Ford's Bronco R Hints at the Future Production Vehicle

Chad Kirchner
by Chad Kirchner
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ford s 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]

Chad Kirchner
Chad Kirchner

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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.

  • Jkross22 Nah, If I needed a truck, I'd get a Nissan titan or for nearly the same money a 20 yr old SR5.
  • Kwik_Shift No. It is hideous and jarring to look at. Why would I need this anyway?
  • Jeff From the side profile this gives off Taurus wagon vibes. Nice looking wagon love the exterior color and the interior. The burled walnut interior trim is beautiful.
  • Jeff I think initially there will be a lot of orders for this truck and then sales will crater. Those that want this truck mainly the Tesla fans will buy them and then anyone that wanted one will have already bought one. The Cybertruck kind of reminds me of the Delorean which was widely anticipated and once it was out and those who wanted a Delorean bought one that was the end. Both the Delorean and Cybertruck are stainless steel and both are weird looking. Maybe they could release a new Back to the Future sequence and have Doc drive a Cybertruck.
  • Jeff "would you, if you have the dough, buy  a Tesla Cybertruck?"No I would rather buy a more attractive 58 Edsel or a Pontiac Aztek.