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During World War II and in the post-war years up to 1949, the Ford Motor Company ran ads with a persistent tagline: “There’s a Ford in Your Future.” That was then. Now it’s rare for any carmaker to talk about future vehicles. But Ford departed from that secretive tradition at its Detroit show press conference, discussing products that will be appearing in showrooms as far out as 2021.

The only new product backed by actual hardware at the company’s press conference was the freshened Ford F-150 pickup, due on sale later this year as a 2018 model. But Ford also took a couple of future vehicles from the realm of hot rumor to not-too-distant reality.

Also: Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2017

Ranger Revival

The first was the acknowledgement of a new Ford Ranger, a compact pickup that enjoyed success from 1983 to 2012, and still exists in other markets. Ford refrained from any details about the U.S. Ranger revival, other than to say it will be built in Michigan and will go into production in late 2018 as 2019 model. But this much seems certain: it will not be an Americanized version of the Ranger currently sold in Thailand. Expect a mid-size truck, similar in size and capabilities to the General Motors middies—Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon.

Another long-running rumor that achieved in-the-pipeline status: the much-loved Ford Bronco, absent since 1996, will definitely return, as a 2020 model. Ford refrained from any

product specifics other than to say that the Bronco would be a “no compromise midsize

SUV,” and will be built in Michigan. But that information alone was enough to provoke cheers from the large press conference crowd.

Also: Check out all the latest news from the 2017 Detroit Auto Show

Future Ford mobility

Much of the press conference was devoted to initiatives other than new product, as Ford continues its march toward becoming a “mobility company, as well as a car company.” But there were several other future vehicle promises. According to Raj Nair, executive vice president of global development, we can expect to see hybrid versions of the F-150 pickup and Mustang pony car: a plug-in hybrid Transit Connect van; and a small electric SUV.

Those were just four of the 13 electrified vehicles Ford plans to introduce over the next five years.

We’ll also see a next generation of Ford’s autonomous Fusion—revealed at the recent CES show—with a test schedule that will expand from Dearborn other areas of the U.S. as well as Europe.

The on-sale target for the autonomous Ford continues to be 2021.


 

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