A high-ranking Ford executive has confirmed that the Blue Oval brand’s upcoming small SUV – which has already attracted the unofficial “baby Bronco” nickname – will ride on a version of the new modular platform underpinning the latest Focus.
According to Reuters, Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s executive vice president of product development and purchasing, made the announcement at an investor conference in the United States.
The new model, the report added, would share parts with both the fourth-generation Focus and the upcoming next-generation Kuga (or Escape, as it’s known in some parts of the world), although it would boast more rugged off-road styling cues than the latter.
The as-yet-unnamed “baby Bronco” is expected to debut in 2019, complete with off-road-inspired styling that tips its hat in the direction of the Bronco that debuted in the mid-1960s.
In March 2018, the automaker announced plans to radically revamp its line-up, confirming that it would build both the new small SUV and a larger, revived Bronco (likely based on the Ranger bakkie). It also revealed plans to shift to “flexible vehicle architectures” and “more common parts across models” in a bid to cut new product development time.
This new Focus platform is also tipped to underpin a rumoured new small bakkie, which if eventually offered in South Africa would serve as a long-awaited replacement for the half-tonne Bantam.