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Ford's Bronco SUV and Ranger pickup truck are coming back

Russ Mitchell, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Automotive News

SAN FRANCISCO -- A blast from the past: Ford is bringing back the Bronco and the Ranger.

The Bronco is a truck-style 4x4 sport utility vehicle that was discontinued 20 years ago. It's best known as the vehicle O.J. Simpson drove in an infamous 1994 police chase after he failed to appear for arrest in connection with the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend.

The Ranger is a midsize pickup truck. Ford stopped making and selling it in North America in 2011, although it's still sold in other parts of the world.

Their return is motivated by increasing public demand for sport utilities and trucks.

The success of the similar-sized Colorado pickup from Chevy and the Canyon from GMC prompted a reassessment at Ford.

The Bronco and Ranger are to be manufactured at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. The Ranger is to go on the market in 2019, the Bronco in 2020.

The news was announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which opened Monday.

"Ranger is for truck buyers who want an affordable, functional, rugged and maneuverable pickup," Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, said in a statement. "Bronco will be a no-compromise midsize 4x4 utility for thrill seekers who want to venture way beyond the city."

Ford also said it will update its F-150 pickup truck for 2019, adding driver assist technology including a pre-collision warning system, pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control. The truck is also to get a B&O audio system.

At the Detroit event, Ford also announced a City of Tomorrow program in which the automaker and Bloomberg Philanthropies will work with city leaders around the world to develop new transportation systems.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, beamed into Detroit via video, said driverless-car and other technologies are "coming much faster than anyone anticipated" and that "mayors want to know what's going to happen."

City of Tomorrow, according to Ford, will "propose, pilot and develop mobility solutions" to help solve the world's problems.

Ford executives also said that a hybrid Mustang will be among the 13 hybrid or all-electric vehicles it plans to introduce over the next several years; that the company plans to expand its new Chariot app-based van commuter service to eight cities this year; and that its experimental Ford Fusion driverless cars will appear in more U.S. cities and in Europe.

(c)2017 Los Angeles Times

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