AFTER A long period of eager anticipation, Ford has revealed the new Bronco, which now comes as a family of SUVs with two-door, four-door and Sport-focused variants. This is the first time the Bronco has been available as a four-door model in its 55-year history.
There has been a pang of jealousy echoing from the UK, where there are no immediate plans to offer the model, with many noting the Bronco’s rugged good looks.
The Bronco hasn’t been in production since 1996, two years after a famous low-speed car chase involving the LAPD and O.J. Simpson. Popularity of the Bronco rose slightly after the widely watched incident, but a dip in demand for two-door SUVs and the introduction of the Expedition led to its demise. SUVs, it goes without saying, are very much in vogue in modern America.
The unveiling of the new Bronco had to be rescheduled at the last minute as it emerged Simpson’s birthday coincided with the chosen date. After something of a furore, with some speculating that Ford had planned the overlap as a marketing ploy (which Ford has strongly denied) the car maker decided to move the debut from July 9 to today.
This is the sixth generation of the SUV and Ford has majored on the car’s off-road pedigree, having gone as far as to trademark the phrase “Born Wild”. They’ve also included all the relevant tech, including off-road mapping and drive technologies, as well as Ford’s “G.O.A.T.” (“go over all terrain”) system, which has seven driving modes including Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand, Baja, Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl.
Mammoth 35in tyres are available, and the Bronco has 11.6in of ground clearance, and has the ability to wade through water up to 33.5in deep.
It shares a platform with the Ranger, and Jim Farley, Ford’s chief operating officer, said it shares traits with two of Ford’s other flagship models: “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.”
Under the bonnet is a choice of Ford’s 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 engine, which the company says produces 345bhp and 400 lb ft of torque, or the 2.3-litre EcoBoost with 266bhp and 310 lb ft of torque.
On the inside, Ford has stuck to a heritage aesthetic, with visible controls and an off-road sensibility. However, there are all the modern accoutrements, including a 12in infotainment system with the capability for over-the-air updates, and a 360-degree camera system. There’s a suite of driver assist technology, of course.
New Bronco is available in a choice of 11 colours and with more than 200 accessories, Ford says. Prices start from $29,995 (£23,900). Sadly, it won’t be available in the UK.
Ford’s CO2 average would skyrocket even with small numbers. Look at Suzuki and the Jimny
— Nick Gibbs (@NickGibbs) July 14, 2020
Interestingly, considering the Bronco was originally intended as a rival to the Jeep, Jeep today revealed the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 concept, an off-roader loaded with a 6.4-litre V8 — the first Jeep to be fitted with a V8 since 1981.
It’s hard not to take the announcement of what Jeep calls “unmatched 4×4 capability” as a statement of intent.