Ford’s shift to SUV and pickup-only model range in the United States will bring a brand new rugged small utility vehicle to the market. It’s currently being referred to as the baby Bronco, and a new report indicates it will be based on the platform that underpins the new generation Focus.
Basically, that architecture is what the MQB is to Volkswagen – a smart, modular platform, which will be used for many new models from the Blue Oval from multiple segments. It will also underpin the next-generation Escape SUV, as well as the aforementioned baby Bronco, which will feature “off-road positioning and imagery” and will be slightly more expensive, as Hau Thai-Tang, executive vice president of product development and purchasing, explained speaking at an investor conference in New York.
Expected to debut sometime next year or in 2020, the new vehicle will come with a design inspired by Ford’s classic mid-1960s Bronco off-roader. It’s important to note that this is not the body-on-frame Bronco revival planned for 2020, but a smaller model sharing most of its technologies and, likely, its powertrain options with the next-gen Escape. These include mostly four-cylinder turbocharged motors.
Another crossover-style wagon and hatchback will be positioned below the baby Bronco. It’s called the Focus Active and features crossover-inspired plastic body details and raised suspension, in the same vein as the Subaru Outback. It will share a number of components from the suspension and body construction with the baby Bronco.
The Focus Active will be the only version of the fourth-generation Focus to be offered in the United States. Europe also gets a traditional hatchback and wagon, as well as plush Vignale and sporty ST-Line variants. ST and hybrid flagship RS models are planned for the future, but not much is known about them at the moment.