Ford Bronco logo, 2017 Detroit auto showEnlarge Photo
It looks like Ford is truly making good on its plans to revive the Bronco nameplate. Not only is it bringing back the off-road SUV, now comes word that the Bronco may very well use solid axles rather than a fully-independent suspension.
According to the Toledo Blade, axle supplier Dana has been tapped by Ford to provide axles for the Bronco.
While neither Dana nor Ford has confirmed whether the Bronco will have solid axles, the supplier will build axles for both the Jeep Wrangler and the Bronco in the same facility. That announcement has led to widespread speculation about solid front and rear axles for Bronco's suspension.
1973 Ford BroncoEnlarge Photo
That's potentially great news for off-roaders. Solid axles are simple, robust, and easy to modify. Moreover, they allow for considerable articulation that lets the vehicle's tires stay in contact with the road (or lack of a road, in some cases). But they're increasingly unusual since they're harder to tame for street use than an independent suspension setup.
Today, only the Wrangler and Mercedes-Benz G-Class have solid front and rear axles and only a handful, like the Toyota 4Runner, still retain a solid rear axle.
Ford has so far offered few hints about the Bronco aside from confirming that it will arrive in 2019. It's not clear if it will be a two-door as it has been in the past or if Ford will make it more of an SUV version of the Ranger pickup set to be built at the same Michigan plant (which would imply a four-door SUV given the pickup's inevitable length).