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Look! Ford Teased The Bronco, Mustang GT500, And New Off-Roader

motor1 logo motor1 3/15/2018 Seyth Miersma

Ford Bronco Teaser

Ford Bronco Teaser
© Motor1.com

The company lays out plans for the next two years, including hybrid F-150 and a Mustang SUV.

Ford made waves at its Dearborn, Michigan, HQ today, bringing in an auditorium full of motoring journalists to see what’s on offer for the next 24 months (and even slightly beyond). Newly minted CEO Jim Hackett kicked off these “Ford Uncovered” festivities, and underscored a sense of optimism about things to come soon, as well as about the long-term strategy as the company begins to compete in what promises to be a very different automotive landscape.

While Hackett’s statements on still-over-the-horizon car tech – ranging from cloud connectivity in car, to advanced artificial intelligence, to neural networks – were fascinating, it was after he introduced his deputies that things started to get interesting.

Related video: Ford is giving its SUV lineup a shot of adrenaline (Provided by Autoblog)

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In short, the entire Ford lineup is set to undergo radical change between now and 2020, when the company will have replaced three quarters of its existing lineup. After today, we know that the upcoming slate of vehicles will be heavily focused in two areas: utility vehicles, and hybrids and fully electric cars and trucks. But additionally, the Ford brass also gave us updates on a new suite of standard safety features, a few very exciting performance products in the pipeline, and a note or two about the Lincoln brand.

We were also privy to several literal uncoverings, too. Sadly, as this event was more about whetting the appetite than satiating it, those were mostly off the record. Read on for info, tidbits, and teasers, but believe us when we say there’s a lot of interesting metal coming from the Blue Oval over the next two years.

Bronco! Other Small Bronco Thing! And Even More From ST

Of course your Motor1.com editors, and most of the other journos in attendance, were mostly there to have a look at the upcoming Bronco. Sadly, even off the record, this was a tease of a tease, as Ford pulled a sheet off a car that was… wrapped in yet another sheet (above). We know now what we knew before: the blocky off-roader will be rad, and we’re dying for it to be real.

Ford estimates that SUV sales could represent 50 percent of annual auto sales in the United States by 2020, so the company is shifting $7 billion away from car development and putting it into utilities. Among the new models, the next generation of the Escape and Explorer will debut in 2019.

Plus, the company will put a big emphasis on making SUVs more exciting. In addition to the new Bronco, the company will also launch a yet-to-be-named compact model with a focus on off-roading. The teaser image (below) hints at a rugged, chunky design for the mysterious model. Ford describes it as “designed to win a growing number of people who love getting away and spending time outdoors with their families and friends.”

For more on-road-oriented performance, an Explorer ST will arrive before 2020 as a larger complement to the recently unveiled Edge ST.

Oh, and Ford is also beefing up, and freshening, its profitable and pervasive line of commercial vehicles. After updating the smaller Transit Connect at the Chicago Auto Show this year, and giving it a diesel engine option, look for the full-size Transit to get refreshed in the near future.

Mach 1 (Maybe) And Hybrids Everywhere

The sexiest piece of news on the electrification front was, sadly, mostly off the record. But Ford’s President of Global Markets, Jim Farley, did leave a pretty tasty trail of breadcrumbs. We’ve been tracking a project in development named (maybe) “Mach 1,” which seems to match one Farley statement. With a chuckle in his voice, the prez asked us to “close our eyes and imagine … a four-door Mustang SUV.” Oh, and followed that it would have an electric powertrain. No proper names or faces to report yet, but color us intrigued.

Ford also promised an "all-in push" on hybrid models, and the initiative means an electric boost for many of the brands best-selling models. The Escape, Explorer, F-150, and Mustang will be available with hybrid drivetrains in the near future. While the electrified portion of the drivetrain will use some common parts, the Blue Oval intends to tune the performance for each model. For example, the F-150 Hybrid will put an emphasis on bountiful low-end torque, but the Mustang Hybrid will allegedly deliver “V8-like performance,” according to the company. Even the future Bronco will be part of this hybrid initiative.

One interesting nugget, repeated a few times, is that the F-150 Hybrid will be made available with a built-in generator. Company designers and product planners are trying to listen to customers more, and more quickly, and strapping expensive generators to the beds of their trucks is common F-150 owner practice.

Don’t Forget Shelby

Jim Hackett told us, “People love our products and we know that.” We’re pretty sure he was talking about things like the GT500 you can see in the teaser above. Sadly, showing you the image of this gaping, menacing, all-business Shelby grille is about all we can do at the moment. But we sincerely hope that we’ll be behind the wheel, while that mean mug is gulping down clean, racetrack-scented air, in the near future.

Standard Advanced Safety: Co-Pilot360

Ford will also follow the industry trend of making standard equipment out of previously optional driver assistance tech as a way to appeal to safety-conscious buyers. The company’s new Co-Pilot360 suite will include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, and a rearview camera. The system will be standard first in the 2019 Edge this fall but will eventually arrive on other models, including the F-150. It’ll come standard on 91 percent of the Blue Oval’s products by 2020.

More advanced safety tech will also be optionally available, like an adaptive cruise control system with stop-and-go traffic support and automatic lane centering. In addition, Ford will offer evasive steering assist for potentially avoiding an accident, and it’ll introduce post-collision braking, too.

Even commercial buyers will reap some of these safety advantages because Ford will make automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and driver alert system available on the E-Series, F-650, F-750 and F59 chassis models in the near future.

Before We Go, A Word From Lincoln

This was, first and foremost, a day for Ford proper, but we did get an inkling about what’s coming for the Lincoln brand as well.

At this point it won’t surprise you to read that “what’s coming” are more SUVs. Look for a new Lincoln SUV to be shown at the fast-approaching New York Auto Show. What’s more, no fewer than four additional utility models are said to be “around the corner.” Considering the rumors that the brash new Continental sedan may already be cancelled, we’re not totally shocked.

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