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Spotted today were multiple Ford Bronco Sport out testing.

Last month, it was reported that the Bronco and Bronco Sport would offer three grille options tentatively called Modern, Classic and Custom. Our photos show two of these options on display today.

Though it's unclear which prototype, specifically, is wearing which grille, one can tell by the camo patterns that there are three separate grille patterns at play. However, the shiny grille - believed to be called Custom - appears to be present on the prototype with the steel wheels. Engineers appear to have spray painted it in a dark color to cover the chrome treatment.

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gtx4

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Finally some clear close ups of the grilles. It seems the choices make it look either like a more rugged offroader or a sleeker/modern SUV based on grille selection.

The second to last photo is the one I picture as looking most like the standard Bronco.
 

2001 escape

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I could have used THAT Ford Escape in 2013 :clap:

Unfortunately I need a bigger vehicle now.

Does anyone know why car manufacturers went away from column shifters in vehicles....taking center console space away?
Is it simply a design “trend” or is there something about practicalit I’m not seeing?
 

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I could have used THAT Ford Escape in 2013 :clap:

Unfortunately I need a bigger vehicle now.

Does anyone know why car manufacturers went away from column shifters in vehicles....taking center console space away?
Is it simply a design “trend” or is there something about practicalit I’m not seeing?
Column shifters are clumsy to use if you need to change gears manually. Especially nowadays when the automatics have a minimum of 6 gears. From previous pictures, the Bronco Sport may have paddle shifters on the steering wheel, which is the best of both worlds.
 

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Good, long telephoto shots for accurate scaling. Looks like the length is ~170", approach angle ~32 deg and departure angle ~29". Good if you go off-road.

IMO, one design detail that had so much promise, but was not realized is the headlamps. To me, they look like swimming goggles. They would have looked better blackened/recessed like the Ford meeting pics back in 2018. The reflective clear plastic looks like glasses without anti-reflective coating. Since there is so much about the three available grills from Ford and none address the bulging eyes, I hope there is a healthy aftermarket to change out the Ford grills such that the headlamps appear more attractive.
 

2001 escape

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Thanks....I just was thinking the usable space is lessened. In my 1st gen escape I can fit a gallon jug below the a/c, radio stack. .....now most cars have the center console where there is a cubby/armrest and then the shifter or even dial shifter....and then there must be a bunch of empty space under the plastic shell before it gets to the dash.
 

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Good, long telephoto shots for accurate scaling. Looks like the length is ~170", approach angle ~32 deg and departure angle ~29". Good if you go off-road.

IMO, one design detail that had so much promise, but was not realized is the headlamps. To me, they look like swimming goggles. They would have looked better blackened/recessed like the Ford meeting pics back in 2018. The reflective clear plastic looks like glasses without anti-reflective coating. Since there is so much about the three available grills from Ford and none address the bulging eyes, I hope there is a healthy aftermarket to change out the Ford grills such that the headlamps appear more attractive.
If it's popular enough Ford will definitely offer a black out package of some sort for the grille. That's what they do for Mustang and judging by the popularity of it with Jeep owners I'm sure they will eventually offer it for the Bronco Sport.

Ford seems really determined to capture as much of the aftermarket as possible for themselves and this is one of those common mods a lot of people would consider.
 

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Here's some more details about the spy pics. According to FA, the one with the steelies is the Badlands trim geared for more off-road use. Supposedly it will come with the steelies wrapped by Falken Wildpeak A/T tires


2021 Bronco Sport Badlands Spied With Steelies, Rugged Tires: Exclusive
by Brett Foote May 30, 2020, 2:07 pm

In recent months, we’ve spotted a number of 2021 Bronco Sport test mulesroaming around covered in various stage of camo. And despite Ford’s best efforts to cover them up, Ford Authority has able to exclusively uncover various details about the upcoming rugged crossover, including the Bronco Sport name, the vehicle’s interior layout, plus the fact that the Bronco Sport will be available with three different grille designs, and that it will share a suspension setup with the 2020 Ford Escape. But today, we have details on the offroad-oriented variant – the 2021 Bronco Sport Badlands.

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A prototype of the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands undergoing validation testing in May 2020

In the latest spy photos, one of the prototypes particularly stood out for its wheels and rugged-looking tires, which didn’t seem all that strange at first. But as it turns out, there’s more to that particular Bronco Sport than first meets the eye.

Sources familiar with the product tell Ford Authority that the 2021 Bronco Sport model in question is actually the offroad-oriented trim level called “Badlands,” and that it will actually ship with those steel wheels wrapped in some rugged-looking tires.

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Specifically, the rubber is the Falken Wildpeak A/T that’s designed specifically for crossovers. Combining both on-road comfort with off-road traction and all-weather capability, the tires are constructed with durable 2-ply polyester and feature a rugged upper sidewall. They’re are also stamped with USTMA’s Severe Snow Rating, which should appeal to buyers who live in icy and snowy climates.

Sources say that the 2021 Bronco Sport Badlands will feature all-wheel-drive and that it will be surprisingly good on milder trails, allowing owners to reach campsites and trailheads with ease.

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While the regular, body-on-frame Ford Bronco will be positioned as an off-road vehicle that might even come with a granny-gear equipped seven-speed manual, the unibody 2021 Bronco Sport will be more of a rugged on-road vehicle with some off-road/trail capability.

The two-vehicle strategy makes sense, since many of today’s utility buyers are increasingly looking for more rugged flavor for their crossovers, something that the Bronco Sport will deliver in spades. The baby Bronco’s upright and boxy styling will be a complete opposite compared to the sweeping, flowing, car-like lines of the Escape, and we think buyers who don’t need or want the added capability of the more hardcore Bronco will certainly appreciate it.

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The 2021 Bronco Sport will be available with two turbo-charged gasoline engines: the base Ford 1.5L EcoBoost I-3 or the optional Ford 2.0 EcoBoost I-4 GTDI. Both are expected to be mated to the new Ford new 8-speed automatic transmission.

Five trim levels will be available at launch, including base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, First Edition and the aforementioned Bronco Sport Badlands. Roughly 18 months later, a pickup variant will arrive that will be called the Ford Maverick, though that name could change.

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A convoy of 2021 Ford Bronco Sport prototypes undergoing testing in May 2020

Initial 2021 Bronco Sport production has already started at the Ford Hermosilloplant in Mexico and the first units are expected to begin arriving at U.S. Ford dealerships sometime in August or September following a delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
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