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GM Dashes Hopes for a Gas-Powered Bronco Rival, but Might Do an EV

  • GM won’t challenge the Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler with a gas-powered off-roader, president Mark Reuss confirmed in an interview with The Drive.
  • Reuss said he didn’t want GM to be “late to the party” and expressed concerns over how a gas-powered 4×4 would affect the company’s average emissions.
  • GM still might build an electric off-roader to slot in below the GMC Hummer EV in terms of size, which may also wear a Hummer badge to create a family of electric 4x4s.

Sorry, General Motors enthusiasts, but a Ford Bronco rival isn’t happening. While the meteoric rise of the SUV over the past decade led Ford to reenter the off-road space, GM has decided not to play—at least not with a combustion-engined 4×4 SUV. GM president Mark Reuss confirmed that to The Drive in an interview at the 24 Hours of Daytona, stating outright, “I’m not gonna do a Bronco.”

2023 Ford Bronco Heritage Edition.

Carlos Lago|Car and Driver

Reuss’ reasoning is two-fold. Ford’s Bronco joined the Jeep Wrangler in the off-roader segment for 2021, and GM doesn’t want to be seen as “late to the party,” which it most certainly would be given the time it would take to develop a true competitor to those SUVs. Reuss also sees how a potential off-roader might negatively affect GM’s corporate average fuel economy. Reuss claimed, according to The Drive, that Ford had to make the popular Maverick pickup available as a hybrid in order to offset the poor emissions from gas-powered behemoths like the Bronco.

GM does still offer its mid-size pickup trucks with serious off-road packages, including the Chevy Colorado ZR2 and GMC Canyon AT4X. But it no longer offers body-on-frame mid-size SUVs like it did in the past with models such as the Chevy Blazer, GMC Jimmy, and various Hummer models that all died off when that brand was shuttered.

More recently, rumors circulated of a revived GMC Jimmy to take on the Wrangler, with reports in 2019 suggesting a body-on-frame off-roader starting around $30,000. But as Ford revived the Bronco to great fanfare, GM has stayed quiet. And this will continue to be the case, at least until GM feels it can create a fully capable EV off-roader.

When The Drive asked Reuss if he was opposed to an electric Bronco competitor, his response was, “I didn’t say that.” While one could argue that the GMC Hummer EV, which started production in late 2021, fills that space, that behemoth’s 216.8-inch length and 135.6-inch wheelbase dwarfs the Bronco, which stays under 200 inches long with a wheelbase around 116 inches. In fact, Automotive News reported late last year that GM is considering a midsize Hummer EV to expand the rejuvenated brand. Whatever badge the vehicle wears, we now know that any future off-roader from General Motors will definitely be electric, at least as long as Reuss is in charge.

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