The Ford Bronco isn’t even on sale yet, and Ford is already expanding the family with an entry-level off-roader it calls the Bronco Sport.
Clearly styled like the Bronco, it wasn’t just shrunk in the wash. Rather than the Bronco’s truck architecture, the Bronco Sport is the rugged cousin to the more carlike Ford Escape. This means a front-drive platform, but we expect every Bronco Sport to come standard with all-wheel drive to match its off-road looks.
Powering that all-wheel-drive system will almost certainly be the Escape’s engine lineup, including a 180-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder base engine and an optional 250-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder option. Both would use an eight-speed automatic transmission only. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains are expected in the future, following Ford’s commitment to electrify its lineup in one way or another.
The off-road looks aren’t just lip service, either. Ford considers the Bronco Sport a true Bronco family member, so expect improved ground clearance, short overhangs, and underbody protection compared to the Escape—not to mention Ford’s Trail Control off-road cruise control technology.
We should have seen the Bronco Sport by now, but with auto shows postponed, we’re just waiting for Ford to decide when and how to pull the sheet. Regardless, we think we’ll see the Bronco Sport on the road by the end of the year at a starting price around $30,000.
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