UPDATE 3/11/20: A Bronco6G forums member posted that Ford notified dealers on the new Bronco’s reveal date. According to information they received, more news is coming on March 18, so mark your calendars!
We normally see some leaks emerge when a new car is on the immediate horizon, but we typically don’t get three leaks in the same week. First the “baby” Bronco Sport, then the full-size Ford Bronco. Now, the Bronco leaked again, this time showing much more detail than the grainy photos or camouflaged spy shots we’ve had to work with thus far.
Let’s start with the rear, since that’s where more of the interesting stuff is going on. We’ve all pegged the upcoming 2021 Ford Bronco as a direct competitor to the Jeep Wrangler, but the similarities just become more apparent each time we see the Bronco in the sheet metal. There’s an interesting looking roof rack, but the roof is also removable and we have the same spare tire arrangement. If certain rumors and patent applications turn out to be true in production, we may also get removable doors.
Now, in the Jeep, it’s obvious you get removable doors thanks to the external hinges. It’s easier than ever to take the doors off in the Jeep Wrangler JL, whereas it’s not immediately obvious how to go about taking the doors off with the Bronco, if they are indeed removable.
What else do we know?
The mirror placement is an encouraging sign for the door arrangement, as is the situation with the B and C pillars. They look fixed in place, so only the painted portion of the door swings out when you open it. Getting back to the roof for a moment, it also seems you can take off the shell in more or less one piece, which you could also do on the old Broncos. As much as they’re gunning for the Wrangler here, it’s nice to see some signs of the old trucks in this reinvention of Ford’s iconic SUV.
We’ve seen the two-door variants, but the four-door has been popping up more frequently. Like the Wrangler, I suspect the longer wheelbase Bronco will dramatically outsell its shorter version, since folks tend to buy these SUVs as daily drivers, as much as they’d buy a Bronco as an off-road toy. Once again we see decently chunky bumpers, but less aggressive tires than on some past prototypes. Still, despite the long wheelbase, it looks like the Bronco has plenty of ground clearance to get over touch obstacles.
As for powertrains, the 2021 Ford Bronco should get the same 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that’s in the Ford Ranger. Ford may pull out a surprise, but that engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment would be the most logical choice. Reports suggest Ford will also, to our surprise and delight, offer the truck with a 7-speed manual transmission as well. I’m curious why Ford landed on seven forward gears when six has suited us well outside of performance applications, but I’ll take having a clutch at all where I can get it.
As ever, Ford isn’t commenting on “future product”, meaning we don’t have any more official information at this point. Fortunately, we don’t have too much longer to wait to stop reporting on leaks. The actual Bronco will finally debut in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more details!
H/T to Bronco6G forums for the images.