You can learn a lot from reading the owner’s manual. Recently the 2021 Ford Bronco owner’s manual leaked online. It’s a 552-page document so there’s a lot of information to funnel through. And certainly all the Bronco enthusiasts found bits and pieces that interested them.
For me, I found some very interesting information by searching the 552-page PDF for the word hybrid. There were two references to hybrids in fact.
On page 366 there’s a header that reads: Hybrid Battery Systems. That’s interesting since Ford has not officially confirmed that there will be a hybrid version of the Ford Bronco. Although a close scan of Twitter showed Ford CEO Jim Farley Tweeted back to someone alluding to a Bronco EV. Here’s Farley’s Tweet below.
Clearly, Ford is going to have a PHEV version of the Ford Bronco and it only makes sense, since Jeep announced the Wrangler 4XE, plug-in hybrid as well.
Related story: How does the Ford Bronco compared to the Jeep Wrangler 4XE?
Will There Be A Hybrid Ford Bronco?
We don’t need a Magic 8Ball to see that all signs point to yes here. In addition to the hybrid reference in the owner’s manual on page 366 (see image below), there’s also a second reference of a hybrid battery on page 452 which talks about the Oil-Life Monitor system, and specifically mentions the interval numbers for hybrid vehicles (see full info below).
Very interesting indeed. Cleary, while Ford hasn’t confirmed, you can take it to the bank that the Ford Bronco will have some iteration of a hybrid power plant.
What Could We Expect From a Ford Bronco Hybrid or EV?
There have been several speculative articles by various experts taking educated guesses as to what an EV or PHEV version of the Ford Bronco might look like from a powertrain standpoint.
One report says that it could be a 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine with an electric motor assist. That would be super appealing and could offer an excellent combination of power and fuel-economy. Could this be the powerplant that is alluded to in the Bronco user manual?
What would make more sense would be some kind of modification of Ford’s PowerBoost technology that they’re already successfully implementing in the Ford F-150. A 2.3-liter EcoBoost hybrid powerplant makes the most sense for the Bronco, since we already know it will have a 2.3-liter engine option along with a 2.7-liter option.
If I were to guess, this is the way Ford will go with the PHEV version of the Bronco, not the rumored 3.0-liter.
As for an EV version, that’s merely vapor ware at this point, but you can be sure it’s something that will happen. Since Ford already announced the F-150 Lighting you can bet it will be based off that powerplant in some capacity.
Related story: Ford F-150 Lightning seems like a game changer.
When Is The Ford Bronco Available?
Much has been written about the two-door and four-door iconic Bronco. Ford has seen early success with the Baby Bronco, or Bronco Sport, but many enthusiasts are having their patience tested with production delays. Most Ford Broncos won’t actually be out this model year with most being 2022 model year.
Ford claims there are more than 125,000 orders sitting for the two-door and four-door Bronco and that seems legit. Many of those customers come from outside of the Blue Oval family meaning Ford is luring away other customers, likely from the Jeep world.
Any PHEV version of the Ford Bronco would not be out this year at all and would be model year 2022 at the earliest. Any EV version of the Bronco would take place in 2023 or even 2024 model year.
Perhaps someone can Tweet at Jim Farley to get a firmer date.
What do you think about a hybrid version of the Bronco or an EV version? Is it appealing or do you have concerns? Leave your comments below.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.