Richard Bazzy
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Ford Teases New Small Off-Road SUV; Announces Explorer ST, Bronco Hybrid, Tons More

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Ford small off-road SUV


Oh, y’all thought this was gonna a slow news day? Welp. Strap in.

Ford on Thursday offered up the first teaser images of an as-yet-unnamed small utility vehicle for off-roading, Ford Bronco, and Ford Mustang Shelby GT500; revealed that it will be launching a performance-oriented Ford Explorer ST; and confirmed that the Bronco, Escape, and Explorer will be receiving hybrid variants in addition to the F-150 and Mustang. So, you know, some kinda newsworthy bits and pieces there.

“Our passion for great vehicles is stronger than ever,” said Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO. “This showroom transformation will thrill customers, drive profitable growth, and further build toward our future of smart vehicles in a smart world.”

Trucks: New F-150 Raptor, New Super Duty, F-150 Hybrid

Current Ford Truck Lineup

Ford pledged the freshest lineup of any full-line automaker by 2020, intending to add four new trucks and SUVs while replacing three-quarters of its current lineup. This trend starts this year with the launch of an updated Ford F-150 Raptor, continues in 2019 with the debut of a new F-Series Super Duty, and continues in 2020 with the launch of the Ford F-150 Hybrid. With respect to the latter, Ford revealed that the F-150’s hybrid variant will utilize a mobile generator.

Today’s Hottest Ford Truck: 2018 Ford F-150 adds a turbo-diesel engine—a new first for America’s favorite truck

SUVs: Explorer ST, Bronco Hybrid, New Small Off-Road SUV (Oh My!)

Ford Explorer ST and Ford Edge ST

In terms of SUVs, Ford intends to have eight SUVs on the market by 2020—five of which will be offered with hybrid variants and one of which will be a battery-electric vehicle. New hybrid SUVs will include the Explorer and Escape, both of which will enter their next generations in 2019. The new Explorer will also receive a high-performance ST variant “soon” after the launch of the Edge ST.

Ford also revealed—and offered a teaser image of (see top of page)—a yet-to-be-named off-road small utility vehicle. It also offered the first glimpse at the Ford Bronco—looking quite shapely beneath a mud-specked sheet—and confirmed that one of its upcoming hybrid offerings will in fact be a Bronco Hybrid.

“Ford helped start the off-road phenomenon and has majored in off-road capability for decades—from the Bronco to the Raptor,” said Jim Farley, Ford president, Global Markets. “Now, we’re ready to reclaim our rightful place as the off-road vehicle leader.”

Shots fired. Jeep has been put on notice, it seems.

Ford Bronco sheet

More on the Ford Explorer: 2018 Explorer offers a unique blend of capability, performance, and luxury styling

Commercial Vehicles: New Transit, More E-Series, TECHNOLOGY

Ford commercial vehicle lineup 2018

With respect to commercial vehicles, apart from the launch of a new Super Duty next year, Ford will debut a new Transit (with 4G LTE) in 2019; continue production of the E-Series cutaway and stripped chassis into the 2020s; and offer driver-assist technologies like Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, and Driver Alert System on upcoming iterations of the E-Series, F-650/F-750, and F59 chassis.

Ford Mustang: Hybrid, Shelby GT500

Ford didn’t offer up any news on the Mustang Hybrid or Shelby GT500, but it did give us this:

Ford Shelby GT500 teaser

Sure looks like a snake to me!

So, yeah. That’s a lot to process. Gonna go have a sit down now.