After all the speculation, hype, and anticipation, the legend is finally back.
No, we’re not talking about the second coming of Surge, the citrusy soft drink of the late 90s that wrought untold sugar crashes and tooth decay upon the world before disappearing into the ether. (Incidentally, Surge has been back since 2018. Be afraid.) We’re talking about the new 2021 Ford Bronco, which Ford revealed alongside its smaller sibling, the Bronco Sport, during a July 13 livestream event.
With the new family of vehicles, Ford sought out to blend modern technology and styling with retro appeal in a confidently class-leading off-road-worthy lineup.
“We created the Bronco family to elevate every aspect of off-road adventure and equipped them with class-leading chassis hardware and exclusive technologies to raise the bar in the rugged 4×4 segment and take people further into the wild,” Ford COO Jim Farley said in a prepared statement. “They’re built with the toughness of an F-Series truck and performance spirit of Mustang – and come wrapped in one of the most stunning and functional off-road designs that’s true to the original Bronco design DNA.”
2021 Ford Bronco
First introduced in August 1965, the original Ford Bronco was Ford’s answer to the popular Jeep CJ-5. After five generations, Ford discontinued the vehicle in 1996 due to declining demand for two-door SUVs.
The new Ford Bronco continues that heritage in the form of a modern 4×4 available in seven unique trims and—for the first time ever—a four-door version. It only gets more exciting from there.
According to Mark Grueber, Bronco consumer marketing manager, Bronco’s advanced four-wheel-drive technology “is at the core” of the vehicle’s off-road capabilities, and “at the heart of it all is Bronco’s exclusive Terrain Management System with G.O.A.T. Modes.” (We see what you did there, Ford.) Depending on the trim level, Bronco owners can choose between up to seven selectable driving modes, including Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery, Sand, Baja, Mud/Ruts, and Rock Crawl.
Two 4×4 systems are offered on all Bronco models, including base and advanced versions. The base system uses a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case, while the more advanced version featured a two-speed electromechanical transfer case that allows for on-demand engagement of 2H and 4H.
The Bronco boasts two powertrain options, including a standard EcoBoost 2.3L turbocharged inline-4 engine that puts out 270 horsepower and 310 foot-pounds of torque. Bronco owners also have the option of a 2.7L V6 engine that generates 310 hp and 400 ft. lbs. of torque—more powerful than even Ford’s own F-150 pickup truck.
That 2.3L engine comes standard with a seven-speed manual transmission, but a 10-speed automatic transmission—standard on the 2.7L version—also is available. When paired with the available advanced 4×4 system and its electromechanical transfer case, Ford says its new manual transmission can achieve a crawl ratio of 94.75:1 straight from the factory. We’d say that’s pretty impressive.
Beyond the performance characteristics, one of the coolest features of the new Bronco is the ability to remove the roof and doors, much like its closest competitor, the Jeep Wrangler. Two-door models come with a three-section roof, while four-door models feature a four-section roof. A single person can easily remove individual roof sections on either version by unlocking latches from the interior, Ford claims. Every Bronco also comes with frameless doors designed for easy removal.
Pricing begins at $29,995 for two-door version of the Bronco and $34,695 for four-door versions. In addition to the base model, trims include the off-road capable Big Bend, the heavier-duty Black Diamond, the comfort-driven Outer Banks, the desert-running Wildtrak, the trail-conquering Badlands, and the sorry-you-can’t-have-it-anymore First Edition. Some of these offer the hilariously named Sasquatch package, which comes loaded with 35-inch tires and more off-road equipment.
There’s much more information available than what we’ve provided here. For a complete breakdown, check out this Bronco spec sheet from Ford. Check out some additional pics of the new vehicle below:
2021 Bronco Sport
In addition to the Bronco, Ford also unveiled the all-new Bronco Sport, a more compact, sports SUV aimed at those with lighter trail riding in mind. Though the vehicle is similar to its bigger brother in many ways—including selectable G.O.A.T. driving modes, styling cues and trim naming conventions—it is decidedly a different vehicle.
Despite sharing its name with the Bronco, the Bronco Sport actually has more in common with the Ford Escape, including its unibody construction and powertrain. The Sport offers the same standard 1.5L and optional 2.0L EcoBoost turbocharged engines.
Five trims are available, including Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, Badlands, and First Edition. Each Bronco Sport model comes standard with all-whee-drive capabilities, an eight-speed automatic transmission, roof rack, and Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system. Ground clearance ranges from 7.8 inches for the base model to 8.8 inches for the Badlands trim—good, but not quite as impressive as the regular Bronco’s 11.6 inches.
Those who like to combine their off-road driving with other types of outdoor adventuring can find some benefits in this vehicle, according to Ford:
“Bronco Sport is smartly designed to transport two mountain bikes standing up in its cargo area—and two cyclists up front. Four available accessory bundles—in addition to more than 100 factory-backed standalone accessories—let owners easily make the vehicle their own by outfitting it to transport kayaks, skis, camping equipment or whatever gear propels their adventure.”Ford
The Bronco Sport will start at a base price of $28,155. For more information on performance capabilities, check out Ford’s official Bronco Sport spec sheet.
Here are some additional shots of the Bronco Sport: