Most folks who’d rather leave than love the new Ford Bronco have taken issue with one thing: the powertrain. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder should be fine as a base, and the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 is plenty stout, too. However, the Blue Oval was never going to escape the traditional off-roading crowd’s love for V8s. Likewise, by launching it without an electrified option, it received criticism from forward-thinkers to boot.
Ford hasn’t really addressed this problem publicly, though the company’s CEO Jim Farley did give a pretty plain-English response to a doubter on Twitter today. When asked why the Dearborn automaker didn’t have a battery-electric Bronco on the way, Farley said, “Why do you think we don’t?”
Ford CEO Jim Farley
You can usually count on Farley to stoke the fire when it comes to interacting with normal people and mega-billionaires alike. That said, this is the first EV Bronco breadcrumb they’ve dropped in quite some time. We reported on a potential plug-in hybrid variant last July but this is significant in terms of a full-electric model.
It’s likely that Ford will take what it’s learned from the Mustang Mach-E and apply it to a future Bronco EV, though it won’t be a direct parallel to the sporty family car. Electrifying a rig that’s meant to ford rivers and climb big hills presents its own set of challenges, some that startups like Rivian are currently working to overcome. That’s probably why, then, the Bronco wasn’t launched with an electric option to start with—it just isn’t ready yet.
Should rumors of Ford’s plan to turn the Bronco into an entire sub-brand prove true, then it’s no surprise that an electric version would be part of that. The proof also seems to be in the pudding with Farley’s reply, but the specifics are yet to be pinned down, at least by those of us outside the inner circle.
If and when a battery-powered Bronco does come, don’t bet on a wildly powerful, six-figure ride like the Hummer EV. Instead, expect it to compete with Jeep’s eventual electric Wrangler; think a decent increase in output over the current models, but nothing that’ll have you lying wheels up after ramping a molehill.
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