Update: we received a scary request from Ford lawyers to remove images of the Ford Bronco CUV that previously appeared in this article.
The automotive industry is navigating murky waters in the 21st century. Consumers are moving away from cars and hatchbacks toward SUVs and crossovers, and automakers around the world are scrambling to shift their strategies to meet this flourishing consumer market. Ford went as far as eliminating the sale of cars in the U.S. in an aggressive plan to introduce new or refreshed crossover of SUV models. Digging deep into its portfolio of storied nameplates to resurrect, the company decided to reintroduce the Ford Bronco and an alleged baby Bronco.
Reviving such an iconic moniker is no easy task. You have to meet nostalgic expectations that come with the Bronco name. A leaked image from a Ford dealer meeting in Las Vegas shows what’s most likely the baby Bronco, with its boxy, retro-like appearance. That’s great, but if you look at its crosstown rival Chevy, you’ll notice Chevy lacks a worthy Bronco competitor for the new model.
Yes, Chevy is also expanding its lineup of crossovers and SUVs. Earlier this year, the automaker resurrected the Blazer nameplate. However, instead of billing it as a capable off-road vehicle to take on the likes of the Jeep Wrangler and forthcoming Ford Bronco, Chevy made the Blazer into a stylish crossover, focusing on features and looks as opposed to off-road capability.
That’s not to say Chevy isn’t working on a Bronco or baby Bronco competitor. The company could very well be drawing up plans for an affordable off-road SUV. However, we haven’t heard any rumors of such a vehicle, or vehicles, in development. Chevrolet seems to understand a need for a 2019 Colorado ZR2 Bison, but the global-market Trailblazer on the same platform remains inaccessible to the hardest of hard-core SUV market.
While the Blazer’s subdued road-going manners may turn off some purists hoping for a rough-riding, body-on-frame SUV, the crossover’s mass-market appeal could make it a sales leader over the Ford Bronco, but that’s apples and oranges.