Ford is testing a heavily camouflaged prototype of its forthcoming compact SUV, colloquially known as the Baby Bronco.
The automaker is developing the Baby Bronco as an off-road-capable compact SUV that is a rugged alternative to the same-size Escape. It confirmed that the new SUV will ride on the same platform as the 2020 Ford Escape. But it will likely include off-road-ready equipment so that it can compete directly with the Jeep Renegade.
Trucks.com’s spy photographer caught the vehicle undergoing road tests in Michigan.
The model appears to be a smaller variant of the forthcoming 2021 Ford Bronco. It is akin to how the Land Rover Discovery Sport is a scaled-down version of the Land Rover Discovery.
The photos show a square nose, flat roofline and upright rear that is similar to the leaked photographs from a dealer event that were widely distributed late last year and first reported by Off-Road.com.
The Baby Bronco looks top-heavy in the new photos, but that is probably due to Ford disguising the SUV’s roof rails.
There is no confirmation of the Baby Bronco’s powertrain, but the Escape’s offerings are most likely. They could include a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder.
All-wheel drive and an increased ride height are expected.
It is probable that the Baby Bronco name won’t stick around for long. Ford recently filed trademark applications for Bronco Scout, Maverick, Timberline, Badlands and Adrenaline. Ford reportedly might call the model the Adventurer. But Bronco Scout is the leading name.
Production of the Bronco will begin in 2020 . It’s likely that the Baby Bronco will be revealed either just before or shortly after its big brother.
Ford may reveal the Bronco and Baby Bronco at a private event early next year, in a similar fashion to the way it debuted the 2020 Ford Explorer and 2020 Ford Escape. But it could also make an appearance late this year at the Los Angeles Auto Show.