle in the picture...Just a thought....
 

DonovanJM

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It seems to me that this is to test the shorter wheelbase and suspension. That is has a Ranger cab and short bed with canopy mean nothing as thy are there for driveability. My guesses anyway.
 

blksn8k

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Since we are speculating, how about a four-link with coil-overs?
 

BHShaman

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It is a cut down cab and a half ranger to test the drive train with the bronco wheelbase dimensions. Ugly as all get out...
 

Fosters

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if it does indeed have an IFS... I'm buying another wrangler or maybe a gladiator. If it does have a solid axle, I'll be the first one at my dealership putting in an order.

i'm not too worried about looks or what engine/tranny it has in it honestly. There's not one Ford engine that would upset me in this thing.... I can see them sticking the 2.7 in a raptor-esque version of the bronco/ranger.
 

Nickp

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Just got some really interesting information. So I got a confirmation that there are quite a few different Bronco mules, and this one is primarily to test rear suspension. HOWEVER, my source also stated that they HAVE NOT yet finalized the front suspension. There are test mules with a solid front axle, and also with double front wishbone IFS. It is one of the last things that has not been fully decided yet for the production model. So basically... we’re going to have to wait to find out!
 

nocki78bronco

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Is it just my old eyes or are the front tires bigger? Seems to me all the testing is going on in the rear axle area. Hope this does come with a solid front axle. Hoping and wishing.......
 

Toyhoarder

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if it does indeed have an IFS... I'm buying another wrangler or maybe a gladiator. If it does have a solid axle, I'll be the first one at my dealership putting in an order.

i'm not too worried about looks or what engine/tranny it has in it honestly. There's not one Ford engine that would upset me in this thing.... I can see them sticking the 2.7 in a raptor-esque version of the bronco/ranger.
Agreed. Even the 2.3 should smoke all the Jeep engines.

IFS makes it just another sheep in the herd. I’d rather start with a nineties explorer. Easy SAS and V8 conversion.
 

phillyfx4

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Is it just my old eyes or are the front tires bigger? Seems to me all the testing is going on in the rear axle area. Hope this does come with a solid front axle. Hoping and wishing.......
not just you..... I noticed the same thing ?? :inspect:
 

Stampede.Offroad

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Is it just my old eyes or are the front tires bigger? ...
Optical illusion caused by the disproportionate negative space around the rear tire. I can only guess that they did some extra hacking away at the wheel well arch because they were also going to use this mule to test flex range of the rear suspension, and expected some interference because the track width doesn't match the Ranger parts.


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this-could-be-the-ford-bronco-1.jpg
this-could-be-the-ford-bronco-1 (2).jpg
 

Stampede.Offroad

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...So I got a confirmation that there are quite a few different Bronco mules, and this one is primarily to test rear suspension. HOWEVER, my source also stated that they HAVE NOT yet finalized the front suspension. There are test mules with a solid front axle, and also with double front wishbone IFS. It is one of the last things that has not been fully decided yet for the production model. So basically... we’re going to have to wait to find out!
I find it hard to believe they haven't picked the general front suspension architecture for the Bronco yet. Having two types of suspension under one set of mules sounds like something else is going on to me: they are using this platform to test future suspension for both the Bronco and Ranger. Which makes sense, because they're supposed to share a chassis platform. Ranger would presumably continue on with IFS, and Bronco would get the solid. Because the next version of the Ranger will ride on the frame being developed for the Bronco, might as well make sure both sets of parts are going to work with one set of mules now.

To me this would sound like a hushed confirmation of a solid axle for the front of the Bronco, and confusion about the idea that the next Ranger is coming soon after it based on the frame developed for the Bronco (the reverse of what most people have been saying since the reintroduction of the old T6 Ranger, that the Bronco would be based on the Ranger).
 

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