Richard Bazzy
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Ford Bronco R Race Prototype Teases What’s to Come

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Ford Bronco R race prototype
The Ford Bronco R race prototype
Photo: Ford Motor Company

At this point, folks, it’s gotta be just a matter of time before we lay eyes on the 2021 Ford Bronco. It’s pegged for a 2020 market launch, so it really can’t be that much longer, can it? I mean, it’s not like we’ve been waiting nearly three years or anything.

While the wait drags on, the Blue Oval is meting out a little slice of tastiness in the form of the Ford Bronco R race prototype, which debuted this week. Ford says that the Bronco R “drops heritage-inspired design and proportion hints of what enthusiasts can expect to see when the future Bronco makes its world premiere next spring.”

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1969 Ford Bronco R 1000
The 1969 Ford Bronco that won Baja 1000

The Ford Bronco R launches to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Rod Hall and Larry Minor’s victory in the 1969 Baja 1000. The prototype, appropriately, will be driven by Hall’s granddaughter, Shelby, for portions of the 2019 Baja 1000.

“My grandfather was so proud of the 1969 Baja race and of his Bronco,” said Shelby Hall. “More than just the memory of winning Baja, he loved that Bronco. I have no doubt he would be blown away by the Bronco R race prototype.”

Ford Performance and collaborators Geiser Bros Design and Development and Baja 1000 Trophy Truck champion Cameron Steele developed the Ford Bronco R race prototype to stand up to the brutal 1,000-mile test of Baja. It boasts a 1969 Baja 1000 Bronco livery replete with rich red, white, and black colors that are soon to be utterly caked in sand. Leveraging a modified version of the T6 architecture, the Bronco R rocks an independent front suspension, FOX shocks, and 37-inch BFGoodrich tires wrapped around 17-inch beadlock-capable aluminum wheels.

As for the overall look? Utterly and completely Bronco. Bronco chief designer and badass name-haver Paul Wraith was heavily involved in the development of the Bronco R, so it’s entirely possible that this prototype, like the F-150 that ran Baja several years back, is a production prototype in disguise. Either way, here’s hoping what we see between now and next spring (ughhhhh more waiting) is more of this.

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Photo Gallery: Ford Bronco R Race Prototype

Ford Bronco R race prototype
Shelby Hall and the Ford Bronco R race prototype