New Ford Bronco: revived Jeep Wranger rival revealed

The long-running nameplate is brough back for new family of rugged off-roaders, including two-door, four-door, and road-biased Bronco Sport models

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.

Ford boss Jim Farley claims the new sixth generation Bronco is “built with the toughness of an F-Series truck and performance spirit of Mustang”. It is built 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.

Bronco two-door and four-door

The model features ‘heritage-inspired’ styling deigned 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 designed to east off-road use, and is built on a steel chassis that Ford claims offers 17 per cent more suspension travel than rivals. The machine sits on tyres up to 35 inches in size.

The Bronco will feature a ground clearance of 11.6 inches, a maximum 29-degree breakover angle and a 37.2 degree 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 199kW and 420Nm, and a 2.7-litre Ecoboost V6 engine offering 228Kw and 452Nm. It will be offered with a seven-speed manual transmission 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 Bilsten 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.

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

Two 4×4 systems will be offered. The base set-up 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, and will feature 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 or 12-inch 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 (AUD$43,000).

James Attwood

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