Reserve the 2021 Ford Bronco
After two years of anticipation and growing enthusiasm, the Ford Motor Company has finally revealed the reborn Bronco – as not just one vehicle but a family of three. The iconic 4×4 is returning under the simple Bronco nameplate as a rugged Ranger-based body-on-frame 4×4 in two-door and four-door versions, and as the Bronco Sport, a unibody-construction 4×4 SUV based on the Escape. The model returns with a recognizable boxy shape and tough-as-nails look, and the two non-Sport versions have a removable roof and doors.
Considered the original SUV, the Bronco reigned from the mid-‘60s to the mid-‘90s, and it’s clearly been missed. The July 13th official unveiling also opened the reservation process, where eager fans could secure their choice in the trio with a mere $100 deposit. As expected, all of the 3,500 very special First Edition ’21 Broncos were claimed in a matter of hours, along with all 2,000 First Edition Bronco Sports. The good news is there will be plenty of the other trim levels of these fine 4x4s to select from.
Ford did a good job of keeping the mechanical specifics relatively secret during the long tease, but now it’s all been revealed. We already knew that each of the three Bronco versions would come standard as a 4×4, making it the first domestic model with that distinction. But now we also know that the standard powertrain of the 2021 Bronco two-door and four-door is a turbo-charged 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine (270 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque) with a 7-speed manual transmission – yes, you read that correctly – with that seventh gear dedicated to off-pavement creeping. The upgraded powertrain is a 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost (310 hp and 400 lb.-ft.) with a 10-speed automatic transmission with a Trail Control feature. There’s an available advanced 4×4 system that has an automatic on-demand mode as well.
As mentioned, this Bronco will be made in a special First Edition limited production run that have already been reserved (so if you want one you’ll have to hope some folks change their minds), plus six others: the Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Badlands, and Wildtrak. It’s set to be a segment leader in many off-road qualities, outdoing its chief rival, the Jeep Wrangler, in many ways: its high-performance off-road stability suspension (HOSS) achieves 17% more travel than the Wrangler’s suspension, and it also looks to be class leading in water fording (33.5 inches), ground clearance (11.6 inches), breakover angle (29 degrees), departure angle (37.2 degrees), and more. The maximum towing capacity will be 3,500 pounds – equal to that of the 2020 Jeep Wrangler.
The Bronco Sport
The Escape-based Bronco Sport is set apart from the larger two by its unibody construction and smaller standard and available turbo-charged engines: a 1.5-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost (181 hp) and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost (245 hp). They both come standard as a 4×4 and get an eight-speed transmission. The trim levels offered (aside from the theoretically sold-out First Edition) will be the Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, and Badlands. Two thousand First Edition versions of the Bronco Sport will be made for the lucky few who were quick to reserve theirs.
Both the Bronco and the Bronco Sport will have lists of standard features that get longer as the trim level goes up, with numerous interesting optional packages, including the Sasquatch Package, which shortens the final drive ratio to 4.7:1 and upgrades to Bilstein shocks, locking axles, and 35-inch mudder tires (plus a suspension lift kit and higher fender flares to handle those huge rings of rubber). The whole trio will get Ford’s latest and greatest Sync 4 infotainment system and a full array of active safety technology, once again with more features included on the more expensive trims.
Debuting along with the all-new Bronco trio is the marketing concept it was reborn under: Built Wild. This is the name Ford gave to the intensive testing and development that its engineers undertook to make sure these rugged vehicles give their drivers the off-road experience they’re looking for. But the rebirth of the Bronco is just the beginning of Built Wild: we can expect more Ford models to be developed under this concept in future years. Until then, though, we can all finally see clearly ahead to the prize at the end of this long wait, as the three versions of the Bronco will make their way to dealerships soon.