By Steve & Tamami Laser
The long wait is over. Ford has finally revealed the all-new Bronco, and our hearts are racing with desire. As expected, the Bronco name will return on three distinctly different models for 2021 – the enthusiast-oriented 2-Door, the first-ever 4-Door, and the Bronco Sport, a small SUV – all with standard 4×4.
We think the new models are incredibly good looking, especially the 2-Door, with its retro-inspired design and short wheelbase. Ford employed Built Wild® brand positioning when developing the new Bronco family, with extreme durability testing, an intense focus on capability, and a dedication to innovative design.
“We created the Bronco family to elevate every aspect of off-road adventure and equipped them with class-leading chassis hardware and exclusive technologies to raise the bar in the rugged 4×4 segment and take people further into the wild,” said Jim Farley, Ford chief operating officer. “They’re built with the toughness of an F-Series truck and performance spirit of Mustang – and come wrapped in one of the most stunning and functional off-road designs that’s true to the original Bronco design DNA.”
Paul Wraith, Bronco chief designer, summed up the stunning good looks: “Similar to the first-generation model, Bronco’s square proportions, short overhangs and wide stance are optimized for off-road adventure. The side profile features a flat, no-nonsense surface with clear-cut edges and robustly flared fenders. Large, open wheel wells are a modular design with a quick-release attachment for simple customization.”
Bronco 2-Door and 4-Door Offer Wide-Open Thrills
Along with their heritage-inspired designs, the new Bronco 2-Door and 4-Door models feature frameless doors that can be removed and stowed inside protective bags. What about the side mirrors? No worries, since they’re attached to the cowl and stay in place when the doors are removed.
Both Broncos are “convertibles,” with a standard three-section removable roof on 2-Doors, and available four-section roof on 4-Doors. Ford says that the roof panels are designed to be removed by one person, unlocking latches from the inside the cabin.
Rear quarter windows on hardtops can also be removed separately, without the need to remove the roof panels. A cloth soft top is standard on the 4-Door and available on the 2-Door. Customers can opt for both hard and soft tops for enhanced versatility.
Bronco is ready for adventure with a choice of two 4×4 systems. The base employs a rugged two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case. While the available advanced system nets a two-speed electromechanical transfer case with auto mode. Power is distributed to a Dana™ 44 AdvanTEK® solid rear axle and independent front differential, offering Spicer® Performa-TraK™ electronic locking differentials.
Bronco’s Terrain Management System™ with G.O.A.T. Modes™ offers up to seven driver-selectable modes: Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand, with Baja, Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl (below) for off-roading.
Also available is Trail Control® cruise control for low-speed trail driving, Trail Turn Assist for torque-vectoring assist tighter off-road turning, and Trail One-Pedal Drive acceleration/braking control for slow-mode and rock crawling.
Bronco 2-Door and 4-Door ride on a fully boxed, high-strength steel frame with independent front suspension and solid rear axle with coil springs and five locating links. Bilstein® dampers are available and so is a semi-active hydraulic stabilizer bar disconnect system for maximum articulation during off-road driving.
Available powertrain choices include EcoBoost® turbcocharged engines with a 2.7-liter V6 offering an estimated 310 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque, and a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder with an estimated 270 hp and 310 lb.-ft. Transmissions include a 7-speed manual and available SelectShift® 10-speed automatic.
Bronco’s instrument panel sports a retro-inspired design with colors and trim inspired by outdoor gear. There’s a multi-function color LCD instrument cluster, plus available grab handles, attachment points, and Molle hooks for increased functionality. Also on the list is an available 12-inch SYNC® 4 system offering over-the-air updates, plus a 360-degree camera.
With the navigation-capable 8- or 12-inch SYNC system, Ford says there’s access to an available 1,000 topographical trail maps powered by trail content from NeoTrack’s AccuTerra® Maps, Trails Offroad trail guides, and Fun Treks guides.
Bronco is designed to tackle harsh environments with rubberized floors fitted with integrated drains, along with marine-grade vinyl seating said to resist mildew. There’s a high-strength steel roll cage with integrated side-curtain airbags, Ford Co-Pilot360™ driver-assist technologies, Trailer Sway Control and AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™.
The Bronco lineup includes the base model, Big Bend™, Black Diamond™, Outer Banks™, Wildtrack™, Badlands™, and limited-production First Editon™. It’s possible that no two Broncos will be alike, thanks to an array of color choices, and a roster of more than 200 available accessories for customizing and personalization.
Bronco Sport Designed for Weekend Adventurers
Rounding out the new family is the Bronco Sport, a smaller sibling that shares the Bronco name. Yet it’s a completely different crossover vehicle designed with “weekend adventurers” in mind.
Instead of a body-on-frame design like the big Bronco, the Sport is more closely related to Ford’s existing lineup of crossovers (including the Escape) and features independent front and rear suspensions.
While the new Bronco Sport features Bronco-inspired rugged good looks, the doors and roof are designed to remain in place. A safari-style, raised rear roof section helps to increase rear head and cargo room, as well as adding a distinctive profile.
Bronco Sport offers a choice of two 4-cylinder engines: The 2.0-liter EcoBoost® puts out an estimated 245 hp and 275 lb.-ft., and a 1.5-liter EcoBoost® with an estimated 181 hp and 190 lb.-ft. Both are teamed with standard 4×4 and an 8-speed SelectShift® automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
Four-wheel-drive is standard, with a Terrain Management System™ offering up to seven G.O.A.T Modes™ – Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand; plus available Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl. Bronco Sport Badlands and First Edition models are fitted with an advanced 4×4 system including a twin-clutch rear-drive unit with differential lock. Trail Control™ technology is also available.
Bronco Sport’s modern interior includes standard Ford Co-Pilot360® features, SYNC® 3 with 8-inch LCD touchscreen, Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, and FordPass Connect® with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. Big Bend adds features including a rubberized cargo floor and second-row seatback protector, intelligent access with push-button start, and SiriusXM® satellite radio. Outer Banks includes ambient lighting, power front seats, 6.5-inch digital instrument panel and reverse sensing.
Bronco Sport’s cargo area has a low load floor, along with the tall roof, that Ford says is sufficient space to tote two, standing 27.5-inch-wheel mountain bikes, using an available Yakima bike rack accessory. A Cargo Management System is also offered with 400-watt inverter, liftgate LED floodlamps, and slide-out working table.
For more information visit Ford.com
Note: Features and specifications for U.S. market models is subject to change without notice
News source and photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company
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