Buyers without the necessary cash (or need) to get into a Bronco next year will have an alternative choice — possibly one with a similar name.
While Ford’s upcoming compact unibody ute, underpinned by the same platform used by the 2020 Escape, has carried the “baby Bronco” moniker ever since Ford revealed the model’s development, the automaker might actually bestow a similar name on the retro-themed vehicle.
According to U.S. trademark applications uncovered by Auto Verdict, Ford aims to reserve the “Bronco Scout” and “Scout” names for use on motor vehicles. It’s no guarantee that either name will appear on a Ford vehicle, but it’s a good indication that they might.
Ford’s midsize, Ranger-derived Bronco appears next year, likely with a sky-high price ceiling that many buyers will be all too willing to pay. For drivers who just want a whiff of that model’s aura, there’s the baby Bronco. While Ford has issued a teaser image of the model, a leaked photo from a dealer meeting shows us a model quite far removed, style-wise, from the new Escape revealed earlier this month.
The newly urbanized Escape’s alter ego dons an upright, squared-off body with circular headlights and grille that (presumably) apes the larger Bronco. Ford believes its one-vehicle-with-two-identities gambit will pay off in the hotly contested compact CUV segment.
It’s odd that Ford’s after the Scout name, as it isn’t a historical nameplate for the automaker. It is for International Harvester, of course, but that company, or what remains of it, has no interest in building passenger cars anymore. And the name still rides high in the minds of rough-and-tumble utility vehicle fans.
By seeking a trademark for Bronco Scout and Scout, Ford has added fuel to rumors that the automaker wants to turn the Bronco nameplate into something of a sub-brand.