Currently reading: New Ford Bronco: revived Jeep Wrangler rival revealed
Long-running nameplate is brought back for new family of rugged off-roaders, including two-door, four-door and road-biased Bronco Sport models
James Attwood, digital editor
News
4 mins read
14 July 2020

Ford has revived the long-running Bronco nameplate after a 24-year absence for a new family of rugged SUVs. The line-up will include two-door and four-door versions of the four-wheel-drive Jeep Wrangler rival, along with a more road-focused Bronco Sport. 

The Bronco was launched by Ford as a two-door Jeep rival in 1965 but has been out of production since 1996. The long-awaited revived versions are part of Ford's strengthened commitment to the lucrative SUV segment and are designed for the hugely popular off-road market in America. There are no plans to offer either version in the UK.

Both the Bronco and Bronco Sport - shown in the below video - are now available to order in the US, with deliveries due to start later this year.

Bronco two-door and four-door

Ford boss Jim Farley claims the new, sixth-generation Bronco is “built with the toughness of an F-Series truck and performance spirit of a Mustang”. It is based on the same platform as the Ford Ranger pick-up, and the classic two-door model will be joined by a four-door version for the first time.

The model features ‘heritage-inspired’ styling designed to evoke the Bronco’s history, with the firm saying initial design work was developed from a full-size digital scan of a first-generation model.

It features short overhangs, square bodywork and a wide stance for off-road use, and it's built on a steel chassis that Ford claims offers 17% more suspension travel than rivals. The machine sits on tyres of up to 35 inches in diameter.

The Bronco will feature a ground clearance of 11.6 inches, a maximum 29deg breakover angle and a 37.2deg departure angle, along with the ability to ford water up to 33.5 inches deep.

The Bronco will be offered with a 2.3-litre Ecoboost four-cylinder engine producing 266bhp and 310lb ft, and a 2.7-litre Ecoboost V6 offering 306bhp and 400lb ft. It will be offered with a seven-speed manual gearbox that features a crawl gear as standard, with a 10-speed automatic also available.

Independent front suspension will be standard, with a solid axle at the rear that features coil springs and five locating links. Long-travel Bilstein dampers will be available as options. There will also be an optional semi-active hydraulic stabiliser bar, which Ford says offers extra articulation and increased ramp angle.

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The Bronco will feature a new Terrain Management System that features what Ford terms GOAT – Go Over All Terrain – drive modes. The system will offer seven settings: Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery, Sand, Baja, Mid/Ruts and Rock Crawl.

Two 4x4 systems will be offered. The base setup will use a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case, while the optional advanced system is built around a two-speed electromechanical transfer case that can automatically switch between 2H and 4H.

A range of driver assistance systems named Trail Toolbox will also be offered, featuring the likes of low-speed off-road cruise control and an off-road turn assist function.

Two-door models will feature a three-section removable roof system as standard, while four-door models will have four removable sections. Frameless doors, designed to be easy to remove, are also standard.

The interior of the Bronco features an instrument panel inspired by the first-generation model, with Ford putting a focus on “tough and rugged” materials to ensure durability and ease of use when off-roading. The 8.0 or 12.0in touchscreen features the latest version of Ford’s Sync 4 infotainment system and has access to more than 1000 curated trail maps.

The Bronco will be offered in six trim levels, with the base version joined by Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Wildtrak and Badlands specs. There will also be more than 200 accessories.

The starting price for the base two-door model in the US will be $29,995 (£23,700).

Bronco Sport

Launched alongside the new off-roader, the Bronco Sport is described by Ford as “the Bronco of small SUVs” and expands the nameplate to a more road-focused vehicle for the first time. As with the standard Bronco, there are no plans to launch it in the UK.

Although the Jeep Compass-rivalling Bronco Sport takes its retro styling cues from the regular Bronco, it is built on a different platform, utilising Ford’s C2 architecture that also underpins the Focus and Kuga

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While it's built more for on-road use, the Bronco Sport offers four-wheel drive as standard and is designed to still be capable off road. High-end models will feature an advanced 4x4 system that features a twin-clutch rear drive unit with a differential lock.

The Bronco Sport will be offered with a choice of two Ecoboost petrol engines: a 1.5-litre unit producing 179bhp and 190lb ft, and a 2.0-litre unit with 242bhp and 275lb ft. Both engines will use an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard.

As with the regular Bronco, up to seven GOAT driver models will be offered, depending on trim. All models will feature independent front and rear suspension, while higher-end models will gain specially tuned front struts with hydraulic rebound. The Trail Control suite of off-road driver assistance systems will also be offered.

The Bronco Sport features a more comfort-focused interior, although still features washable rubber flooring and easy-to-clean cloth seat covers. The boot is designed to accommodate two standing mountain bikes, while LED floodlights can be built into the tailgate. The rear window can be opened separately from the boot, while a slide-out working side table is also offered.

Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system features an 8.0in touchscreen. More than 100 factory and aftermarket accessories will be offered. 

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Comments
46

14 July 2020

This is going to be a HUGE win for Ford, and will blow the lame-duck Defenderr out of the water.

14 July 2020
jason_recliner wrote:

This is going to be a HUGE win for Ford, and will blow the lame-duck Defenderr out of the water.

I m far from an LR fan, but the Defender has decent rear suspension, the Bronco (non Port) has a beam, axle, in 2020, lol, if anyone of the two is "lame" its the Ford, almost quite literally.

15 July 2020

What a potato-brained comment. Live axles are stronger and offer more articulation, perfect for bashing and climbing rocks. It would be better if both axles were live.

15 July 2020
Kevin G wrote:

What a potato-brained comment. Live axles are stronger and offer more articulation, perfect for bashing and climbing rocks. It would be better if both axles were live.

Yep.  Beam axles aren't great on the road but on rough trails or rock crawling, outback, on site, they still can't be beat.  I don't want to be worrying aevery time a rock or stump hits a fragile wishbone, I want to be able to fit a lift kit, I want bigger wheels which means bigger axles and diffs, I want the little service station in Coolgardie or Oodnadatta to be able to fix it with a hammer and wrench when it breaks.  Yes, live axles all round would be better, but I understand the cost constraints for a relatively low volume vehicle.  But it's based on the big strong, exellent, Australian designed and engineered Ranger (T6) platform, so you just know it's going to be good.

15 July 2020
Interesting that the Solid (Beam) Axle Rover 90 and 110 at one time where considered the pinnacle of the Off Road World. But now the Elite Rover Crowd, seems to have forgotten that, and see'd the New Defender, with it's Aluminum Unibody and 4 wheel independent suspension as the pinnacle off road vehicle, selective amnesia. We that use Off Road vehicles have other opinions, my 2017 Hard Rock Wrangler, can go any place I need it too, it has 37 inch MT's on 18 inch wheels, 4 inch lift kit, Fox External Reservoir Shocks, upgraded 14" Front Pro+6P / 13" Rear Pro+4P Brake System and PRODIGY Performance 3.6L STAGE 2 Turbo Kit. My total cost was under $80,000 and I have the satisfaction of it being my creation and knowing I can do repairs on it with out the need for an Advanced Degree in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, well I do have to admit, I have a BS in Physics and a Masters in Geophysics but tinkering with cars ans trucks is a hobby, GOD a rather expensive hobby.

14 July 2020

Good looking vehicle with genuine off road credentials.  Is it a mistake just restricting it to the American market though?

14 July 2020

The regular Bronco 2 and 4 door looks fantastic, something interesting at last in the segment.

The Bronco Sport ... naaah, just one the crowd.

 

 

14 July 2020

When it comes to serious off-roaders the Americans design them to look that way and that's no bad thing. It shows intent and purpose and what they're designed for. I think this new Bronco looks great. While I like the look of the new Defender, Land Rover have made it too soft looking in a deliberate attempt to make it more upmarket, luxurious and a fashion accessory. Not the tough off roader which it's suppose to be.

14 July 2020

... the Suzuki Jimmny has been banned due to too high CO2 emissions....  the world is scr3wed

14 July 2020

I want one. Please Ford, make this available in the UK with right hand drive. Together with the Mustang and Ranger Raptor, Ford has shown there is a market in the UK for more specialist vehicles that appeal to both the enthusiast and fashion-conscious. To me, the Bronco embodies virtually all the attributes that constitute a truly fit for purpose off-roader, and I hope it's a great success. 

 

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