The engineering efforts of Ford Australia will be put to use to revive the iconic North American Bronco compact off-roader.
The American car maker confirmed that from 2020 it will re-introduce the Bronco, originally produced from 1966 until 1996, with confirmation that it will be based on the same ladder-frame underpinnings as the Ranger ute and Everest four-wheel drive that have been developed by Ford's Australian engineering division.
While the Bronco will utilise the Ranger's basic chassis and other major components, the rest of the car will be designed and engineered in the US where it will also be built.
Ford's Chief Technical Officer and Executive Vice President of Product Development, Raj Nair, was reluctant to reveal any further details on the Bronco when quizzed by Australian media at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.
But he scuppered speculation the car would be a re-badged version of the Everest, claiming the car will be different and "will live up to the heritage" of the original as a "capable and confident all-rounder", indicating that a shortened wheelbase in keeping with the original Bronco's boxy style could be possible.
Whether it will be offered in a three-door body style, like the original, has yet to be revealed. Nair was also reluctant to confirm the new Bronco's availability for right-hand drive markets such as Australia.
The Bronco will be one of five new SUVs under development at Ford, including a fully-electric small SUV that the company claims will have up to 500km range.
Ford last toyed with reviving the Bronco more than a decade ago when it revealed a concept car at the 2004 Detroit Auto Show, below.
At the same time as the Bronco announcement, Ford also confirmed the Ranger ute will be sold in the US from 2019, consolidating the Australian division's position as the development centre for the T6 program that underpins it, the Everest SUV, and upcoming Bronco.
The move could open up significant new options for the local Ranger, including the potential availability of a petrol engine option.
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