The 2021 Ford Bronco: What We Know (So Far)
Ford made an announcement at the beginning of 2017 that elicited excitement from car enthusiasts the world over: The Ford Bronco was making a comeback. This was big news when you consider that the Bronco nameplate hadn’t been in production since the 90s.
The wait was long. However, recently Ford confirmed the Bronco comeback officially slated for 2021. After months of vague leaks and rumors, Ford released designs and hints about the Bronco. We have to say, the two 2021 models look like they will live up to the truck’s legendary status.
Here’s what we know so far.
The Bronco is expected to retain its block shape in line with the traditional body of the past years. That sets it up against models such as the Jeep Wrangler that have a similar build. The nameplate undergoes a redesign, adopting a more modern look. The midrange truck is built for the offroad.
The design pays homage to the classic Bronco of the 60s and 70s, bearing the same boxy look. It retains the round headlights with slim turn signal lights. The long hood with a bulge indicates the engine might be bigger than speculated.
Not much is known about the exterior, though. Contrary to earlier rumors that it will only have a 4-door option, updated reveals show there might be a 2-door option too. It is expected to share a frame with the Ranger. It is also likely to have an aluminum body similar to the Ford F-150.
Some of the more exciting features include a quick release system. This is part of Ford’s patent applications that make some of the truck’s parts removable. Roof panels and doors can be removed when off-roading. Recent leaks have also shown that the side mirrors are mounted on the A-Pillar. Unlike the Wrangler, this could be the biggest indicator of the Bronco’s removable doors.
We know Bronco might be getting plenty of accessories, especially going by the handles on the hood. The purpose of the handles is unclear, but we can bet it’s related to an off-road accessory. This is also seen in the 2021 Bronco 2-door variant.
Under the hood
Since it plans to go offroad, we can expect a powerful engine under the hood of the new model. Reports intimate that the Bronco will have the Ranger’s 4-cylinder, 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine. It's expected to produce 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. This engine will likely go with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Some reports hint about another engine, a 2.7-liter, twin-turbo V-6. This would be similar to what is currently in the F-150.
With all the hype about the two engine variations, Ford might also launch a 7-speed manual transmission specifically aimed at giving drivers the complete off-road experience. Ford has a long-standing relationship with the transmission supplier, Getrag. Getrag recently unveiled a new transmission that shows it can be equipped with a crawler gear. Only the six speeds would be for on-tarmac driving. This manual option would place the Bronco as a serious competitor to the Jeep Wrangler.
Ford has indicated they might be looking to go hybrid with their entire line of SUVs in the near future.
When the initial leaks came out, they featured a grey option and a blue option. However, it can be confirmed that buyers will have as many as ten color options. These include Fighter Jet Gray, Race Red, Silver, Carbon Gray as seen in the Mustang and newer colors such as Cyber Orange, Area 51, and Antimatter Blue.
Due to fears about the COVID-19 pandemic, Ford shut down production in most of their plants. However, Ford might be looking to take production back to the Bronco’s original building plants in Wayne, Michigan. This is where the Broncos got built for 30 years between 1966 and 1996 when the nameplate was discontinued.
The interior remains one of the most closely guarded secrets in the 2021 Bronco. Images show a Sync4-powered 12-inch screen with buttons for a 360-degree camera system that might help in parking and reverse. There’s also a start-stop button and climate control. There might be a subscription-based WiFi option that will complement the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features.
While there’s no confirmation on safety testing yet, Ford might include some top-notch features in the 2021 Bronco. Some of the safety features include automatic emergency braking, cruise control, and lane-keeping assist. Ford has a pending patent for telescoping beams that cushion the driver from crashes if the doors are off. This technology would keep the driver in the vehicle in a crash as airbags deploy.
The patent was filed in 2018 and it was to be made available in February 2020. Even though reports strongly indicate that this might feature in the new models, it is likely that Ford might not necessarily include the technology.
What about the Baby Bronco?
The 2021 Bronco also comes with its smaller version, set to battle it out off the tarmac with the likes of the Jeep Renegade. The Bronco Sport has a compact body, with its front mirroring the bigger Bronco. The back, though, has a more minivan look about it. The Sport’s rear lights are a lot more imposing than the lights in the 2021 Bronco. However, all factors considered, it is a pretty sleek build.
Leading the market
Now, there is speculation that Ford is looking to launch the Bronco as a sub-brand, akin to what Dodge did with the Ram. That may be the driving factor behind launching two vehicles at the same time. With other exciting models set to the premier, Ford could be gearing up to take its place as the off-road kingpin. The 2021 Bronco was set for a Spring release. However, with fears looming over the COVID-19 pandemic, they are yet to announce an official release date.
The Bronco is expected to retail at $30,000 or above that. That’s a neat confirmation that Ford is pulling out all the stops to challenge Jeep as the ultimate off-road honcho.
We at California Pony Cars are eagerly waiting for the launch of the 2021 Ford Bronco, just like many of you! We are definitely going to be creating custom parts for it soon after it hits the roads, just like we've done for our Ford Focus Parts, Ford F-Series Parts, and Classic Mustang / Late-Model Mustang Parts.
Make sure to check back often for updates as to when we'll be offering products for the Bronco!