As more and more information comes out about the 2021 Ford Bronco, many of the details about the Ford Bronco Maverick (still known by the fan base as the "Baby Bronco") are still sparse. Here's what we know about this tiny unibody crossover that will be released in tandem with its larger, tougher sibling.
Given the long and storied history of the Ford Bronco, there are a lot of eager eyes awaiting the release. Even though the larger, full-size Bronco will be the model that's really put under the microscope by most enthusiasts, the related mini Bronco model has a lot to live up to as well.
New Name Rumor: The Ford Bronco Maverick (1/28/2020)
In what may be the final rumor to circulate about the Baby Bronco’s official name, sources have confirmed to Ford Authority that the “Bronco Maverick” name has been spotted in corporate documents. Additionally, CAD models were supposedly seen with a “Maverick” badge on the rear hatch.
Despite previous nameplates being allegedly confirmed, we already knew that Ford abandoned the Bronco Scout trademark application. Rumors of a Bronco Sport or Bronco Adventurer name have not stood the test of time, so for now, Bronco Maverick it is.
Based on the fact that the leaked grille assembly features “Bronco” embossed on it, it’s likely the name “Bronco Maverick” will be used, as opposed to “Ford Maverick.” But anything is still possible. If the constant rumors have shown us anything, it’s that nothing is for certain.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved Ford’s request for the Maverick trademark in June of 2018. The last time Ford used the Maverick name in the U.S. was for a compact car in the 1970s based on the Falcon platform.
Leaked Image Allegedly Shows Baby Bronco Grille Assembly (1/3/2020)
Another leaked image has been shared on the forum Bronco 6G, allegedly showing the grille assembly of the production Baby Bronco! The good news here is that it looks quite similar to the images we’ve seen of the attractive pre-production models. The bad news (for some) is that the Baby Bronco won’t share the completely round headlights of its bigger sibling. Instead, it opts for an oval-shaped design that is a bit more modern than it is nostalgic. That’s ok, as this model isn’t designed to necessarily appeal to those who love the classic truck.
The grille itself is handsome, and will proudly feature the word “Bronco” across the center bar. Its overall design manages to be both sleek and complex, rugged and sleek. As for those headlights, it looks like there’s the potential for some seriously cool daytime running lights surrounding the main light.
Leaked Image Allegedly Showing Baby Bronco Body in Production Form (10/21/2019)
A spy shot supplied by a Motor1 reader may have given us our first glimpse at the Baby Bronco’s body in final production form. Considering we've only seen the oddly-proportioned test mule before, this photo is the best look yet for the upcoming smaller Bronco vehicle.
There don't seem to be any earth-shattering revelations here, but most enthusiasts will probably be happy to see the nostalgic, boxy shape. The picture also shows the vehicle's unibody construction and its structural similarities to the Ford Escape. What's definitely not similar is that C-pillar, which has a very distinctive forward angle. That's a callback to the older Broncos of the '80s and '90s, while the noticeable body accent line on the side is a much more modern touch. It's difficult to tell if there is a spare tire mount on the rear; there does appear to be an under-trunk spare tire well regardless, so it's possible that an external spare will be part of an optional package.
Overall, this body actually has a lot of the same features as the vehicle shown in the November 2018 leak. Notice the side vent just in front of the driver's door, the roofline that seems to be taller in the rear, and the aforementioned concave body line on the doors. If that leaked image showed a concept version, this production vehicle looks remarkably similar. This photo was ostensibly taken from inside a Ford facility where production of the Baby Bronco is underway. Given that this image was leaked in a rather bold way and that Ford has refused to comment, there could be more on the way. Stay tuned for more information on both the Baby Bronco and Bronco vehicles, especially as we get closer to the LA Auto Show in late November.
In Name Reversal, "Bronco Scout" Trademark Application Abandoned (9/11/2019)
Things keep getting crazier in the whirlwind of rumors that have been tossed back and forth about the Baby Bronco. And it may be easier just to stick with the "Baby Bronco" nickname for now, because it turns out that the "Bronco Scout" nameplate will not be used for this vehicle. This was confirmed when the trademark application (serial number 88386362) was abandoned on September 9th, 2019. Ford Authority received inside information that the most likely name is now either Bronco Adventurer or Bronco Sport, but only time will tell if one of these will make it to final production.
Bronco Scout Name Likely Confirmed, Will Be Unibody Crossover That is Less Off-Road-Focused Than Bronco (7/5/2019)
As photographers continue to capture images of various 2021 Bronco mules being tested, we still have yet to see the second vehicle of the bundle, which has been known as the “Baby Bronco.” Now, sources who spoke to Ford Authority have confirmed that these off-road-focused mules in the spy shots are indeed just the larger Bronco. This is logical based on what we already knew, but there were also some further confirmations regarding the smaller upcoming model.
The sources confirmed that the “Baby Bronco” model, a unibody crossover, will actually be called the Bronco Scout. This name was trademarked back in April and seems a natural fit for this smaller, everyday-focused vehicle, which should still offer some looks inspired by its big brother.
There’s a good chance it will use the same global, modular front-wheel drive platform as the Escape and Focus. Being small yet still likely to offer some rugged visual attributes, the Bronco Scout will likely appeal to drivers who want the style of something like the Jeep Renegade but do not partake in serious off-road activities. We expect it to be practical and easy to live with, not to mention much less expensive than the larger body-on-frame Bronco.
The “Scout” moniker gives it a distinct separation and is also evocative of smaller, military scout vehicles, such as the M3 Scout Car. While enthusiasts would usually decry a vehicle that is only off-road “inspired” (without the chops to back it up), most Ford fans seem pleased enough that the Blue Oval is also catering to all-terrain adventurers with the larger, much more robust Bronco.
Check back as we receive more information and await the first spy shots of the new Bronco Scout.
Leaked Images of the Ford Baby Bronco (11/13/2018)
Although Ford won’t comment on the rampant rumors and speculation that followed a leaked photo from the annual dealership meeting in Las Vegas, savvy enthusiasts quickly realized that the vehicle shown was almost certainly not the larger, confirmed 2021 Bronco.
This leaked image of the possible 2021 Ford Baby Bronco made headlines on the web.
In fact, it is a smaller crossover that has been lovingly dubbed the “Baby Bronco." That’s definitely not the official name, which has yet to be released by Ford. Some believe that Ford's recent trademark application for the name "Puma" could be a likely candidate. It could be a fitting moniker, and Ford actually used it in the late 1990s for a small coupe that was sold in Europe.
Ford ‘s executive vice president of product development, Hau Thai-Tang, said in August 2018 that this smaller crossover would be based on the global Focus platform, indicating unibody construction. Although this means it will not be a dedicated off-road machine, this is not a surprising revelation. Having car-like dynamics, comfort, and handling is important for many drivers, and there will probably be enough add-ons to give the Baby Bronco some moderate off-roading prowess.
Ford Baby Bronco Competitors
The Jeep Renegade, especially in Trailhawk trim, is a competent off-roader and a direct target of the Baby Bronco.
The Baby Bronco looks to be similar in size to the Jeep Renegade, which would likely be a direct competitor. Despite its diminutive size and unibody frame, this small Jeep can be spec-ed out to be extremely capable off-road. Sales dropped 6 percent year-over-year in 2018, but Jeep still sold a healthy 97,062 Renegade units in the calendar year.
Slightly larger but still in the realm of competition, the Jeep Compass actually more than doubled its sales in 2018, with an impressive 171,167 total units sold. While a lot of press has been focused on the launch of the JL Wrangler and Gladiator, these smaller models have also been quietly contributing to FCA’s success.
So is there room for Ford to jump into this product segment? Signs point to yes. In terms of sub-compact crossovers that are truly all-terrain-capable, the list is extremely short.
The Suzuki Jimny is a tiny, true body-on-frame SUV. It won't come to the U.S. but is popular abroad.
Though the new body-on-frame Suzuki Jimny has been making the internet rounds for its recent launch, there is absolutely nothing to indicate a U.S. release any time in the near future. The impressive capability and adorable dimensions and styling of this true SUV have caught the acclaim of enthusiasts, though it might not sit as well with the general public.
We don’t have the Fiat Panda or Dacia Duster in the States either, so Ford could be stepping into market territory that is more or less wholly owned by Jeep at this point. Depending on how the car is marketed, there is also potential to grab market share from raised wagons like the Subaru Crosstrek.
The continual and rising popularity of crossovers in America means that the Baby Bronco might be an easy sell not only for hardcore off-roading enthusiasts but also those who simply want a compact, daily driver that looks rugged and features 4WD.
North American International Auto Show in Detroit - Anticipating New Ford Releases
We look forward to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to see if Ford is keen on releasing any more information. Though the full-size 2021 Bronco is not even guaranteed to make an appearance (we remain optimistic) and many eyes will be on the Mustang Shelby GT500 and re-designed 2020 Explorer, we’ll keep you updated here with the latest information as it comes in!
Image Credit: Ford Authority
Sources: Ford Authority