It’s hard to put on a splashy public reveal for a historic nameplate at the New York Auto Show when that show’s been canceled and people can’t safely stand within six feet of one another. It’s also hard to put that historic nameplate into production when the auto industry is all but shut down the world over. Hence the report that Ford informed vendors production of the Bronco Sport will be delayed two months, according to auto industry suppliers speaking to Automotive News. Suppliers said parts intended for pilot production were meant to ship this month to Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico, plant for a planned July 13 start date. With that out of the question, the automaker has apparently pushed Job One back to Sept. 7.
If the postponed New York Auto Show takes place during its rescheduled date in August, we could see the Bronco Sport then, ahead of manufacture. If New York City remains in crisis mode or the Javits Center — converted into a makeshift hospital to help the city with Covid-19 patients — isn’t ready, Ford could put on a freestanding show for the baby crossover. When asked, Ford refused any comment on the vehicle the automaker still hasn’t officially acknowledged the name of.
We’ve had have enough leaks to get us through to August, though. The crossover will sit on the C2 platform shared with the latest Ford Escape, as well as share the Escape’s 1.5-liter three-cylinder and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. It’s thought the mini mare will shift through the eight-speed automatic transmission Ford worked with GM to develop, same as in the Escape. However, instead of offering front-wheel drive, the Bronco Sport’s sole drivetrain option could be all-wheel drive. A screenshot taken of Ford’s dealer ordering system showed several trims and options, including First Edition, Badlands, Big Bend, Outer Banks, ten exterior color choices, a contrasting roof option, and two 17-inch wheel designs.
The Bronco Sport likely won’t be the only Ford debut this year thrown back by the coronavirus wave. Company CEO Jim Hackett told a Detroit radio station during a phone interview last month that the new F-150 and Mustang Mach-E might also get pushed back. “If they’re a month or six weeks late,” he said, “I don’t think anyone would think we fumbled there because of the virus.”