2021 Ford Bronco to debut in the spring

Fans of tough, go-anywhere SUVs will soon have a new choice thanks to Ford’s revival of the Bronco.

Ford on Friday confirmed the new Bronco’s debut for spring 2020 and revealed the latest take on the bucking bronco logo the vehicle will sport.

No further information was revealed apart from a promise that the new Bronco will stay true to the original’s ethos of a durable 4×4 with solid off-road chops.

2021 Ford Bronco test mule spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2021 Ford Bronco test mule spy shots – Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

Test mules running around Michigan roads don’t reveal much in the way of design details. What they do reveal is a shorter length than the Ranger, together with flared wheel arches, a generous ride height, 6-lug wheels, and chunky all-terrain tires.

Details that emerged following a dealer preview showing last spring suggest there will be 2- and 4-door body styles, retro looks complete with round headlights, and yes, even removable doors. A pickup body style to rival Jeep’s Gladiator is also a distinct possibility.

The Bronco’s powertrain hasn’t been confirmed, but it’s expected to offer a lineup of turbocharged engines, each mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. A hybrid option is also expected at some point.

New Ford Bronco

New Ford Bronco

What we know for certain is that the new Bronco is a twin under the skin with the Ford Ranger, meaning a mid-size, body-on-frame platform and support for 4- and 6-cylinder engines. The jury’s still out on the topic of solid axles, although rumors point to Dana being tapped for its world-class axles. This is the same supplier that provides solid axles for the Jeep Wrangler.

We also know production will be handled at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, the same plant responsible for previous generations of the Bronco. The plant is already churning out Rangers and soon the first Broncos will roll off the line. Ford spent $850 million in plant upgrades to support the two vehicles.

The first Bronco came to life in 1966 and the last bowed out some 30 years later. It was an SUV before SUVs were a thing, and over multiple generations it grew quite a bit in size and became a vehicle you were more likely to see at a shopping mall strip than crawling over boulders. With the new generation, you can bet Ford has vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler and even Land Rover’s revived Defender clearly in its sights.

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