Believe it or not, the Ford Bronco project has been active since 1999. Three years after the first Bronco hung up its fat tyres, an unofficial team of Ford employees were already designing the next one. Two decades later, here it is: the Ford Bronco 2021, in all its glory.
Bringing the Bronco to the streets was a long and hard slog for the unofficial team, which has come to be known as Bronco Underground. When Ford decided to pull the Ranger pickup from the USA, the Bronco ended up being collateral damage. However, shortly after reintroducing the Ranger to its home market, company executives realised demand wasn’t enough to populate an assembly line.
Bronco Underground jumped in, getting approval to produce the Bronco on the same assembly line. The team’s persistence finally bore fruit. And now, the Ford Bronco is official.
A new age of hardy off-roaders is upon us, kickstarted by the stupendous new Land Rover Defender. The SUV’s design was instantly lauded, and other manufacturers started scrambling to follow suit. Jeep has been pulling off the neo-retro card since quite a few years, but the Defender really sped up proceedings.
The new Ford Bronco stacks right up against the Defender, yet also has the chops to take on the Jeep Wrangler. Proven off-road cred wrapped in a heritage-inspired design is the formula the Bronco rides upon. And it straddles an interesting market demographic: older customers that have lived through the Bronco’s golden era, and young buyers looking for a funky car without breaking the bank.
The heritage-inspired SUV is available in three guises: two-door, four-door, and Bronco Sport. The Sport rides on Ford Escape underpinnings, while the other two employ Ranger platforms. Like true-blue off-road vehicles, the Bronco’s doors and roof are removable, and the doors themselves feature optional oblong cutouts so you can “connect” with your surroundings sitting inside the car.
And yes, pulling off a boxy design in this day and age is a tough task, yet Ford has achieved it. The Bronco looks endearing right from the start with its retro-inspired round headlamps and taillamps with LED elements. The short wheelbase and chunky wheels give the SUV a badass flavour. And it looks like a proper successor to the OG Bronco.
Inside, the Ford Bronco 2021 is a millennial’s wet dream. It features rubber flooring with drain holes and a minimalist dashboard and centre console. There is a good old drive mode selector adjacent to the gear knob, while a handhold rounds off the centre console. So where’s the millennial appeal in this? Well, the Bronco’s dashboard has mounting points for cameras and smartphones so drivers can show off how good a time they’re having.
The seats are wrapped in water-resistant fabric found on boat seats. A foot-long infotainment screen takes care of all your entertainment and car info purposes, while there’s a familiar bucking horse emblazoned on the chunky steering wheel. Overall, the cabin encourages you to set off into the unknown, while the mechanicals will see you through the worst of it!
The Ford Bronco offers a choice between two engines: a 2.3-litre four-cylinder motor and a bigger 2.7-litre V6. Both engines feature EcoBoost tech. Suffice it to say that Ford is about attacking any SUV you can think of. Suzuki Jimny? Beat. Land Rover Defender? Beat. Jeep Wrangler? No sweat, mate.
Throw in AWD, driver assistance systems, and its light footprint, and the Bronco will make short work of whatever its nose is pointed at. The Ford Bronco 2021 will be available from spring 2021. Look for more information in our upcoming, detailed posts!