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A Ford Bronco Pickup to Take on the Jeep Gladiator?

Ford Explorer Sport Trac Adrenalin | Photo: Ford
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Daniel Rufiange
The idea if not new at Ford: When the Ford Explorer sat on a ladder frame, a pickup version was proposed

For fans of the Ford brand, the return of the Bronco is the most highly anticipated event since… the return of the Ranger. Since the automaker confirmed the nameplate was coming back, rumours have been swirling regarding its exact makeup and what versions it will come in.

Add another rumour to the list: According to Automobile website, internal sources at the company say that there’s a plan in place to produce a pickup version of the upcoming Bronco, that would take direct aim at the new Jeep Gladiator. As the Bronco will share its platform with the Ranger but get a distinct design and styling, this is both possible and a logical move.

The Bronco pickup would be produced only in four-door format and its configuration would follow the lead of the Gladiator in focusing on ruggedness and off-road capability. The sources familiar with the project refer to the vehicle being a spiritual successor to the Ford Explorer Sport Trac. Recall that before that model switched to a unibody architecture, a pickup variant was offered. Many remember the Adrenalin variant with particular fondness.

Ford Ranger 2019
Ford Ranger 2019 | Photo: D.Heyman

A Bronco pickup would sit on the same platform as the Bronco but it’s wheelbase would be different. Most the principal components of the powertrain, transmission and suspension would be the same, however, though with a few minor adjustments.

The plan to build a Bronco pickup is a long-term project. Ford’s focus before it gets to that variant lies elsewhere, starting of course with the Bronco SUV. The company’s plate also includes the next generation of the Ranger. According to the Automobile website, the pickup version might be ready by 2024.

Which leaves a lot of time for the Gladiator to properly establish itself.

Rumours likes this one are certainly interesting, but given the distant timeline this one needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Much can change between now and 2024.

Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists