[Photos] Meet the 2021 Ford Bronco (At Last)
It seems fair to say that even after more than three years of waiting, the 2021 Ford Bronco is worth the wait. You could splice photos of the Bronco into the scene from Interstellar where Matthew McConaughey weeps and it would work like a charm.
The all-new Ford Bronco looks like a Ford Bronco in all the best ways possible. It’s squared off, it’s wide, it’s aggressive. It’s a Ford Bronco — like what you remember from back when, but even cooler. And, oh, does it ever perform like one, too.
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2021 Ford Bronco goes all-in on G.O.A.T.
Ford will make every Bronco standard with 4×4 capabilities, leveraging two different drivetrains: a standard 4×4 system with a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case and an advanced system that swaps in a two-speed electromechanical transfer case and offers automatic engagement between 2H and 4H settings.
Every Bronco also gets a Dana 44 AdvanTEK solid rear axle and a Dana AdvanTEK independent front differential and the ability to upgrade both with Spicer Performa-TraK electronic locking differentials. Oh, and the Bronco’s got best-in-segment breakover and departure angles — 29 degrees and 37.2 degrees respectively — as well as best-in-class water fording of up to 33.5 inches— a half-inch better than the mighty Super Duty Tremor.
Did I mention available segment-first 35-inch off-road tires, available segment-first semi-active stabilizer bar disconnect, and available best-in-class suspension travel? It’s fair to say that the Bronco is meant to do one thing: whatever you want.
And then there’s G.O.A.T. Modes, which is part of the Bronco’s exclusive Terrain Management System setup. Eight different modes will be available across the lineup with availability varying by trim: Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery, Sand, Baja, Mud/Ruts, and Rock Crawl.
The 2021 Ford Bronco is also offered with the Trail Toolbox, an available suite of technologies aimed at beefing up its off-road badassery. Included in the Trail Toolbox is Trail Control, which debuted on the F-150 Raptor, as well as new technologies like Trail Turn Assist and Trail One-Pedal Acceleration.
Oh, and because we didn’t have enough in the way of acronyms, the Badlands trim has a High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension System that goes by the name HOSS. You just gotta love this thing.
In short, Ford isn’t just coming for Jeep’s lunch here. It’s eating the whole cafeteria tray clean, smashing it against the wall, then carrying Jeep into the nearest bathroom for a good old-fashioned swirlie. (Note: Don’t be a bully, kids. It’s not nice.)
Bronco breaks new ground with double the (removable) doors
For the first time in its long history, the Bronco is available as a four-door SUV. It’s got the same distinctive DNA as the two-door model and all the capability to match, so it really mostly comes down to preference. The difference in size shakes out to an extra 15.7 inches in wheelbase and length with marginal differences in height on certain trims. Size aside, both the Bronco two-door and Bronco four-door are insanely capable and stylish, and they benefit from the adaptability of removable doors and roof.
The Bronco two-door features a standard three-section molded-in-color roof that’s easily removed and stored by one person. You can also opt up to a four-door, premium painted modular roof that adds a removable full-length center panel as well as removable rear quarter windows that you can pop out without popping the top. The Bronco four-door is standard with a cloth soft top and available with a modular hardtop; if you wanna be super hardcore, you can get both and change them out as you please.
Ford also provides standard class-exclusive frameless doors that are easily and quickly removed and can be safely stored onboard in protective bags. The side mirrors are mounted on the cowl — another Bronco-exclusive feature — to make sure that visibility is always top-notch even when you’re shredding through a desert with the doors blown off.
Sweet, sweet stick-shifting goodness
Though it’s largely been assumed as fact for some time, the fact that Ford has confirmed the 2021 Ford Bronco comes standard with a seven-speed manual transmission is like music to the ears. Yet another segment-first notch in the Bronco’s belt, the manual transmission features a crawler gear with a best-in-class 94.75:1 ratio. Ford is clearly going for broke in appeasing purists, and this swift stick shift ought to tickle quite a few fancies.
For the automatic crowd, the 10-speed SelectShift is the available alternative, offering an impressive 67.8:1 crawl ratio when paired with the advanced 4×4 setup.
As expected, the standard engine is the Ranger’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost, which supplies best-in-class four-cylinder torque at 310 lb-ft as well as 270 horsepower. More power? Why not. Opt for the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 and its projected best-in-class output of 310 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. (Which means that if there’s going to be a Bronco Raptor, it may actually get the twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost after all.) Max towing should hit around 3,500 pounds for two-door and four-door models, making it even more adept for off-road adventuring.
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Oh, and the Bronco is smart, too
While ruggedness and wildness is the focus with the 2021 Bronco, it’s got plenty of the smarts you expect from Ford. Those smarts benefit that wildness, of course, particularly with its class-exclusive trail mapping system. Leveraging NeoTreks’ AccuTerra Maps and trail guides from Trails Offroad and FunTreks, this system offers over 1,000 curated trail maps through next-generation SYNC 4.
“The trail mapping system available on Bronco is truly a game-changer in the off-road community,” said Mark Grueber, Bronco consumer marketing manager. “It works online or off on either of the navigation-capable 8- or 12-inch SYNC systems, allowing users to select one of hundreds of available curated trail maps to map out and then track, capture, and share their adventures with others.”
Speaking of SYNC 4, the 8-inch touch screen is standard and the class-exclusive (surprise, surprise) 12-inch display offers over-the-air updates and class-exclusive off-road spotter views. Ford Co-Pilot360 technology is available with the Mid Package, standard on the Outer Banks and Wildtrak.
Ford is offering the 2021 Bronco at seven trim levels: a base trim, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Badlands, Wildtrak, and the First Edition which will probably oh wait hahaha it’s already sold out.
If you’re ready already, you can hit up Ford’s website and make a $1000 refundable deposit to reserve yours. Expect to see the Bronco in all its glory at your local Ford dealer by next spring.
More Photos: 2021 Ford Bronco two-door
Richard Bazzy is the face of Shults Ford, the No. 1 Ford dealer in Pittsburgh and all of Pennsylvania. Known for his unique approach to selling cars and his penchant for cowboy hats, Richard runs Shults Ford of Harmarville, Shults Ford Lincoln of Wexford, and Shults Ford South. Visit his YouTube channel and see just how well Richard Bazzy can yee a haw.