After a wait of three years and counting, the Ford Bronco launch is nearly upon us, rumor saying we'll see the Blue Oval's Jeep Wrangler fighter at the Chicago or New York Auto Shows. Sometime after that, the summer season will welcome the Bronco foal colloquially known as "baby Bronco" for now. A new member on the Bronco6G forum who goes by the handle Ford Parts Guy thinks they discovered the baby Bronco's actual name during a part search in a Ford database: Maverick. The circumstantial evidence comes in a list of eight parts on a spreadsheet for key fobs or fob components for various Ford vehicles; the eight fobs in question are grouped under the heading for a 2020 Maverick.
True, we're not looking at a smoking gun, more like a random pistol that just happens to be near the crime scene. As other forum members pointed out, the spreadsheet entry could be a placeholder for whatever the junior Bronco's name will ultimately be. The model year is also a problem — a debut this summer, and autumn production, points to a 2021 model year. In 2018, everyone expected the Bronco to debut in 2019 as a 2020 vehicle; Ford Authority reported that focus group testing led to revisions that pushed production back.
Maverick is one of the names Ford applied to trademark in December 2016 for the rugged crossover that will sit on the Escape's C2 platform, just a month before announcing the Bronco's return at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. The company used the Maverick name most recently on the Escape sold from 2001-2005 in Europe, and calling up old names is a popular marketing tactic of late. Ford also sought to protect the names Scout and Bronco Scout, but the automaker abandoned the Bronco Scout application. Filed paperwork also includes the names Bronco Big Bend, Bronco Outer Banks, Bronco Sport, Adrenaline, Badlands, Timberline, and WIldtrak, but it's hard to tell which truck those might apply to and whether they apply to the truck itself or truck accessories. On top of that, Ford Authority has heard from sources that the Bronco Adventurer was also in the running before being dropped for Bronco Sport.
Another Bronco6G forum member says they've seen the Maverick name in use on the vehicle, though, claiming that a detailed CAD model had "a Maverick badge on the right side of the hatch." Perhaps that's why Ford didn't project a photo of the baby Bronco's backside in its trio of photos during a dealer meeting.
We've seen a few prototypes, a grille mold, and the side of the body-in-white, which matches up with the runabout shown at the Ford dealer meeting. Whenever the crossover codenamed CX430 arrives, no matter the name, we're expecting a reworked Escape interior, and a mix of gas and hybrid powertrains.