By on May 11, 2021

Bronco Badlands

A stock 2021 Bronco Badlands finished third in the NORRA Mexican 1000 off-road rally, driven by two Ford engineers. The podium finish came in the Pre-Runner Truck class.

Bronco engineer manager Jamie Groves and Seth Goslawski, another Bronco engineer, drove the majority of the 1,141 mile race across the Baja peninsula. Brad Lovell, a Bronco advisory panel member and prior NORRA winner, helped navigate and drove one stage during the five-day event.

“Bronco has a long, successful history racing down here so we wanted to put the new one to the test as our final Built Wild extreme testing validation. It exceeded our every expectation for performance across this treacherous environment,” said Groves. “This race is a key final pre-launch check box for what the Bronco can do.”

The Bronco Badlands used the factory 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, 10-speed SelectShift transmission, and 4WD with the automatic on-demand transfer case. The high-performance off-road stability suspension system on the Badlands features long-travel, coil-over Bilstein shock absorbers. A roll cage, harness belts, racing seats, and fire extinguishing system were racing additions.

The Badlands used stock 33-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain tires. A Dana 44 M220 rear axle, and M210 independent front suspension with Spicer electronic lockers is included. The Badlands’ front sway-bar disconnect and Terrain Management System was particularly helpful traversing the unforgiving Mexican countryside.

“We topped 100 MPH in some dry lake beds,” Groves said. “The Bronco’s Baja mode was especially helpful. It keeps shift points at the right rpm, and the turbos spooled up so power is there when you need it. The brakes are more aggressive to slow quickly for rough terrain.”

The 2021 Bronco two-door and Bronco four-door SUVs arrive this summer. It will team up with the 2020 Bronco Sport that is available in showrooms now.

[Images: Ford]

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17 Comments on “2021 Bronco Badlands Podiums at Mexican 1000 Rally...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Quality is Job One – this one.

    Jobs 2+, who knows.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    “It exceeded our every expectation”

    Third place exceeded every one of Ford’s expectations. That tells you all you need to know about Ford, their priorities, and the quality of their vehicles. I guess when the bar is that low it’s not hard to exceed your expectations.

    I also do not believe for one second that this Bronco II was completely stock. This is the same kind of nonsense we saw when Ford put the “same” ecobust 3.5L in all sorts of different F150 from Baja trucks to log haulers. “See how durable it is?” Yeah…right Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “I also do not believe for one second that this Bronco II was completely stock. ”

      Probably added extra coats of paint to hold the roof rack together.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      1st in that class was a Ranger and 2nd was a $300,000 SCG Boot, at least google in between trolling.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      That they are racing, and completing the race, puts them ahead of most competitors…….

      Whether a production based vehicle nominally “wins” “its” rather arbitrary “class” or not, means an awful lot less to the end buyer, than that the vehicle has been subjected to a rather harsh test, and did well enough for the driver to be the limiting factor for something like 99% of buyers. And that the team behind it, cares sufficiently to seek out the learnings they get from partaking.

      Motor sports participation, is a very big plus, for typical “enthusiast” vehicles. At least for vehicles which tend to be bought for the manner in which they drive in some environment.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      There are mods made to comply with safety regulations.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Parnelli is only 87…how come they didn’t have him drive a section?

  • avatar
    slavuta

    KAMAZ rips all podiums at Paris Dakkar rallies. I don’t see them driving around US.

  • avatar

    Okay that is a great action shot there.

  • avatar
    slow_poke

    I thought the deal w/ these was the clutches in the “on demand transfer case” were sized for “occasional” off road work. I thought that was documented. Therefore, if it was stock then this course could be run primarily as a front drive event w/ 4wheeling help as necessary. Does that track? If you’re driving fast on sandy dirt big front drive tires would be sufficient??

    • 0 avatar
      Ol Shel

      Sounds like you’re thinking of the Bronco Sport.

      Bronco, Bronco Sport, Transit, Transit Connect, Mustang, Mustang Mach-E. Who could possibly confuse them…

      • 0 avatar
        slow_poke

        Yeah, maybe so., my BAD…. I’ve heard so much hype about these things and was honestly getting a bit excited, but just saw one in real life and it didn’t really live up to the hype for me. SUV box. Again. Anyway, didn’t mean to disparage. I feel now that w/ all the SUV’s, CUV’s, “lifted sedans???”, that the “amount of mass required to get me to the grocery store” has doubled in the past 10years and that seems like the wrong direction. Got no good answer for that aside from taxing mass?
        .

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