Ford Bronco – A lesson in how to revive a legend
The epitome of a lifestyle vehicle. The Jeep. A perfected concept that is so unique, there hasn’t been any true competition in the price bracket that the Jeep upholds itself in. Well, as a proper car that gets decent range, doesn´t roll over, there might be other alternatives, but there is no denying that the Jeep has made a decent mark in the history books. Why am I writing so much about a completely different car? The simple answer is to show the monumental task that Ford has set themselves to conquering, and from what can be seen, they have done their homework.
After quite a long time from the spotlight, the infamous Bronco has made a return, and it is all about making yours. Available as the big size Bronco, in both three and five doors, and the more, well sporty, Bronco Sport, it is completely customizable. From the top of the line First edition, which is already sold out by the way, to the Base. However, to succeed in a market of well-established models, you can´t just bring what everything else offers, you have to blow everyone out of the water. It is therefore time to go through all the things that have made the New Bronco the hottest thing in the automotive world in a long time.
Most importantly, 4×4 comes as standard. With a two-speed transfer case setup giving you 4H and 4L setup which can be selected on the fly. However, the Advanced system is electromechanic, which basically means that the system can automatically select between 4H and 4L. Further, by selecting A4, power continuously varies between the front and rear wheels to give optimum grip. Interestingly, Ford has not developed a completely new platform, since the Bronco is actually based on the Ranger. Unsurprisingly, the car is not the lightest. With a minimum weight of just under 2 tons, a maximum weight of 2.4 tons, and the fact that the car looks as aerodynamic as a brick, fuel efficiency might be prioritized lower than off-road capabilities.
Speaking of off-road capabilities. Get the Sasquatch package and your Bronco will be fitted with 35-inch tires, beadlock wheels, Bilstein dampers and front and rear electronic locking differentials. However, many of the different packages, such as the Badlands, get model specific suspension. With class leading wading depth, breakover and departure angle, and ground clearance, it is all starting to fall into place. This is a car engineered to go everywhere. Or at least where you need it to go. Go for the top-spec Bronco, and you even get protection-, or in Ford terms, bash-plates for the undercarriage. Here is where things get nutty. The front end is completely modular. Which makes it possible to fit winches and extra lights.
Power comes from a 4 cylinder turbocharged engine. It is the 2.3 L one found in the ecoboost Mustang and the discontinued Focus RS, albeit in a revised version. The specs are 270 hp and 460 Nm. There is also a 2.7 L v6 with 310 hp and 540 Nm. Both are available with a 10-speed automatic transmission, but the 4 cylinder can also be fitted with a 7-speed manual. Both engine options give a maximum towing capacity of 1600 kg. But don’t forget the trailer tow package!
Inside is as you might expect. Simplified, but usable. Angles and squares everywhere. A true modern take on a classic. Do I love it? From the pictures, maybe not, but I think that in real life, the uniqueness of it might make me think otherwise.
The only real problem, and it is in reality a small one, I have with the car is that it is trying too much. That it is so evident that Ford is trying their hardest to make this not only a car that fits a logical space in their lineup, but to also make people choose the Bronco instead of a Jeep and the newly released Defender. There is however no denying that Ford has made something truly special that will ruffle quite a few feathers, and with a starting of 24 000 euro, it might branch over into a completely different market. The holy crossover segment.