It has been a long wait, but when you see the 2021 Ford Bronco, you will know it was worth it. The mid-size SUV pays homage to the traditions of the early Bronco while taking full advantage of cutting-edge 21st-century technology. The ultra-retro and ultra-modern design is combined in three basic versions: two-door, four-door, and the more compact Sport model.

The first step in resurrecting the Bronco was gathering information from the thousands of Bronco fans, as well as Jeep fans, via surveys and focus groups. Ford engineers and product planners wanted to know every complaint, no matter how minor, every weakness, dislike, “could be better” elements in off-road vehicles. They made a list and checked off the items one by one.

No point in reinventing the wheel, or the Bronco. Morey Callum, Ford’s chief designer and head of the 2021 team, drove a 1976 Bronco that he had tweaked here and there to look like an older model. In this advanced computer age, designers were able to create a digital 3D scan of the vehicle, which is why the 2021 Bronco has the same boxy, rugged looks of its ancestors, the short overhangs, wide stance, distinct edges, and flared fenders.

Bronco 2021 Exterior

The looks are also right there on the face: the simple round headlights and horizontal turn indicators and the square-font “BRONCO” bold and proud, front and center. Trail sights mounted on the top of the front fenders, which can support up to 150 pounds, double as tie-down points for carrying, say, a canoe without marring the paint.

ford bronco overview

One of the joys of the 2021 Bronco is its modularity. Wherever you see an “F” on a fastener, inside or out, it’s a part that can be removed or replaced. Take the fenders. They can be removed or replaced easily. Take off the sway bar. The doors are fully removable while the mirrors remain fixed on the body. On the four-door model, the doors can be stored in the cargo area in protective coverings. The halo-style roof provides a full, uninterrupted view and is removable—a hardtop on the two-door model, hard or soft top on the four door. Both models can tow up to 3,500 pounds with the exposed front and rear tow hooks.

There are 8.4 inches of ground clearance—11.6 inches with the 35-inch tires. See water ahead? Forge right through up to 33.5 inches.

Mechanics

The base motor is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder rated at 270 horsepower. The bigger engine is a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 producing 310 horsepower. Standard on the smaller engine is a seven-speed manual gearbox with six regular gears and a crawler gear. A 10-speed automatic transmission is optional on the 2.3 liter, standard on the V6.

There are two different 4×4 systems, a base setup and an advanced system. The base system uses a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case. The optional advanced system has a two-speed electro-mechanical transfer case that lets the driver select between 2H and 4H. For off-road driving, there are seven modes, including Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand.

Both the two-door and four-door Bronco are sitting atop a fully boxed and high-strength steel chassis, independent front suspension, and a five-link solid rear axle with coil springs. Long-travel dampers are available, as is a semi-active hydraulic stabilizer bar disconnect system. The latter improves off-road capabilities by offering maximum wheel articulation when climbing over rocks or boulders.

Interior

The interior, like the original Bronco, has a minimalist dashboard and vertical air vents. Unlike the original, it is filled with high-tech touches, such as a color LCD instrument panel and a standard 8-inch touchscreen (or optional 12-inch) with a 360-degree camera and real-time mapping. Attachment points built into the instrument panel allows you to mount devices, such as cameras, navigation units or phones. The dash-mounted and overhead switches are fitted with silicone rubber to protect against water.

In fact, the whole interior is protected against water. Rubberized floors and upholstery cut from marine-grade materials such as those found on watercraft keep the interior dry when the doors and roof are removed, as well as resist mold and mildew and clean up easily. 

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The 2-door Bronco has 23.6 cubic feet of rear cargo space and up to 52.3 cubic feet total, and the 4-door Bronco offers 35.6 cubic feet of rear cargo space and up to 77.6 cubic feet of total cargo space.

2021 Ford Bronco Trim Levels

The automaker is offering seven versions with matching color and trim combinations. From the no-frills Base Model to middle of the road Big Bend, Black Diamond, and Outer Banks to the ultimate in off-road adventuring, the Badlands and Wildtrak versions. Limited production First Editions will also be offered at launch.

Customize

It is actually possible that you may have a 2021 Bronco like no other. In addition to being able to remove/replace the front grille, fenders and bumpers, there is massive accessory catalog to choose from—more than 200 items! The factory-backed parts include grille designs, wheels, lights, tents, winches, interior trim, shift knobs and grab handles. Use the Bronco as a blank canvas on which you can create your own personal masterpiece.

The 2021 Ford Bronco with its nostalgic and functional design, the latest technology, and “do-it-yourself” ability to customize can be seen at dealerships in Spring 2021 with a starting price of ± $30,000 for the two-door and ± $35,000 for the four-door.

With more than 190,000 Broncos already reserved, delivery on later orders could extend into 2022.

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