Automobile magazine has reported that Ford is developing a pickup based on the Bronco to go head-to-head with the Jeep Gladiator. The stretched Bronco is expected to debut as a 2025 model year vehicle, but may arrive sooner. According to Automobile, the higher trim levels of the Bronco may pack a larger engine by then, perhaps inheriting the 3.0-liter EcoBoost from the F-150, but we won’t see that engine make its way to the pickup.
In the rendering above, we’ve imagined what a short-bed may look like with a wheelbase stretched a little more than a foot.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator was one of the most eagerly anticipated vehicle launches of 2019. Jeep had long teased buyers with Wrangler-based truck concepts before finally making it a reality. Initial sales were promising and then sagged, with Jeep recording only 40,000 Gladiator sales after launching partway through Q1. Even before the Coronavirus took its toll on vehicle sales in mid-2020, Gladiators had been stacking up in dealer inventory, as had Ford Rangers. The two trucks had a 124- and 125-day supply of inventory in March compared to just 66-day supply of the Chevy Colorado.
With Ford’s Maverick in the pipeline and the existing Ranger, F-150, and Super Duty, a Bronco pickup would be the fifth truck in Ford’s fleet. How will Ford differentiate the Bronco pickup from the Ranger it’s based on? We expect the Bronco pickup to only come in 4WD and it will likely only be available as a crew cab with a short bed, just like the Gladiator.
The mid-size pickup market, almost totally dominated by Tacoma just a few years ago, is shaping up to be one of the most hotly contended among all segments in the next few years, with Ram set to field an entry as well. As full-size trucks get larger and more capable, there’s definitely a set of consumers who will be perfectly suited with a more nimble, fuel-efficient mid-size. We say bring on the Bronco pickup and let it duke it out with the best of them.