- the 2021 ford bronco sport will be a little sibling to the upcoming bronco 4x4.
- as opposed to the truck-based standard bronco, the bronco sport will be based on the unibody escape crossover.
- expect it to arrive sometime next year as a 2021 model.
much as jeep surrounds the iconic wrangler 4x4 with a lineup of ruggedly styled crossovers, ford will complement the upcoming bronco with an escape-based small suv commonly referred to as the "baby bronco." when this new crossover comes to fruition sometime next year, we expect it to use the bronco sport name. here is what we've already found out about this bronco-adjacent model.
this is what it looks like
spy photos and various leaked images of the production model have shown us that the bronco sport has an upright, squared-off body to distinguish itself from the curvier, more carlike escape. our artist's illustrations predict what the real thing will look like based on ford's own teasers and these various images.
it will be similar to the escape underneath
the bronco sport will use the same unibody platform as the new 2020 ford escape, meaning it is likely to have the same 106.7-inch wheelbase despite using a different, boxier body. we also expect it to share powertrains with the escape, meaning it will have a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder as standard, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder as an option.
key differences will include the optional all-wheel-drive system, which should be beefed up compared to the escape's to back up the bronco sport's off-road image. it may include some sort of differential lock or low range, along with a driving mode selector to adjust for various terrains.
there will be a hybrid version
ford has said that it plans to offer a gas-electric powertrain in the bronco sport, and, like the conventional gas engines, we think this setup will also be shared with the escape. that means it's possible the bronco sport will have both a traditional gas-electric hybrid setup and a plug-in-hybrid option that would provide some amount of all-electric driving range. both escape hybrid models use a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter inline-four as their gasoline engine.
various names were considered
earlier reports suggested that ford was considering several different names for this new model, including bronco scout and adventurer. it seems like the company has settled on bronco sport for the real thing, as ford applied for a trademark for this moniker and has abandoned its application for bronco scout. it's a sure bet that ford will bank on the strength of the bronco name and its heritage to market this new vehicle as part of that lineage.
it should arrive next year
we previously thought that the bronco sport might arrive before its big sibling, but now that ford has announced the release date for the real-deal 2020 bronco as spring 2020, we think that timeline might be reversed. it's now looking like the bronco sport will debut a few months after the bronco, likely going on sale later next year as a 2021 model.