Ford Bronco Rides Back Into The Ford Line-Up
by Ric Green

Ford’s trend-setting sport vehicles’ gate to the outdoors, which gained notoriety 26 years ago thanks to a slow police chase of O.J. Simpson on the Los Angeles interstate, is back. The Blue Oval has not just one edition hitting the streets and off-roads, but three, the Bronco two-door, the Bronco Four-Door, and the Bronco Sport.

The Bronco by Ford has a rich and vast history. In its 1966 debut, it was branded as a ride for those with a sense of adventure in enjoying the great outdoors. It was a convertible truck introduced as a sportier four-wheel drive competitor of small front-wheel drive utility trucks like a Jeep CJ-5 and the International Harvester.

A redesign in 1978 introduced a larger model which was based on a shorter F-Series truck which was the standard through 1996, when it was discontinued.   Yet no matter the year it was built, four-wheel drive and low-range were standard on every Bronco constructed throughout the 30-year run. There were some two-wheel drive models produced, but almost all were sold outside of the United States.

Now Ford reintroduces the Bronco to a public that has come to embrace the sport utility market it spawned in the mid-1960s.  Today’s field of Sport Utilities is led by the Jeep Wrangler and the Land Rover Defender, but Ford has the market in their sites by adding to the public’s passion for SUVs.

Ford is hitting the road in a big way with three editions of the wild horse family that are ready for the outdoors, but also bring some class when heading to the grocery store or taking the kids to football and cheerleading practice.

The release date for the 2021 Bronco was originally set for July 9, the same day as O.J. Simpson’s Birthday, maybe a nod to its history. Ford would change the date to July 13 after learning of the calendar quirk.  Coincidence?  I think not.

The Base model comes stock with a Four-Cylinder 2.3L Ecoboost pushing 270 horsepower with 31lb-ft of torque balanced with those items that show both the two-door and four-door models are direct descendants from the over 30-year lineage such as 4X4 and easy-to-remove doors and roof.

The Base Model is a blank canvas ripe for options and packages.  The Big Bend model comes with creature comforts like remote start, aluminum wheels, heated seats, power inverter and more.  Black Diamond’s rock rails, heavy-duty skid plates and seven G.O.A.T. Modes (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) and Marine-grade vinyl seats and a washout interior should make it a South Florida favorite.

The Outer Banks package embraces off-roading in style with 12-inch LCD touchscreen and Bang & Olufsen sound system. The Badlands and Wildtrak models are the top packages featuring beefed-up suspension with Bilstein shocks, front and rear locking differentials, 33-35 all-terrain tires, plus vinyl or leather interior.

Want more horses? Check out the 310 horses coming from the 2.7L twin turbocharged V6 engine and its 10-speed automatic transmission that are part of the high-end packages.

The Bronco Sport model is a more refined urban edition of the Bronco family and shares DNA with the Ford Escape. It comes in the same packages as the Bronco, just more urban and a little less rough around the comfort and ride.

The current prices based on the model and the packages are still fluid as you might expect as the first round of production has sold out. This means the dealers have no inventory on site.  According to the Ford website, the Bronco Sport two-door Base starts at $28,500, The Bronco four-door is currently listed at $33,200, and the Bronco Sport starts out at $26,660, but I would visit the local Ford dealer.  They are currently taking deposits there and online, and delivery dates may be as late as the winter of 2021.