The much-anticipated Ford Bronco finally dropped last night. The rugged American SUV is reborn with a range of two and four-door models.
What is the Ford Bronco?
It’s been a while since the Ford Bronco dropped out of Ford’s regular line-up. The Bronco was born in 1965.
It was initially designed to compete with the Jeep CJ-5 and International Harvester Scout, meaning that the first generation had off-road credentials.
Following generations moved from the compact SUV of the first generation, to a full-size body style as Ford’s customers preferred a more-road focused SUV.
Sales of the Ford Bronco came to an end in 1996 after five generations to make way for the Ford Expedition and the Ford Explorer.
The Ford Bronco name is probably most synonymous with a car chase. On 17 June 1994, 95 million TV viewers watched police slowly chase O.J. Simpson in a white Ford Bronco down Los Angeles’ Interstate 405.
Ford had been due to unveil the Ford Bronco on 9 July 2020, however, the date was moved as it inadvertently coincided with O.J. Simpson’s birthday!
The sixth generation Ford Bronco debuts as a complete range, under the catchphrase “Born Wild”.
The Bronco gets a classic two-door model and, for the first time, a four-door model. Both models will have a range of 200 accessories to choose from offering maximum customisation.
The styling is suitably retro with a huge, upright Bronco grille and a boxy look. Square proportions, short overhangs and a wide stance make it suited to off-roading.
Two-door models come with a removable three-section roof system. The press release tends to suggest that it is an option to specify a removable four-panel system which includes a removable panel over the rear compartment. First-row panels stow away onboard on two-door models.
Rear quarter windows are removable too, as well as the frameless doors. The four-door model can be optioned with both a soft or hardtop.
The new Ford Bronco sits on a fully boxed, high-strength steel chassis. Ford claim it offers class-leading suspension travel.
At the front, the Bronco is fitted with independent front suspension. At the back, a rugged solid axle design features coil springs with five locating links.
Position-sensitive Bilstein dampers are fitted with end-stop control valves at every corner. An exclusive semi-active hydraulic stabilizer bar is also included.
Ford fits massive 35-inch off-road tires direct from the factory on every trim level of two- and four-door Bronco. It’s safe to say this isn’t you standard SUV.
As a result, the new Ford Bronco gets 11.6-inches of ground clearance, a maximum 29-degree breakover angle, a 37.2-degree departure angle, and water fording capability of up to 33.5 inches.
Power is delivered through Ford’s EcoBoost engine range. A 2.7 litre V6 is available with 310 hp and 400 lb.ft of torque. A lower model will also be offered with a 2.3 litre 4-cylinder engine producing 270 hp and 310 lb.ft of torque.
Power will be routed through a choice of either 7-speed manual gearbox or 10-speed automatic transmissions.
To give it maximum low-speed rock-climbing capability, the manual transmission is paired with an advanced 4×4 system with automatic on-demand engagement.
The transmission offers several driving modes including Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand, with Baja, Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl for off-road driving.
Two four-wheel drive options are available, a base setup and advanced 4×4. The base system uses a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case, while the optional advanced system features a two-speed electromechanical transfer case.
Electronic offerings include Trail Toolbox, an electronic program to improve off-road performance, and Trail Control, cruise control for low speed off-roading. Trail Turn Assist uses torque vectoring to reduce turning circle.
Inside, the new Ford Bronco gets a classic, upright dashboard incorporating a massive touchscreen. It gets over-the-air updates and seamless integration to the FordPass Performance app.
The SYNC system also displays views from the 360-degree camera system. The system comes with more than 1,000 curated trail maps powered by NeoTreks’ AccuTerra Maps, Trails Offroad trail guides and FunTreks trail guides.
Otherwise, the interior features washable rubberized floors with integrated drains and marine-grade vinyl seating surfaces. The instrument panel surfaces are wipeable, with seamless silicone rubber on the switches.
Competition & Availability
The Ford Bronco is designed to compete with the Jeep Gladiator, Jeep Wrangler, and to a lesser extend, the Land Rover Defender.
Production of the new Ford Bronco begins in early 2021 with the first models arriving in Ford dealerships next spring.