Photos of Ford’s “Small, Rugged Off-Road Utility” – or Baby Bronco as it’s become known – slipped out of last year’s dealer meeting, but now we’re getting a glimpse of the model in the flesh.
Recently spotted undergoing testing, the heavily camouflaged prototype has a boxy design and slab-sided bodywork. We can also see a squared off front fascia, a relatively flat beltline and an upright tailgate.
While details are hard to make out, previous photos have shown the model will have a distinctive front fascia with a black grille that features prominent “FORD” lettering. The crossover is also slated to have plastic body cladding and circular headlights with an LED light ring.
The spy photos suggest the model will be pretty boxy, but the production crossover will have rounded bumpers and soft curves around the wheel arches. We can also expect a relatively flat roof that will likely be offered in contrasting colors.
Ford hasn’t said much about the Baby Bronco, but it will be introduced next year and positioned as a more rugged alternative to the Escape. While the models will be aimed at different consumers, they’ll likely share a handful of components.
Engine options remain unconfirmed, but the 2020 Escape features a 1.5-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder that is projected to produce 180 hp (134 kW / 182 PS) and 177 lb-ft (240 Nm) of torque. The model can also be equipped with a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder developing 250 hp (186 kW / 253 PS) and 275 lb-ft (372 Nm) of torque.
The Bronco could also be offered with a hybridized 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, but it remains unclear if a plug-in hybrid variant is in the works as the Escape PHEV is only available with front-wheel drive. That being said, previous presentations have shown the Baby Bronco won’t have a hybrid or electric option – at least at launch.