Once upon a time the Ford Bronco was highly-regarded among sport utility fans. It’s been decades since Ford built a new Bronco, and years since the last Bronco Concept crossed an auto show stage. So one has to wonder if the rumors of an EcoBoost-or-diesel-powered Ford Bronco isn’t just wishful thinking, or something really substantial.
According to unnamed Ford insiders, Ford is developing a 2015 Bronco concept based on the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 chassis, aimed at competing with the hot-selling Jeep Wrangler. Engine options would include the 5.0 liter V8, a 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6, and a 4.5 liter turbodiesel engine designed to compete with Chrysler’s own EcoDiesel engine. I wonder if the rumored “Nano” EcoBoost V6 might be on tap as well.
With the Jeep Wrangler slated to get a diesel engine as well, and a huge jump in diesel car sales in America, this could be an opportunity for Ford to test the waters for diesel engines of its own. Chrysler is selling every Wrangler it can build, and Ford has seen a lot of success with its own off-road entrant, the F-150 Raptor. Then again, Ford has also been rather successful with its hybrid car sales, and a hybrid Bronco could be fuel efficient and plenty of fun too.
A new Bronco could take the place of the Raptor, offering four-wheel drive as standard in both two-door and four-door configurations, same as the Wrangler. The name recognition is certainly there, and Ford is promising to launch almost two-dozen new models in 2014. Could a rugged new Bronco with EcoBoost and diesel power be among them?
I don’t want to get my hopes up, but the prospect is pretty damn enticing to me.