The undercarriage of this test vehicle has our attention.
Do not attempt to adjust your monitor, or phone, or whatever device on which you’re viewing the images here. This isn’t some bizarro Ford Ranger – actually, it kind of is, but you won’t be seeing this creation in dealerships anytime soon. This is a test mule Ford is using for its upcoming Bronco, which will share its underpinnings with the Ranger.
Despite the camo, it’s pretty obvious this test vehicle is wearing the Ranger’s extended-cab body. Behind the cab is a bizarre bed that we don’t believe has any significant connection to the production Bronco, and the body should be quite different as well. A teaser photo from Ford showed a very boxy shape, and rumors tell us the Bronco will offer removable doors and a soft top. Obviously you won’t find either feature on a Ranger.
Gallery: Ford Bronco Mule Spy Photos
Rather, we draw your attention to the beefy tires and visible undercarriage, which if you look closely also wears a bit of camouflage in an attempt to hide the axles. That’s because we believe the dedicated off-roader will sport a Dana 33 up front, with a Dana 44 at the back and coil springs all around. Rumors also tell us that power will come from the Ranger, in the form of the truck’s 2.3-liter boosted four-cylinder connected to a 10-speed automatic.
It’s also been widely reported that Ford will create something of a Bronco sub-brand, with a smaller version based on the Ford Escape also in the works. In fact, it’s possible we could see the baby Bronco before the midsize model, along with a new F-150 as well. More rumors say the Bronco will be available in both two-door and four-door flavors, and a hybrid version could eventually arrive, too.
Ford has gone on record as saying a Bronco was coming for 2020, so we still have a few months to stew in rumors and spy photos.