By: THE SHOP Staff
Ford has finally unveiled the 2021 Bronco and the lineup of the all-new family of off-road vehicles includes a classic two-door and first-ever four-door version.
Production begins in early 2021 and the first models will arrive at Ford dealerships next spring. Bronco owners can choose from a lineup of more than 200 factory-backed accessories.
“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.”
Just like the first-generation Bronco, nicknamed G.O.A.T., the mission of the all-new 2021 Bronco is to deliver maximum 4×4 go-anywhere, anytime capability and confidence, Ford says, and incorporates off-road mapping and drive technologies, while designed with durability in mind to ensure lasting performance.
“Bronco’s advanced four-wheel-drive technology is at the core of its off-road capabilities, and at the heart of it all is Bronco’s exclusive Terrain Management System with G.O.A.T. Modes that is designed to help drivers better navigate any type of terrain,” said Mark Grueber, Bronco consumer marketing manager.
Up to seven driver-selectable modes are offered including Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand, with Baja, Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl for off-road driving.
Two 4×4 systems are offered on all Bronco models, a base setup and advanced 4×4. The base system utilizes a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case, while the optional advanced system features a two-speed electromechanical transfer case that adds an auto mode for on-demand engagement to select between 2H and 4H. Power is distributed to a Dana 44 AdvanTEK solid rear axle and Dana AdvanTEK independent front differential unit – both with available Spicer Performa-TraK electronic locking differentials for improved traction over rough terrain.
The available Trail Toolbox gives Bronco owners a suite of exclusive technologies including Trail Control – cruise control for low-speed trail driving, while Trail Turn Assist tightens off-road turning radiuses through torque vectoring, and the Trail One-Pedal Drive acceleration/braking control makes for more precise and confident slow-mode rock crawling.
The Bronco has an available 11.6-inch ground clearance, maximum 29-degree breakover angle and 37.2-degree departure angle, plus water fording capability of up to 33.5 inches. Off-road capability is further reinforced by exposed tow hooks in the front and rear and available heavy-duty modular steel bumpers with integrated Ford Performance accessory winch mount.
Bronco’s strategically placed steel shields protect critical hardware, while higher-capability models get an available front bash plate, plus shields for the engine, transmission, transfer case and fuel tank. For those taking on the roughest rocky terrain, Bronco’s available side rock rails are strong enough to support the weight of each side of the vehicle.
The new Bronco taps into its Baja racing DNA as design of the new model began with a life-size digital scan of a first-generation model that served to influence the proportions and design of the all-new Bronco for maximum off-road capability and performance.
“Similar to the first-generation model, Bronco’s square proportions, short overhangs and wide stance are optimized for off-road adventure,” said Paul Wraith, Bronco chief designer. “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.”
All-new Bronco architecture for two- and four-door models is based on a fully boxed, high-strength steel chassis and comes with an independent front suspension. At the rear, a rugged solid axle design featuring coil springs with five locating links delivers both strength and off-road control. Long-travel position-sensitive Bilstein dampers with end-stop control valves at every corner are available for added off-road durability and reduced harshness.
An available segment-exclusive semi-active hydraulic stabilizer bar disconnect design provides maximum articulation and increased ramp angle index for off-camber terrain. This innovative system bests competitors by disconnecting during articulation; it can reconnect under all conditions to improve steering and stability at higher speeds.
35-inch off-road tires direct from the factory are available on every trim level of two- and four-door Bronco, while beadlock-capable wheels are available.
“Race-bred EcoBoost engines and 7-speed manual and available 10-speed automatic transmissions give the all-new Bronco the optimal combination of power, torque and gear ranges to perform in a wide variety of terrains and uses,” said Pericak.
The 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine is projected to produce 310 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque, while the 2.3-liter EcoBoost is targeted to deliver four-cylinder torque of 310 lb.-ft. with an expected 270 horsepower.
For maximum low-speed rock-climbing capability, a 7-speed (6+1) manual transmission paired with the available advanced 4×4 system with automatic on-demand engagement generates an available crawler-gear ratio of 94.75:1. An available segment-first SelectShift 10-speed automatic transmission makes for easier driving on- and off-road, while offering a maximum 67.8:1 crawl ratio with the available advanced 4×4 transfer case.
Both Bronco two- and four-door models come with removable roof panels. Two-door models come with a standard three-section roof system – left and right front sections and a rear section – molded-in color and an available premium painted modular top with four sections that adds a removable panel over the rear seats and cargo area. Four-door models have four removable roof sections – left and right front panels, a full-width center panel and a rear section. Roof panels on all models can be removed by one person by unlocking the latches from the interior. First-row panels stow away onboard on two-door models.
All modular hardtops have rear quarter windows that are removable without removing the roof panels. By locating the sportbar behind the second row, both Bronco two- and four-door models offer an open-top view.
A cloth soft top, standard on four-door models, provides easy access to the open air and a unique tilt-up function for quick access to the rear cargo area. The four-door model can be optioned with both.
Every Bronco comes with frameless doors. On four-door models, all four doors can be stored onboard with protective door bags. Cowl-mounted mirrors maintain sideview visibility when the doors are removed. Trail sights on the front fenders also serve as tie-downs, reminiscent of the first-generation Bronco, and have a 150-pound capacity for securing longer items like canoes.
Inside, the instrument panel is inspired by the first-generation model, with gauges and controls clearly visible and intuitive. Colors and materials are inspired by natural palettes and outdoor gear. With off-road functionality paramount, materials are tough and rugged.
A multifunction color LCD instrument panel is front and center with the transmission shifter/selector and G.O.A.T. Modes controller in the center console. Available grab handles are integrated into the modular instrument panel and center console, while available MOLLE hooks are mounted in the seatbacks. Attachment points are built into the instrument panel to mount a bring-your-own-device rack, with 12-volt power connections to easily mount cameras, navigation units, phones or other devices.
Also available is the 12-inch SYNC 4 system with over-the-air updates and integration to the FordPass Performance app with off-road navigation – a exclusive feature that allows owners to plan, navigate and share their off-road adventures. The SYNC system also displays the available 360-degree camera system with class-exclusive off-road spotter views to provide additional visibility in technical pursuits such as rock crawling.
Bronco’s advanced topographic trail maps and more than 1,000 curated trail maps are powered by class-exclusive trail content from NeoTreks’ AccuTerra® Maps, Trails Offroad trail guides and FunTreks trail guides.
To make post-adventure cleanups simple, fast and painless, select Bronco models come with washable rubberized floors with integrated drains and marine-grade vinyl seating surfaces that resist mildew. Instrument panel surfaces are wipeable, with seamless silicone rubber on the dash-mounted hero switches, while rubber touchpoints protect against dirt and water. Six available upfitter switches mounted overhead are silicone-sealed to protect against the elements and to make customization easy, with pre-wired leads to key accessory points.
A modern high-strength steel roll cage with integrated side curtain airbags in the upper structure and seats helps protect passengers from side impacts and complements driver and front passenger airbags. Ford Co-Pilot360 driver-assist technologies are available and AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control and Trailer Sway Control come standard.
Seven unique Bronco series are offered, with matched color and trim combinations in addition to four content packages, numerous available options, 11 color choices and more than 200 dealer-installable accessories.
Series range from a base Bronco, a no-frills SUV for those who want to customize their own, to Big Bend, Black Diamond and Outer Banks with a variety of options and colors, topping out with Wildtrak and Badlands for more extreme off-road adventuring. A limited-production First Edition will be offered at launch.
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