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Leaked new-gen Ford SUV pictures emerge

Photos uncovered of unnamed small off-road-focused SUV or all-new Ford Bronco

Ford logo14 Nov 2018

PHOTOS have emerged from an American dealer conference in Las Vegas revealing what is reported to be a new Ford SUV, expected to either be the reborn Bronco ladder-frame SUV or a smaller off-road-focused SUV announced earlier this year.
 
Revealed by American website Off-Road.com, the pictures show various uncovered shots of the new SUV, which stresses a clear focus on off-road ability.
 
Slides from the presentation are accompanied with the description “An SUV that means business”, “Authentic off-road capability”, and simply “BRONCO”, alongside a logo of the bucking horse.
 
While the last slide suggests the pictured SUV is indeed the Bronco, it could well be the Bronco spin-off that will be smaller and compete with the likes of the Jeep Cherokee and Renegade Trailhawk, and even the pint-sized Suzuki Jimny.
 
Ford has not announced a name for the sub-Bronco off-roader, with US publication Automotive News suggesting the Blue Oval may use the Maverick moniker, which was used for re-badged Nissan GQ Patrols sold by Ford Australia in the 1980s and 1990s.
 
Automotive News says the Maverick name has been trademarked in the US, however no such trademark application exists in Australia.
 
Photos of the uncovered SUV are uncannily similar to the darkened teaser image of the unnamed small SUV revealed in March, with the front fascia bearing multiple similarities
 
The images show an SUV with boxy styling and circular LED headlights – similar to the original Bronco –  with a vertical LED strip running towards the centre of the grille which is dominated by large ‘Ford’ lettering.
 
Along with the round headlights and Ford grille, other design elements shared with the darkened teaser image include red tow hooks, roof rails and upward-curving headlight bezels similar to the original PX Ranger, which look more squared-off in the new photos.
 
Other exterior features include a two-tone white roof, short front and rear overhangs, generous ground clearance and chunky all-terrain tyres with black alloy wheels.
 
When the initial teaser image of the small SUV lobbed in March, Ford also showed an image of the Bronco hidden under a mud-splattered sheet, which may give the biggest clue as to which model has been leaked.
 
The Bronco teaser showed the vehicle in profile with a clearly visible rear-mounted spare wheel, which is notably absent on the vehicle shown at the dealer conference.
 
If the vehicle is the Bronco, it will be built on an updated version of the Australian-developed T6 ladder-frame chassis that underpins the Ranger and Everest, and will likely share the same powertrains for Australia including the 2.0-litre biturbo four-cylinder and 3.2-litre five-pot turbo-diesel engines.
 
American versions are rumoured to be fitted with a 2.7-litre twin-turbo petrol V6.
 
As for the smaller SUV, motivation will likely come from an EcoBoost turbo-petrol mill for US versions, while a diesel engine would be a better fit for Australian examples, with the biturbo engine and 2.2-litre four-cylinder in the entry-level ranger 4x2 possibilities.
 
Ford has also said it “is going all-in on hybrids”, with the Bronco set to be offered with a hybrid powertrain at some point. 
 
The Bronco is set for a global debut in 2020, while no timeline has yet been given for its smaller sibling.

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