Ford is bringing back an old name for a new family of SUVs.
And it doesn’t even start with the letter “E,” like EcoSport, Escape, Edge, Explorer and Expedition.
(How did “Flex” get in there?)
Nope, it’s the 2021 Bronco.
The Bronco nameplate was launched way back for the 1966 model year, was applied to four generations of the two-door sport-ute, and was retired in 1996.
Ford’s market research suggests it still resonates.
Two distinct models will bear the name.
“Bronco” will apply to the larger of the two. It will be available in two-door and, for the first time, four-door body styles.
Prices have already been announced, although the truck won’t be available until spring 2021.
They range from the base two-door at $40,199, to the loaded “Wildtrak” at $61,994.
Bronco is deliberately boxy, to recall its forebears. Removable doors and roof panels will allow you to commune even more closely with nature.
Engine choices will be the 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo (270 horsepower, 310 lb.-ft. of torque), or the 2.7-litre V-6 turbo (300 / 400, respectively).
A seven-speed manual transmission with a B-low gear will make for serious rock crawling.
Ford’s 10-speed automatic will probably be the transmission of choice.
A raft of off-road-assistance technology will make boonie-bashing ever more accessible for newbies, and open new horizons for experienced off-roaders.
The second model is Bronco Sport, a new entry in the compact SUV segment. It launches late this year, priced from $32,199 for the base trim level, to $40,199 for the range-topping “Badlands” model.
It is being pitched by Ford as a vehicle adventuresome types might drive to the trailhead, but who would be more likely to hike or bike than drive the rest of the way.
That said, it too has a boatload of off-road techery which will take you places you probably would not think — maybe should not think — of going.
It gets a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo engine (181 hp / 190 lb.-ft.), upgradeable to the 2.0-litre four turbo (245 / 275).
Only an eight-speed autobox is offered.
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We haven’t even seen these vehicles in the flesh yet, so we can’t tell you much more than what the people who designed and engineered them think about them.
Not suggesting they might be prejudiced or anything.
But we’ll reserve comment until we actually see them, sit in them, maybe even drive them.
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