Just about exactly a year ago, Ford launched the all-new 2021 Bronco with two combustion engine options available under the hood: a turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four and a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6. Both offer ample power, but neither is particularly eco-friendly. But it seems there might well be newer, greener options coming soon to the Bronco's engine bay, based on something spotted in the off-roader's owner's manual.
While the vehicles still haven't reached consumers yet, the complete 2021 Bronco owner's manual is available for download on the Bronco6G forum. As Muscle Cars & Trucks details, the section on "Storing Your Vehicle" includes instructions on caring for a hybrid battery system while in storage.
Granted, that section isn't ironclad confirmation Ford has a hybrid version of the Bronco planned. (We suspect Ford doesn't rewrite every manual entirely from scratch. And there may be a generic vehicle storage advice page included in every vehicle to cover most eventualities. But that said, there is ample corroborating evidence suggesting Ford has a hybrid Bronco in the works.
Ford CEO Jim Farley sort-of referenced Ford working on a hybrid Bronco back in 2019. A leaked video showed what appeared to be an "EV Coaching" mode for the new Bronco...which would only make sense if Ford had a plug-in hybrid Bronco offering EV-only range. And TFLCar had a source last year tell them that Ford would have a hybrid Bronco that uses the 3.0-liter V6 PHEV that puts out a bonkers 494 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque for the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring.
Competitively, it would be a surprise if Ford doesn't have a hybrid Bronco in the works. Jeep has gotten both the Wrangler 4xe PHEV and the absurd Hemi-powered Wrangler Rubicon 392 into production since the Bronco launched. A Bronco Raptor with the Aviator Grand Touring hybrid plant could be a compelling counter to both vehicles.
The question about the Bronco hybrid may not be whether but when Ford can launch it. Ford has already been struggling to ramp up its supply chains amidst a myriad of challenges. Confirmed orders to get out the door number in the six figures. It may be some time before Ford can add significant complexity to its production queue with a new hybrid motor.