I figured that Ford had so much vested interest in the upcoming 2020 Bronco (and its smaller "baby Bronco" sibling) that all pictures of the SUVs would be sealed in briefcases handcuffed to armed guards. As it turns out, I was wrong.
Roadshow has come into possession of some pictures from Ford's 2018 dealer meeting, which apparently show a preview of the heretofore-unseen "baby Bronco." The pictures first came into the spotlight thanks to our friends at AutoGuide, and a source guided us to the public site where AutoGuide also found the pictures. While it was originally believed that this was the big-boy Bronco, Motor Authority has it on good, um, authority that this is actually the "baby Bronco," and Car and Driver is reporting similarly.
No matter if it's the big one or the little one, this thing is rad. It's not like any Ford SUV before it, borrowing a great deal of styling from the O.G. Bronco's blocky profile. The front end sports a set of round headlights that look awfully close to, but the tapered body work just behind the headlights seems to have disappeared in favor of a squarish appearance that, in my opinion, looks not only more traditional but flat-out better. The little one may not carry the Bronco name when it goes to production, but both Big Bronco and Baby Bronco will likely carry similar looks. Some folks are saying that the silhouette in the background of the middle image is the actual new Bronco, but obviously that's all speculation at this point.
It's believed that the Bronco could break cover as early as the 2019 Detroit Auto Show in January, but Ford has not set an official date just yet, and the smaller SUV seems likely to debut some time after the bigger one. The pictures are pretty low-resolution, so we can't suss out every detail, but that's fine, because we'd still like some element of surprise left when Ford officially unveils both of 'em.
For what it's worth, Ford won't cop to anything. "Ford has an exciting product future but we don't comment on speculation," the automaker said in an emailed statement to Roadshow when presented with the pictures.
The pictures were available for download from a publicly accessible site, and disclaimer text atop the site made it clear that the pictures were not even confidential: "In addition to downloading your photos, you can add to favorites, tweet, Facebook, and email directly from the website. Simply click on the appropriate icon and your friends can enjoy your amazing experience along with you." Frankly, I'm surprised this picture didn't accidentally end up on Instagram first.