Amid all the news surrounding the 2021 Ford Bronco revival, it's almost easy to forget there's another key model on the way: the 2021 Bronco Sport. Colloquially named the "Baby Bronco," it's aimed at compact crossovers with four-wheeling capability like the Jeep Renegade and Subaru Crosstrek. Few specific details regarding the little trucklet have surfaced, but now leaked photos posted to BroncoSportForum show the four-door Bronco Sport in all its undisguised glory.
The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport takes on a slightly more streamlined look than what we're expecting from its body-on-frame big brother. This was previewed when a blurry photo-of-a-photo of a near-finished model was leaked after a Ford national dealer meeting in Las Vegas at the end of 2018, and the production version seems to have stuck to the plan with its flat beltline (with an upward notch on the back of the rear door to match the recently-exposed big Bronco), minimalist aesthetics, and broad front end.
The headlights look like projector units with an LED signature protruding inward toward the grille on each side. "Bronco" is plastered across the front and back, similar to what we've seen in previous leaks and renders. We're particular fans of the offset Ford badge on the rear hatch.
Unfortunately the lighting is too poor to see what's under that raised hood, but we'd be shocked if it was anything other than a 1.5-liter or 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo-four—though a hybrid drivetrain has been promised.
As for the side profile, it's boxy without being a blue brick. This model features a two-tone color scheme; the photo from the dealer meeting in 2018 showed a white roof, which we really hope remains an option. We're not sure what that badge on the front door is quite yet. Any ideas?
The 2021 Bronco Sport rides on the same C2 modular platform that underpins the 2020 Ford Escape, though Ford's promising real off-road ability to match the Bronco name and that decent-looking ground clearance. So all-wheel drive is pretty much a given—what's not is how far they'll go with it. Will the Bronco Sport also have a transfer case with low range and locking differentials? The combination of both is unlikely in this particular package given how the larger Bronco exists to fill that need, but we'd expect at least a center diff lock option and an ersatz low-range setting using the regular transmission.
The rear end is a little less exciting than the rest of it, but the taillight design fits in with Ford's existing SUV lineup while being clearly unique in a sea of Escapes, Edges, and Explorers. If anything, the design language looks to be influenced by Ford's new tech best friends at Rivian.
Notably, the Bronco Sport doesn't seem to feature a convertible top or removable doors. Ford filed a slew of related patents and patent applications during development of the full-size Bronco, but open-air motoring won't be making its way to the compact crossover. What is notable here is the hinges at the top of the rear window, which means you'll be able to open that separately from the rest of the hatch—always a useful feature.
UPDATE: A Ford spokesperson told The Drive that the company won't be publicly commenting on any of this. But the authenticity of these photos may have already been confirmed by the fact that they've been taken down from BroncoSportForum, the same way the leaked pictures of the big Bronco disappeared from the original Bronco6G.com forum post last week after Ford reportedly got involved.
The 2021 Ford Bronco is expected to be revealed sometime this month, with the Bronco Sport due to make a formal debut in April. But this is pretty much it!
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