2021 Ford Bronco resurrected as Jeep killer
Since it was first teased back in 2004, enthusiasts across the world had been waiting for Ford to bring back the Bronco, long dead after starring in the infamous O.J. Simpson police chase a decade prior to that. And it’s finally happened. The resurrected Ford Bronco is back as a 2021 model year, planned out as a serious threat to the Jeep Wrangler, ending its solo act in the off-road segment ever since the Toyota FJ Cruiser was nixed globally. And it is going to be an entire line-up of offroad vehicles to take on Jeep as a whole.
Just a glance at the images tells us that the new Bronco is brawny and purpose-oriented. With a boxy design inspired from the first-generation ’60s Bronco, it arrives as a proper ladder-frame SUV with a multitude of off-road chops and customization options from the factory. The Bronco is offered in 2-door and 4-door variants, the former available with a hardtop as standard, while the latter is available with a standard soft-top and an optional modular hard-top setup. Ford poises the Bronco to have the “toughness of an F-Series and the spirit of a Mustang,” which sounds fitting to the new Bronco on paper.
The toughness is guaranteed by the ladder-frame chassis, derived from the Ford Ranger truck. The new Bronco comes with standard off-road chops like proper 4WD systems with several GOAT (Goes Over Any Terrain) driving modes, two powerplants, and a proper manual gearbox. That’s not all, a Sasquatch Package adds 35-inch off-road tires, an upgraded off-road suspension, and front and rear locking differentials. To aid this mechanicals, Ford has added several features as well, including Ford’s Trail Control system (a cruise control for off-road trails), Trail One-Pedal Drive to make rock crawling easy, and Trail turn Assist that uses torque vectoring to reduce turning radius. An advanced 360-degree camera also helps the driver to see the obstacles that are normally hidden in the blind spots.
Being an off-road tool does not stop the Bronco from being a daily driver. Based on trim and the checks you mark in the options list, it will come with all creature comforts like dual-zone climate control, a 12.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Ford’s latest Sync4 system, Wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto and more. On the other side of the spectrum, it will offer an apparently waterproof interior that can be hosed down after a muddy drive. This is complete with drain plugs on the floor to get rid of the water. Overall, the interior is very functional with a slab-like design and grab handles that fit the character of the Bronco well. On top of all these, Bronco comes with over 200 accessories from the factory, including McLaren Senna-like transparent door panels.
Powering the 2021 Ford Bronco is a duo of EcoBoost engines, starting with the smaller 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder good for 270 hp and 420 Nm. This engine comes mated to a Getrag seven-speed manual transmission (with a crawl gear) as standard, to the delight of petrolheads around the world. A 10-speed automatic is optional. A bigger 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 churns out 310 hp and 542 Nm, coming exclusively with the automatic. There are two different 4WD systems on offer. The first one is a regular system, with electronic shift-on-fly capability and 2H, 4H and 4L modes, and a low range ratio of 2.72:1. The other system gets an optional electromechanical transfer case that has an “on-demand 4H” engagement with a 3.06:1 low-range gear ratio. Diesel and Hybrid powerplants are obviously under development for the Bronco but sadly, a V8 might not be happening. Though the idea sounds sweet, Ford’s recent obsession with smaller turbocharged engines does not look very promising for the arrival of a V8 Bronco.
The Bronco is available in seven different trims — Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Wildtrak, Badlands and the limited-run First Edition. Prices in the U.S. start from $29,995 (Dhs 110,000) for the Base and goes all the way to $60,800 (Dhs 223,300) for the fully kitted First Edition. Expect UAE and GCC prices to be somewhat higher, although hopefully not as high as that of the flopping Jeep Gladiator or the lukewarm Land Rover Defender. The orders for the 2021 Ford Bronco are open in the States while the vehicle is planned to reach the dealerships by early 2021. The Bronco will arrive in the Middle East probably around by the end of 2021, once America’s massive demand is fulfilled.