Ford's Bronco R Hints at the Future Production Vehicle

Chad Kirchner
by Chad Kirchner
fords bronco r hints at the future production vehicle

Ford has a history of testing its latest Ford Performance products in motosports. For the off-roaders, like the Raptor, that meant building one to race in events like the SCORE Baja 1000. A new Ford Bronco is coming, and the company plans to test it by running this year’s Baja 1000. In doing so, the company is telling us more than we ever knew about the upcoming vehicle.

The Bronco R prototype seen here is based on what will ultimately be the production-spec Bronco. The engine and transmission? Production. The T6 platform that underpins the Ranger? Production. Even the front badge will likely be production, minus the red R signifying the racing version.

Ford sequestered a bunch of journalists out in the desert, and instead of burying us all in a shallow grave, mob-style, they showed us the new vehicle. It pays tribute to racing legend Rod Hall’s victory in 1969, when he won overall at the Baja 1000, even beating out the bikes. It’s one of the most legendary victories in desert racing history.

The flared fenders and giant tires are obviously racing-spec only. As is the gutted interior. But the shape of the body should be close to what to expect out of the production version.

Ford also confirmed the Bronco will have a 10-speed automatic transmission, which should come as no surprise considering both the Ranger and F-150 have it. Everyone’s favorite Internet engineer, Bozi Tatarevic, claims that — judging from photos — he’s identified enough parts to believe there’s a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 powering this beast. Which makes sense, as the 3.5-liter would be reserved for the bigger vehicles, at least in this author’s opinion.

After some investigation I am pretty certain that this is a 2.7L EcoBoost engine. There are 3 items that are unique to the 2.7L that I was able to identify from the image above.

1. Bracket

2. Oil cooler

3. Casting marks.

Compared here with an image pulled from a 2.7L on eBay.

— Bozi Tatarevic (@hoonable) November 4, 2019

While Ford hasn’t announced anything further, don’t be surprised to see this vehicle appear in other events out in the dirt. Also expect to find out more information about the new Bronco as it inches closer to the official production reveal in the spring.

[Images: Ford]

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5 of 24 comments
  • Super555 Super555 on Nov 05, 2019

    Saw on YouTubes the independent front suspension. Kind of a let down for many. I don't care though.

    • See 2 previous
    • IHateCars IHateCars on Nov 06, 2019

      @Hummer “The Bronco being a two solid axle vehicle it’s entire life...” Not quite, ‘80-‘96 FS Broncos ran a twin traction beam IFS front axle.

  • John John on Nov 05, 2019

    2022 Wrangler is set to get a new 3.0L Tornado Turbo I6, as well as a 2.5L Version of the Current Hurricane Turbo I4. Now if Jeep would offer the Cummins 2.8L I4 Diesel, I and many other Jeepsters would be very happy campers.

  • FifaCup Loving both Interior and exterior designs.
  • FifaCup This is not good for the auto industry
  • Jeff S This would be a good commuter vehicle especially for those working in a large metropolitan area. The only thing is that by the time you put airbags, backup cameras, and a few of the other required safety features this car would no longer be simple and the price would be not much cheaper than a subcompact. I like the idea but I doubt a car like this would get marketed in anyplace besides Europe and the 3rd World.
  • ScarecrowRepair That's what I came to say!
  • Inside Looking Out " the plastic reinforced with cotton waste used on select garbage vehicles assembled by the Soviet Union. "Wrong. The car you are talking about was the product German engineering, East German. It's name was Trabant.