New Ford Bronco: revived Jeep Wrangler rival revealed

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. 

The Bronco was launched by Ford as a two-door Jeep rival in 1965 but has been out of production since 1996. The long-awaited revived versions are part of Ford’s strengthened commitment to the lucrative SUV segment and are designed for the hugely popular off-road market in America. There are no plans to offer either version in the UK.

Both the Bronco and Bronco Sport – shown in the below video – are now available to order in the US, with deliveries due to start later this year.

Bronco two-door and four-door

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

The model features ‘heritage-inspired’ styling designed 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 for off-road use, and it’s built on a steel chassis that Ford claims offers 17% more suspension travel than rivals. The machine sits on tyres of up to 35 inches in diameter.

The Bronco will feature a ground clearance of 11.6 inches, a maximum 29deg breakover angle and a 37.2deg 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 266bhp and 310lb ft, and a 2.7-litre Ecoboost V6 offering 306bhp and 400lb ft. It will be offered with a seven-speed manual gearbox that features a crawl gear as standard, with a 10-speed automatic also available.

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Although the Jeep Compass-rivalling Bronco Sport takes its retro styling cues from the regular Bronco, it is built on a different platform, utilising Ford’s C2 architecture that also underpins the Focus and Kuga. 

While it’s built more for on-road use, the Bronco Sport offers four-wheel drive as standard and is designed to still be capable off road. High-end models will feature an advanced 4×4 system that features a twin-clutch rear drive unit with a differential lock.

The Bronco Sport will be offered with a choice of two Ecoboost petrol engines: a 1.5-litre unit producing 179bhp and 190lb ft, and a 2.0-litre unit with 242bhp and 275lb ft. Both engines will use an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard.

As with the regular Bronco, up to seven GOAT driver models will be offered, depending on trim. All models will feature independent front and rear suspension, while higher-end models will gain specially tuned front struts with hydraulic rebound. The Trail Control suite of off-road driver assistance systems will also be offered.

The Bronco Sport features a more comfort-focused interior, although still features washable rubber flooring and easy-to-clean cloth seat covers. The boot is designed to accommodate two standing mountain bikes, while LED floodlights can be built into the tailgate. The rear window can be opened separately from the boot, while a slide-out working side table is also offered.

Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system features an 8.0in touchscreen. More than 100 factory and aftermarket accessories will be offered.