Ford giving us a glimpse of the 2021 Bronco by unveiling the all-new Bronco R prototype.
Designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Rod Hall’s win at the Baja 1000, the Bronco R hints at the upcoming production model which will be unveiled next spring.
The prototype was developed by Ford Performance in collaboration with Geiser Bros Design and Development as well as Baja 1000 Trophy Truck champion Cameron Steele. Unsurprisingly, it pays homage to the first-generation Bronco as well as the upcoming Jeep Wrangler competitor.
Starting up front, the prototype has open fascia with a Bronco-branded grille. The latter component likely mirrors the production variant, but the LED auxiliary lights will be reserved for the racer.
Moving further back, we can see slab-sided bodywork and pronounced fender flares. The prototype is also a coupe that features large side ‘windows’ and a relatively flat roof.
The composite body foreshadows the shape of the production model and the SUV has also been equipped with a clamshell hood and roof. Other highlights include an independent front suspension with 14 inches (356 mm) of travel and a “production-based five-link rear chassis design” with up to 18 inches (457 mm) of travel. The model also has custom Fox shocks and 17-inch aluminum wheels that are shod in 37-inch BFGoodrich tires.
Ford confirmed the prototype rides on a modified version of the T6 architecture which will also underpin the production model. The platform is used on the Ranger and Ford noted the prototype will compete in this year’s Baja 1000 where they can test its durability and capability.
The company was coy on performance specifications, but Ford Performance off-road racing supervisor, Brian Novak, said “Even the twin turbos of the EcoBoost engine are representative of what the production Bronco will offer.”
This is interesting as speculation suggested the production model will have a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder with approximately 270 hp (201 kW / 274 PS) and 310 lb-ft (420 Nm) of torque. However, that engine only uses one turbo and Novak’s statement implies the production model will have a twin-turbo unit.
Ford offers an assortment of twin-turbo EcoBoost engines on the F-150 including a 2.7-liter V6 that develops 325 hp (242 kW / 330 PS) and 400 lb-ft (542 Nm) of torque. The truck can also be equipped with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 which produces 375 hp (280 kW / 380 PS) in base form and 450 hp (336 kW / 456 PS) in the Raptor.