By on March 9, 2020

fullsizebronco.com

Not content to just reveal the upcoming Ford Bronco Sport and be done with it, the shadowy denizens of Deepest Darkest Internet decided to spring an even bigger surprise on us today: the actual 2021 Bronco.

Body-on-frame and sporting a removable roof, the returning Bronco will be offered with two or four doors and a brace of turbocharged engines.

Someone with a pretty blurry (and perhaps quite vintage) camera phone snapped this pic of a four-door model, which then found its way to fullsizebronco.com. The model’s bumper is a real, solid affair, its tires look ready to bite into the roughest of surfaces, and its roof is of the soft, fold-down variety.

From this angle, we can’t confirm if the windshield frame is hinged and thus able to fold down. The doors boast no exterior hinges with which to facilitate quick removal, but that doesn’t mean Ford intends them to remain fixed. There’s been plenty of online talk (and patents) to suggest otherwise. One of those patents suggests the side pillars will come off with the roof, not the doors. The hardtop itself is said to be capable of removal in segments, and spy shots of a two-door model prove it.

There isn’t long to wait before Ford spills all of the model’s secrets. Bronco is reportedly due for a reveal later this month before going on sale early next year.

Unlike in some camouflaged spy shots from a while back, the production-ready Bronco seen above sports aggressive fender flares that would have been hard to hide beneath a tight dress. They could be part of an equipment package or an especially rugged trim.

Like the smaller, unibody Bronco Sport, the pair’s bigger brother also advertises itself via its grille. In this case, it seems Ford has employed LED light bars not just to encircle the round, retro lamps and brighten the grille crossbar, but to shout the Bronco’s presence to all around. Jeep Wrangler lovers have their slots; Bronco fans have a billboard.

Two engines will be on offer, sources tell TTAC. The base offering is the potent 2.3-liter Ecoboost four-cylinder found in the Ranger pickup, from which the Bronco borrows its frame. That engine can apparently be had with a seven-speed manual or 10-speed automatic. We’re told an uplevel 2.7-liter Ecoboost V6 will also be on offer, though that mill  pairs only with the autobox. Bummer!

After that, there’s no telling what Ford might insert beneath the Bronco’s hood (the Wrangler’s optional V6 diesel and upcoming hybrid variant makes it the more versatile of the two, powertrain-wise).

Stay tuned.

[Image: fullsizebronco.com]

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70 Comments on “Why Not? Here’s the 2021 Ford Bronco...”


  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I think I’m okay with most of it, but the line going through the headlights is stupid. That will be out of style in five minutes. Hopefully the rear styling, and the dash, are better.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Four doors may end up being the most popular, but it’s no competitor to the Wrangler’s 2-door model. They really should release both if they truly want to compete with the Wrangler. At least it lives up to the original Bronco styling, unlike that “Bronco Sport” and the new Chevy “Blazer”.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      “ Body-on-frame and sporting a removable roof, the returning Bronco will be offered with two or four doors and a brace of turbocharged engines.“

      What?

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Estimates vary and FCA is cagey, but most people think the Unlimited outsells the 2-door Wrangler by 2 or 3 to 1, and that matches my observations on the street.

      Jeep sells not quite a quarter million Wranglers a year; assume 3:1 for easier math and that’s about 65,000 2-door Wranglers.

      Consider how many people want “A JEEP!”, not “any 2 door offroader”, and you realize why Ford doesn’t care about a 2 door Bronco.

      (Bronco Trufans are another matter, but … what’re they gonna do? Buy a Wrangler?)

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      It’s no competition to any Jeep. This thing is such a disappointment. Instead of looking retro, it just looks old. I think the smaller Escape-based Bronco Sport will far outsell this thing.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    2 door naturally aspirated V6 without the Jeep price gouging would get me in the door.

    A V8 would be able to make me drop north of $50k

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      So you’d buy one with a NA six but not with the turbo six they’ll offer?

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Correct, I’ve dealt with enough turbos in my life to know better than to ever touch another. You learn not to touch the stove after you get burnt. This isn’t a diesel there is nothing of importance that cannot simply be gained by adding displacement.

        • 0 avatar
          conundrum

          And I’ve owned a turbo car every year since 1990 and one before that for two.

          Never had a moment’s trouble with the turbos in over 30 years of motoring. But I did pay attention to buying from reputable marques. What brand of junk did you buy?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            What brand of junk did you buy?

            Never said I purchased them, you get enough vehicle experience driving company vehicles to keep up with current trends. Blew a turbo in the Ford 2.7L work F150, thankfully I didn’t get that slow piece of junk back, friend blew 2 turbos in her Cruze, replaced turbos on both of my Detroit diesels.

            Adding additional failure points on an off-road vehicle is stupid.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Oh and a coworker blew one of the turbos in another one of the company cars an Escape ecoboost. So yes the last thing I trust is a Ford turbo.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Yes I am literally on my 12th to include a couple of really janky eBay turbos on a 1.6 and 1.8 Miata when I first got into them. I have never had a turbo fail to include race duty and driving one on fire out of an ambush in southeast Baghdad. But yeah, junk.

            I’ve had 2 catastrophic motor failures…a 900cc Fiat motor in an Autobianchi that I tried to go too far on a blown head gasket with and a 40k mile GM TBI 305 in a Caprice that broke a ring land. My Land Cruiser got home with a serious knock and got a new motor, but it technically didn’t fail and got me to the house. Never had a turbocharged motor fail be it a Homebrew set up, tired Italian junk, 80s crap, or modern ones. I did destroy a supercharger once though on one of the Miata that later got a janky turbo.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I thought of what Hummer said, and I agree with his logic. After all, I’ve been burned twice on two non-turbo cars. I’ll never buy another one again.

            (But, yes, I do agree that a big naturally aspirated six would be a good option in this vehicle.)

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            The 5.4 in my F250 blew up.

            Does this mean I should never buy a V8 again?

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “The 5.4 in my F250 blew up.

            Does this mean I should never buy a V8 again?”

            A Ford V8 yes…

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Well I mean you bought a tiny 5,4L OHC engine with known issues in a HD truck, did you really expect any other outcome?

        • 0 avatar
          pinkslip

          Technology advances with time, and different manufacturers achieve different levels of success from the same type of technology.

          Unless you’ve been unlucky enough to have multiple turbo issues from different manufacturers, avoiding that tech would be like swearing-off any vehicle with variable valve technology because you owned a BMW with Vanos once.

          I’m curious what your experience with turbos has been to turn you away from an entire category of automotive technology.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            “ Technology advances with time, and different manufacturers achieve different levels of success from the same type of technology.”

            This is barely a technological advancement, forced induction has been around since the very early days of multiple different engine types, but it never caught on in ICE application because increasing the displacement has the exact same affect sans the additional failure point, added plumbing, and heating management issues. In the current environment of disposable cars putting turbos in everything is an easy way to ensure another future vehicle sale and more parts to make money. More failure points means more places to make money.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          2.7 in this will be a rocket. It will move my F150 with authority.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Jeep has needed some direct competition for a while. No reason why their price should have jumped $10K in just five years. I expect we’ll see some price wars developing once the Bronco hits the market and gets past its introductory surge.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    This looks promising, don’t screw it up, Ford

    • 0 avatar
      Garrett

      They’re including “connectivity” to certain insurance companies free of charge.

      So basically, they’ve already screwed it up. Shame, because it looks compelling otherwise.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    Underwhelming. Jeep has nothing to fear from this imposter. This is what all the hype has been about? (sound of snoopy laughing)

  • avatar
    jack4x

    No V6/manual combo will keep me looking at Jeep unless a much lower price justifies the 4.

    Otherwise I like this a lot.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Whine about it all you want but I’d bet my Grandfather (who owned a 1967 Bronco) would recognize that as a Bronco. (Were he still alive.)

    I actually think it does the “heritage” thing well. Of course that will make a 2nd gen difficult to style.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Agreed, PD. One of the best looking retros ever put out. You would almost think they took an original body and put four doors and modern underpinnings under it. Not like that “baby Bronco” they’re calling the Sport. Of course, there is another definition of ‘sport’, as well… a rather derogatory one that fits the ‘baby Bronco’ very well.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I don’t believe there will be a problem with gen 2 styling, the Mustang has moved along nicely since it’s “retro” introduction and why would a gen 2 be all that different? Jeep Wrangler has kept the same basic look while constantly improving since WWII

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @Lie2Me – see Chevrolet Camaro and New Beetle for how it retro can be difficult to keep fresh.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          True, but we’re talking a boxy upright SUV which is kind of timeless and basic. All ford has to do is update with little changes in the basic box

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          The New Beetle was a mistake from the outset; they should have kept it rear-engined and just upgraded the design in the same way they’ve done the Porsche. The old Audi TT made a better New Beetle than the New Beetle itself, however; despite its front engine layout.

          As for the Camaro, we have to keep in mind that GM had more than 20 years of Camaro body styles they could have copied over the years and they have chosen to approximately stick to the original 1967 retro cues. I hate to say it but today’s Camaro looks more like a bigger Corvette of the ’00s than it does a Camaro any more. The fault there goes both ways, though. The Corvette has taken on the Camaro’s tail and honestly no longer looks like a Corvette.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    I don’t know what has happened to Ford but this is milk toast. Hideous black wheel flairs – you can put the name of a legend in the grill, but it does not make it a legend. I am not surprised this thing is as bland as it is. Ford has really forgotten its way. And judging by the tepid 2021 F-150, I think Ford has forgotten even how to build a truck to compete with Ram. Forget Chevrolet. This brand is becoming a joke. And this is from someone who was born into a Ford family, who had Ford Blue blood, and who defend the company through its maladies. But I am so loathing the current management and its stupidity in product choices.

    That may say “Bronco” across the front – but it is NO BRONCO. I think the name is on there so the bald-headed fool running the company will know what it is supposed to be.

    • 0 avatar
      Zoomers_StandingOnGenius_Shoulders

      Now, imagine taking this diatribe and quickly changing out the keywords like Ford, Bronco etc with ANY other make or model. EZPZ

      B&B YALL!

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Ford is living off its fan base–Ford owners who believe the company can do no wrong despite all the quality issues they’ve been having over the last 20 years. They are so anti-anything-else that Ford simply has to be the best. As new generations of drivers come in, however, I believe they’ll realize that the fan base is thinning out. In fact, I believe we can already see that happening. Ford’s stock price is lower than just about every other brand, including and especially FCA’s, which supposedly has a far worse quality problem than Ford’s. It falls much more and they’ll be forced off the Dow as a “penny stock.” Even at $6.11/share, I wouldn’t buy Ford right now. They’re on the verge of that bankruptcy that they only barely dodged back in ’08, and it shows.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “despite all the quality issues they’ve been having over the last 20 years.”

        My 2010 F150 is coming on 10 years old. It has been very reliable. It has required much less shop visits than the 2010 Toyota Sienna I had and even my ex’s new 2019 Honda CRV. I know many others with similar truck histories. As far as Ford cars, sure. But I don’t giva a sh!t about cars or CUV’s/SUV’s.

        It shouldn’t be very difficult for Ford to make a Bronco more reliable than a Jeep. Every Jeep guy I know has had problems, some severe so one shouldn’t be labeling Ford buyers as fanatics.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      “ I don’t know what has happened to Ford but this is milk toast. ”

      Um, your point is moo – as Joey Tribbiani would say.

      Milquetoast.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I like it much more than I expected.

  • avatar
    Zoomers_StandingOnGenius_Shoulders

    Oh boy the The REEEEEEEing continued. Haters rabble rabble rabbling because they’re worried about Jeep being crapped on with this. GM isn’t even in the mix at this point. It looks and from the the info I’ve read, SOUNDS like Ford is doing this up right. Man, that is really making some of the B&B(!) around here nervous.
    #LicenseToPrintMoney
    #ReallyKnockedItOutOfThePark
    #HomeRunOnItsHands
    #SellAllTheyCanMake

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I noticed I didn’t see a mention of 2wd version, something the 4 Runner does offer.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      A 2 door, 2wd, NA 4 cyl, would also be the bees knees if the weight was kept under 4,000 and if they could price it around $20k.

      A return to base SUVs in the way we have base pickups would be a dream come true.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        ^^This, my thoughts are the same, they need to offer this up like a pick-up with a wide range of ala cart options to attract buyers who just want the basics all the way up to the “King Ranch” load ‘er up types. Low $20s to $60K+ should be the range

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    Looks promising…..but drop in the 5.0 already!

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I agree it’s a match made in heaven, convertible V8 SUV would destroy Jeeps stranglehold on this market. It would be the hottest product on the market.

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    Jalopnik has a photo of the supposed 2 door version. Not sure if it’s the angle/perspective of the photo but the proportions of the rear of the truck look off…..like it was chopped short….odd.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I agree it’s a bit odd, two things that would greatly help are

      A) if they hadn’t of done that weird smaller roof than body transition it wouldn’t look so bad, it is not a very good design; making the roof and body match or slightly over sizing the roof would have looked better. Especially on the smaller 2 door
      B) The windows seems really small, 3 inches of more windows would look a lot better.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      It is odd, but most resembles an original Bronco which did have some odd proportions in it’s day

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    So Ford copies 90% of the Wrangler (down to the door handles) and then slaps on their interpretation of a modern FJ Cruiser grille and everyone is wow’ed?

    Man you people need to get some higher standards. Much like with the Ranger, the only thing this Chinese Wrangler knockoff has going for it is the power train. Other than that, nothing we see is that great. Why it took Ford that long to “copy Jeep’s homework” is beyond me.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Actually I’ll take the Jeep powertrain. What this has is great styling and (hopefully) a non dumbarse pricing setup. The prices on Wranglers are unfathomable.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Have you seen what Ford has been doing with pricing?

        Look at the Explorer. Nonexistent quality, constantly beat by other less expensive SUVs when compared, and less content all for more and more money.

        The Telluride is a better vehicle in every single way and fully loaded is $45k. The same Explorer with amazingly poor quality is $60k.

        This Bronco and butch Escape (or Manscape)will be prices far too high. They will have an entry budget model so they can advertise a low price but in true Ford fashion if you want to upgrade the headlights they are going to require to get leather, remote start, a moon roof, different wheels, and the tow package all for $7k.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          If that’s true that’s dumb, but it’s probably true, so you wait two years and buy slightly used for half retail

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          “ upgrade the headlights they are going to require to get leather, remote start, a moon roof, different wheels, and the tow package all for $7k.”

          I doubt anyone would spend $7k on unnecessary stuff such as you listed, none of it is “got to have” stuff.

          I really couldn’t give two flying bolognas on the Telluride or the Explorer they’re both overpriced minivans that I wouldn’t drop $20k for.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            Have you seen how Ford arranges their options?

            A moonroof on an Explorer XLT costs almost $6,000…because you have to add an entire package.

            And I don’t care what vehicles you are interested in, point being you can get a far better vehicle for $15,000 less with Kia versus the Explorer.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Well Kia doesn’t make a high displacement OHV V8 HD truck nor do they build an off-road vehicle. Frankly I don’t risk buying any of their products or their products competition for that matter. The vehicle in this article is in a segment Kia does not compete in so how they wound up getting brought up is a mystery.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “So Ford copies 90% of the Wrangler”

      I’m not seeing much of Jeep in this design. If anything, I was expecting Ford to copy the Brazilian Troller.

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    To retro 1970s styling for me. I like the boxy design but with a more attractive styling flair like the old Defender.

  • avatar
    LectroByte

    It looks like an interesting Jeep competitor, but late to the party, especially since we are in the midst of a economic contraction. Timing is everything. Had this hit a year or two earlier, then a much better market for it.

  • avatar

    That price if junk is an alternative to the Fusion.

  • avatar
    gtem

    Major props to Ford for building this thing and entering the offroad SUV fray. Happy to see that a manual will be on offer as well.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’m not the target buyer for this vehicle, but I do like it. I think Ford will sell a ton of them.

  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    This is such an important vehicle, and will be a litmus test on whether Ford can still launch new product. Everything else they’ve done in terms of that has been a disaster in recent years. I for one would like to see Ford get a big win with the Bronco.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    The subtle “OJ” in the headlight is a nice touch.

  • avatar
    JMII

    So this is the real Bronco which makes the Escape base “Sport” a… what exactly?

    I get that CUV/SUV/offroaders are big sellers these days but does Ford need two vehicles with the same look and same name? Well I guess this makes perfect sense since its from the same people who are making a Mustang SUV that doesn’t have a V8.

    I am confused already. So I feel bad for the average consumer. Imagine the conversation: Hey I want to tow a ski boat up to the lake using my new Bronco. Cool bro! But then they show up in the unibody version. Oh sorry dude, that ain’t the real Bronco, you should have gotten the one with V6!

  • avatar
    Eaststand

    Not a great looking car, gotta say. Extremely ungainly looking and that line in the lights looks stupid with round headlights

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