Remember when reports surfaced that a beefier Bronco was on the way after the 2021 Bronco made its debut? A new teaser from Ford appears to confirm that one is indeed on the way, but it also leaves more questions than answers in its wake, as well as a theory tied to the humble warthog.
Appearing on Ford’s Twitter page, the lone image itself doesn’t reveal too much when you look at it at face value, however, look at some of the finer details very carefully, and a completely different image rises from the mist.
— Ford Motor Company (@Ford) September 25, 2020
This is a serious looking prototype, and Ford’s sly reference about “testing 37-inch hooves” serves as the first official confirmation of the tire size. For those that are wondering, the Sasquatch package currently holds the title for having the biggest tires in the Bronco family, with those variants being equipped with 35-inch off-road tires. So, the appearance of these larger tires is a very potent indicator that this model means business.
But the biggest unknown is what the new model will be called. Numerous rumors originally appeared to suggest that this variant will be the newest member of the Raptor family, but a separate set of reports pointed things in a new direction, with the model being dubbed Warthog.
For those that don’t have a copy of National Geographic handy, a warthog is a species of wild pig that is found in parts of Africa. Warthogs are resourceful animals, and are known to cover long distances when cruising through their expansive home ranges. They also have a nasty mean streak when provoked, and perhaps Ford is trying to channel some of this primal ferocity with this prototype.
But it’s important to note that the Bronco’s equine namesake also has hooves, so we’ll perhaps have to wait for more information from Ford to find out exactly what the company is trying to tell us with the hooves reference. The prototype itself is heavily camouflaged, but it does appear to have wider front and rear fender flares, as well as higher amounts of ground clearance. Look for tweaked front and rear styling to also be a prominent calling card for this mysterious offering.
With updates to the steering and suspension all but confirmed at this point, it would only be natural to assume that a beefier engine is also lurking under the hood, with the Explorer ST’s 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 being a logical suspect due to Ford’s recent confirmation that a V-8 Bronco is not happening. This would also allow the Bronco to still meet its fuel economy targets, and allow Ford to avoid having to pay the extra cost of developing a completely new engine from scratch.
— Ford Motor Company (@Ford) September 15, 2020
The Warthog moniker could also allow the Bronco to stand out more from Ford’s pickup line, and perhaps allow the proverbial boss hog to go through life on its own terms (versus being the newest member of the Jurassic rat pack.)
Like everything else that surrounds this mysterious image, there are still other details that remain hidden in the shadows, with Ford keeping quiet on the matter for now. The earliest that we could perhaps see or hear more is sometime in 2021, but as mentioned, we will have to wait until more details make there way to the surface. In the meantime, Ford will focus on the immediate task of getting the standard Bronco to showrooms, with the company expected to do so sometime in late spring.