Ford might let you pop the top on the new 2020 Bronco

The first generation ran from the mid ’60s well on into the ’70s. That larger second-gen truck ran for a much shorter time before the OJ-era third-gen model debuted for 1980. Two more versions carried on all the way until 1996, before the Ford Bronco shuffled off into the sunset. The crossover and SUV-crazed world in which we live is ready for a return, and Ford is set to deliver sometime next year. And we’ve got good news… the Blue Oval brand will make this a vehicle upon which the Bronco name is properly applied.

Automotive News reports that dealers got an early look at the upcoming vehicle during a recent gathering. Some of those dealers have loose lips, but they’re not out to sink ships. Instead, you should get excited at what they have to say. The front end will feature a rectangular grille properly framed by a pair of round headlights. More interesting though is the fact that Ford will offer a removable hard top. The doors will also be removable and the side mirrors are mounted to the A pillars.

Ditch those doors!

Speaking of the doors, Ford plans to offer the Bronco as both a two door and a four door. This is clearly a shot across the bow of Jeep and its Wrangler. While it might not be enough to pull hardcore Wrangler lovers away from the brand, it’s certainly set to get the attention of fence sitters. And Ford loyalists sound like they’re set to get a vehicle ready to make them smile.

One dealer stated that this new Bronco is “twice as cool as I thought it would be”. You can see if that remains the case when we get our own eyes on the prize sometime in the near future. A Baby Bronco will land first, and the larger Bronco should arrive around three months after that. The timetable is set for sometime in mid-to-late 2020.

Yes… we already want to know about a Bronco Raptor, too. Because that could potentially be the raddest iteration of the Raptor name yet to come. A Ranger Raptor (you know it’s coming) will be great. The F-150 Raptor is wonderful. But a Bronco Raptor? Sweet baby off-road Jesus that will be a Rubicon Wrangler-smacking wonder truck, and we’re all in on that one.

[Source: Automotive News via Jalopnik]

18 Comments

  1. I recall reading that Dodge did away with the pop top long before they discontinued the Ramcharger because their research showed that buyers were removing the tops ONCE, on average. Not once per season, just once. After a customer went through one cycle, they figured it was too much work, too heavy, and storage was a hassle.

    Ford needs to come up with a top service. Have a specially equipped truck drive out to the customer location, remove the top with a hydraulic appendage, and bring it back to an area storage facility (which also has drive through service) until a customer decides protection from the elements outweighs actually being in the elements. Price the service pretty nominally during a trial period, and Ford will sell a LOT more Broncos.

    1. Haha, that might change it to removing tops twice for some – once for the cheap trial, and once more priced at full freight, for those who didn’t ask how much it would cost first.

      Presumably the removable soft top & particularly doors could be behind it taking so long to get the Bronco to market. Bronco Raptor should be fairly easily possible using the suspension setup from the Ranger Raptor. I wonder if they would consider it worthwhile to offer a hotter engine tune though, the Raptor in Australia only uses a standard engine (new 2.0 TTD & 10sp), available in other Rangers too.

    2. Haha, that might change it to removing tops twice for some – once for the cheap trial, and once more priced at full freight, for those who didn’t ask how much it would cost first.

      Presumably the removable soft top & particularly doors could be behind it taking so long to get the Bronco to market. Bronco Raptor should be fairly easily possible using the suspension setup from the Ranger Raptor. I wonder if they would consider it worthwhile to offer a hotter engine tune though, the Raptor in Australia only uses a standard engine (new 2.0 TTD & 10sp), available in other Rangers too.

      1. I think the roof concierge service should be subscription-based. $30/month (auto-debit) for drive through on the five-year subscription, plus a trip charge if the service comes to you. Make some overpriced optional insurance available for when the top is stored. Customers will have blown through $1500 before they realize they never use it.

        1. Geez that is about the level of the email scams that include obvious misspellings, so that the only people that click on them are stupid enough to carry through and fall for the scam!

          1. Oh, maybe I need to re-tool my idea then. I was aiming a bit more upmarket. Onstar is the subscription model I want to emulate.

          2. I’m sure it would be of benefit for some buyers, but probably so few (most would DIY) that your costs are probably what it would take.

    3. Yeah those tops on the full size based SUVs were very heavy and not easy to remove, ad it required a couple of helpers or a winch system in the garage that the truck wouldn’t fit in.

      However what has been mentioned elsewhere is that the top is designed to fit in the back. So it sounds like it will be in multiple pieces, none of which should be to heavy for one person to lift. I’m betting it has quick release latches and not a bunch of bolts that need the entire interior side trim panel to be removed to be accessed.

    4. This reminds me of my uncle’s solution for removing the hardtop of his Mercedes 380SL. He’d drive it into his warehouse, lift it off with the overhead crane and store it in the pallet racking.

      1. When my dad had a 56 Thunderbird, we stored the hardtop suspended from the garage rafters, immediately above the hood of the car when it was parked nose-first. The hardtop was on the car to bring it home, off the car until that fall, on the car when the weather started cooling, then off the car for the 10 or more years my dad had it–the top never left the garage again until he sold the car.

    5. Yeah those tops on the full size based SUVs were very heavy and not easy to remove, ad it required a couple of helpers or a winch system in the garage that the truck wouldn’t fit in.

      However what has been mentioned elsewhere is that the top is designed to fit in the back. So it sounds like it will be in multiple pieces, none of which should be to heavy for one person to lift. I’m betting it has quick release latches and not a bunch of bolts that need the entire interior side trim panel to be removed to be accessed.

      1. Maybe just removable roof panels and side/rear windows, leaving the main superstructure in place? That would be a sensible option.

    6. In the early ’90s I knew a guy who drove an ’82 Bronco he had purchased brand-new and in that decade or so he had never removed the top. At the time he said it was because everyone he knew who had one could never get them to seal again properly after even a single removal. He was disappointed by this, as he had previously had a first-generation Bronco which he had used frequently both with and without the top without any trouble, but he wasn’t prepared to risk it with his “new” one. This was, after all, in the rainy part of Oregon.

      I don’t recall hearing about this issue from anyone else, but he was certainly convinced.

    7. The truck market in general is an exercise in marketing cynicism. The idea of cruising carefree on a fine summer’s day with the wind in your hair is what you want to sell, not actually doing it. I can confirm that removing tops on Broncos past (especially the 78 and up versions) is not worth it.

    8. The truck market in general is an exercise in marketing cynicism. The idea of cruising carefree on a fine summer’s day with the wind in your hair is what you want to sell, not actually doing it. I can confirm that removing tops on Broncos past (especially the 78 and up versions) is not worth it.

  2. The original Blazer was available as a RWD and 4WD. RWD was reintroduced briefly in the 1990’s, prior to the Tahoe being introduced. The Ramcharger was also available as a RWD. Not everybody needs or wants the extra hardware and weight. I’d sure like to see a 2 door, RWD Bronco.
    Ford … are you listening?

    1. They released a RWD version of the Everest SUV here in response to demand, so it is possible.

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