Ford resurrects the Bronco brand with apocalypse-ready Bronco and Bronco Sport

Ford has finally resurrected the iconic Bronco nameplate with the launch of the all-new Ford Bronco family today. The new Bronco line-up will consist of three models – the Ford Bronco two-door and (for the first time) four-door models, as well as a smaller Ford Bronco Sport SUV.

All three models are styled with significant retro-inspired looks. The full-blown Bronco, billed as the more serious off-roader, does come with many more rugged design elements to go along with its terrain handling chops – taking the fight straight up to the Jeep Wrangler.

Chief designer Paul Wraith said that the all-new Bronco was designed with square proportions, short overhangs, and wide stance to optimise for off-road adventures – just like the first-generation model. In fact, the design of the all-new Bronco began with a full-size scan of the original model.

Overall design is refreshingly simple – a single-piece grille and headlights surround piece up front paired with two round headlights, clean and straight sides, and at the back a horizontal trim piece flanked by vertical taillights.

The same Bronco “Built Tough” design theme is brought over to the Bronco Sport, albeit slightly toned down for a more “everyday” look. The grille design looks almost completely brought over from the full-size Bronco, along with other Bronco design cues such as the round fenders.

The Bronco two-door sits on a shorter wheelbase compared to the four-door variant, but both are based on the same fully boxed, high-strength steel frame – the platform will also be shared with and adapted to the upcoming next-generation Ford Ranger.

Up front, the Bronco rides on independent front suspension, while the rear is a solid axle with five links and coilover springs. Ford says that the Bronco has a 17% longer suspension travel compared to its closest competitor (the Jeep Wrangler). For an even better off-roading performance, there’s also the optional long-travel position-sensitive Bilstein dampers.

The top-of-the-range variant also comes with a hydraulically-controlled stabiliser bar for better high-speed stability, that can be disconnected while on angle and under load for maximum suspension articulation.

All variants of the Bronco can be paired to 35-inch (88.9 cm) tyres straight from the factory, which Ford says is a segment-first, bumping the ground clearance to a massive 11.6 inches (295 mm).

Meanwhile, the Bronco Sport rides on a heavily-modified version of the modular front-wheel-drive platform of the Ford Focus. When fitted to the optional 29-inch (73.7 cm) all-terrain tyres, the baby Bronco does have a decent ground clearance of up to 8.8 inches (224 mm).

The full-sized Broncos are offered with two petrol engine options – a 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 engine from the F-150 producing 310 hp and 542 Nm (310 lb-ft), and a 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine from the Ranger in international markets, producing 270 hp and 420 Nm (310 lb-ft) of torque.

The engines can be paired to seven-speed (six plus one crawler gear) manual transmission or a 10-speed automatic gearbox.

As for the Bronco Sport, the crossover is offered either with a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four engine, good for 245 hp and 373 Nm (275 lb-ft) of torque, or a 1.5-litre turbocharged inline-three engine that produces 181 hp and 258 Nm (190 lb-ft) of twist. The Bronco Sport is only available with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Both the Bronco and Bronco Sport are of course four-wheel driven, paired with sophisticated technologies to enhance off-road performance.

These include variant-specific electronically-locking rear differentials that can divert 100% of torque to either wheel, Terrain Management System with up to seven available G.O.A.T. (Go Over Any Terrain) drive modes, Trail Control off-road cruise control system, and specifically for the full-sized Bronco, Trail One-Pedal Drive and Trail Turn Assist which uses the 4×4 system to reduce the turning radius.

The inside of the all-new Bronco is also tastefully retrolicious. However, Ford designers said that the interior of the off-roader is designed for practicality and usability first, looks second. “Function, not fashion,” said Wraith. “Everything is exactly where you would need it.”

This mantra can be clearly seen on the removeable grab handles on the centre console, replaceable panels throughout the cabin, washable rubber floors with integrated drains, and the removeable doors and roof, where the former can be stored neatly within the cargo space with the specialised storage bags.

The Bronco also comes with a dash-top device rack/rail system, where you can securely mount your smartphones, cameras, GPS, or anything else without a suction mount cup. In fact, Ford says that there will be more than 200 factory-backed accessories for you to customise your Bronco to your liking.

The inside of Bronco Sport on the other hand looks a lot more civilian comparatively, with many bits borrowed directly from the Escape SUV. Thanks to the stepped “safari roof” on the SUV, Ford claims that the Bronco Sport has the best-in-class headroom, and can even carry two full-sized mountain bikes without removing their wheels.

Ford says that the every inch of the Bronco Sport is “designed and engineered with weekend adventurers in mind”, and thus its interior also comes with many features specifically catered to campers and the likes, such as a tailgate floodlight, useful for those setting base camp, 400W inverter, MOLLE straps to carry extra gear, and even an integrated bottle opener in the cargo area – no, really.

As standard, both the Bronco and Bronco Sport are offered with an eight-inch SYNC 3-powered infotainment display, though buyers of the full-blown Bronco can opt for the larger 12-inch system with SYNC 4. With the latter, the Bronco gets an additional 360-degree camera with off-road spotter views, as well as integration to the FordPass Performance app with off-road navigation.

Ford’s Co-Pilot360 advance driver assistance features are available as standard across the board for the Bronco Sport, and available as option (depending on variant selected) on the Bronco.


Ford Bronco

Ford Bronco Sport


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