But don’t get too excited now, because Ford South Africa has ruled it out for local introduction
Yup, we’re sorry to report it’s a look-all-you-want-but-don’t-touch scenario as far as the new Ford Bronco is concerned. Which is even more infuriating because the all-new Ford Bronco is underpinned by the same T6 ladder-frame chassis as the current Ford Ranger, and we do build that in South Africa.
So what gives with this forbidden fruit!?
The sixth-generation Ford Bronco was revealed overnight and will go on sale in 2021. Traditionally only a two-door off-roader, it’s available as a four-door version for the first time, and there’s a Ford Bronco Sport – a baby Bronco if you will – with a unibody construction underpinned by the Ford Explorer/Kuga. We’ve done another article on the Ford Bronco Sport right here.
Where it will be sold, the Ford Bronco comes in two petrol variants, and no diesels. The 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost turbo of Mustang fame produces 200 kW/420 Nm. The other petrol motor on offer is a 2.7-litre V6 EcoBoost turbo producing 230 kW/542 Nm. Transmission wise, there’s a Getrag seven-speed manual gearbox for the four cylinder only, with Ford’s 10-speed automatic available for both engine variants.
That’s the easy stuff. But Ford being Ford and appreciating the leisure-lifestyle appeal of such a vehicle, it’s gone to town on the specification levels. Both two- and four-door models have seven trim levels to choose from: Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Wildtrak, Badlands and the limited-run First Edition (only 3 500 units on offer).
And the off-road stuff!?
All Broncos get Ford’s Terrain Management System with GOAT. Nope, that’s not Greatest Of All Time, but rather, Go Over Any Terrain. Nice. These drive modes include Baja mode, Rock Crawl, as well as Snow, Sand, Gravel, etc. Buyers can choose between a standard 4×4 transfer case, part-time selectable, with two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly 2.72:1 low ratio. While the more hardcore option is 4×4 on-demand with 4H engagement, two-speed electromechanical transfer case with a 3.06:1 low ratio.
If you need even more 4×4 adventure-bility, there’s optional semi-active hydraulic stabiliser bar disconnect to provide maximum articulation and increased ramp angle. Bilstein long-travel position-sensitive dampers with end-stop control valves. At the rear there’s a five-link solid axle, also available with Bilstein coil-over shock absorbers and M220 Dana 44 differential with electronic locking. Ford says both ends can be optionally specified with Spicer Performa-Tek electronically locking differentials, too.
And those tyres!? They look mental.
Base variant start with 255/70 tyres on 16-inch silver steel wheels, while the Big Bend steps up to 255/75 tyres on 17-inch aluminium wheels. The Outer Banks variant gets 255/70 tyres on 18-inch rims, while Badlands gets 17-inch aluminium wheels. Bead-lock-capable, 17-inch forged wheels are optional on the Badlands and standard on the Wildtrak and First Edition. As part of something called the Sasquatch Package, bead-lock-capable wheels are mounted with 315/70 mud terrain tyres. This package also includes the electronic locking differentials, 4.70:1 final drive ratio, high-clearance suspension, position-sensitive Bilstein dampers and high-clearance fender flares. This package can be specified on all variants, and is standard on the Wildtrak, Badlands and First Edition.
Cool. What about all that removable bodywork!?
The two-door Bronco comes with a removable three-section roof, while the bigger four-door has four removable sections. All Broncos come with removable doors, too, and cowl-mounted mirrors to ensure rearward visibility when the doors are removed. All doors can be stowed away in protective door bags. Inside, grab handles are integrated into the instrument panel and centre console, while Molle hooks are integrated into the seat backs and attachment points are built into the instrument panel for mobile devices. 12-volt outlets are found throughout the vehicle to help power cameras, phones and navigation devices.
What about inside!?
Ford’s 12-inch Sync 4 infotainment system also displays a clever 360-degree camera feed with ‘off-road spotter’ views to help in tricky technical terrain. Selected Bronco variants get washable rubberised floors with integrated drainage for when you need to hose down a dirty interior.
Keen to see the new Ford Bronco reach South African shores? Well, as specified, it’s not on the cards at the moment, unless someone clever like Peter Lindenberg for Shelby SA or Coin Lazarus from Ford Performance work their magic to bring a couple of them in and convert them. Nevertheless, after this rapturous response to its new off-roader, Ford may just have to reconsider and build it in right-hand drive anyway. Come on, Ford, you know you want to.