Upcoming Jeep Wrangler (JL) and Wrangler pickup truck (JT) beware. 2020 Ford Bronco and 2019 Ford Ranger are reportedly getting solid front and rear axles. A recent report from Automotive News cites a Dana axle company meeting, which announced a contract made with Ford for the upcoming Bronco and Ranger axles.
Dana confirmed that both vehicles will have “front and rear axles featuring our latest AdvanTEK gear technology.”
Can this be true? A solid front axle will require more development. It is a heavier solution that is less fuel efficient. Can this be justified? Are there enough off-road enthusiasts to make a business case for this?
Dana AdvanTEK is a solution that supports independent suspension design. Big military off-road trucks use independent suspensions. As long as the suspension has plenty of wheel travel (long travel), it will be a good off-road setup.
On the other hand, Ford knows how to make a truck with solid axles ride comfortably (refer to the 2017 Ford Super Duty first drive review).
Coincidently, the Jeep Wrangler uses Dana solid axles. This suggests that Ford is very serious about the off-road capability of their upcoming midsize entries. This news is most welcome by the enthusiasts. This approach makes a lot of sense when you consider that the upcoming 2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2. GM is turning up the heat on off-road midsize trucks with the latest in suspension, shocks technology, and locking front and rear differentials.
Ford does not deny or confirm this news. The company only says, that it will share more information closer the launch of the Ranger and Bronco.
Here is our recap of the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, that included the 2020 Bronco and 2019 Ranger announcements.