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Is the Baby Bronco an Off-Road Ford Escape?

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Ford small off-road SUV
The “Baby Bronco” will share DNA with the new Ford Escape: Thai-Tang
Photo: Ford Motor Company

Ford is going all in on crossovers — which should be evident enough given that it is now pretty much all out on sedans. The 2020 Ford Escape demonstrates as much with its sleeker design and focus on youth-friendly tech, but there’s still a segment within the crossover segment that Ford is looking to grab: the off-road-capable.

For this, Ford has already confirmed work on an off-road-friendly crossover that many have taken to calling the Baby Bronco. But if the words of Ford Executive Vice President of Product Development and Purchasing Hau Thai-Tang are to be believed, it may have just as much in common with the new Escape.  

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According to The Detroit Bureau, Thai-Tang spoke about an off-road capable crossover that will share the Escape’s platform and will boast a more rugged look than the Escape’s “urban” styling. Thai-Tang said that Ford wants “to have really differentiated styling” between the two crossovers, with the Escape’s profile being “very sleek, dynamic — more progressive” and the off-road crossover being more “upright [and] boxy.” Upright and boxy? Sure sounds like a Bronco.

As Automotive News points out, having the Escape and Baby Bronco/off-road Escape occupy similar space in the crossover segment will allow Ford to appeal more broadly to consumers. Thai-Tang expressed at the launch of the Escape the importance of “a clearly differentiated point of view” with respect to avoiding “the tyranny of commoditization.”

However the crossover is branded, The Detroit Bureau quotes Thai-Tang as saying that it will arrive about six months after the Escape, meaning we may not have all that much longer to wait before we get more details from the horse’s mouth.

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News Source: The Detroit Bureau, Automotive News (subscription required)