The 2021 Ford Bronco Family Arrives: Multiple Body Styles, Turbo 4 and 6 Cylinder Engines and a Manual Transmission Option
The wait is over. After what feels like years of rumors, spy shots and leaks Ford has finally debuted the 2021 Bronco this evening in a large social media unveil event.
With so much leaked and speculated info swirling about the Bronco in recent months, there was a lot of curiosity about what the real thing would be like—and now we finally know.
The New 2021 Ford Bronco 2-Door and 4-Door
Ford is digging into heavily into its heritage for the reborn Bronco, and that's apparent from the moment you see it. Given the rising popularity of the classic first gen Bronco in recent years, it's not surprising that the new one's design borrows heavily from that icon of the late '60s and '70s.
From its boxy profile to its front grille sporting a pair of big round headlights and aggressive fender flares, the 2021 Bronco is retro in a way that we haven't seen for a while.
Like its primary rival, the Jeep Wrangler, the 2021 Bronco will come in both two and four-door body styles. Buyers will be able to choose between the more compact, sportier looking two-door or the more practical four-door version and its longer wheelbase.
And like the Wrangler, the Bronco will come with a variety of options for outdoor fun, including removable and stowable roof panels and doors for open-air off-roading.
We've known for a while that the Bronco is going to share its underpinnings with the Ford Ranger pickup, so it's not surprising at all to see the Ranger's 2.3 liter EcoBoost four cylinder engine make its way over as the Bronco's base engine. In Bronco trim it makes 270 horsepower and 310 pound feet of torque.
Unlike the Ranger though, the Bronco gets an engine upgrade option—in this case buyers can step up to a 2.7 liter twin turbocharged EcoBoost V6 that makes 310 horsepower and 400 pound feet of torque.
The vast majority of Broncos will leave the factory sporting the same ten-speed automatic transmission used in many other Ford products (including the Ranger), but in a sign that the new Bronco is the real deal for enthusiasts, it will also offer a manual transmission option on the four-cylinder model.
The stickshift Bronco will use a Getrag gearbox with six-forward gears and a special crawler gear which basically makes it a seven-speed. It will certainly be interesting to see how the new stick shift works in the real world and how many Bronco buyers choose the three-pedal option.
Aimed heavily at off-road enthusiasts, the Bronco comes equipped with a variety of trail-ready equipment. 4WD is standard across the line, and along with a heavy focus on crucial specs like ground clearance and approach/depature angles—the Bronco is available with a number of off-road tricks. Locking differentials, an advanced transfer case option, skid plates and terrain select options.
As you'd expect, the 2021 Bronco will be available in a number of different trims starting with the base trim and moving all the way to the fully-decked out Badlands and First Edition models. Full pricing hasn't been released, but the Ford says the two-door base Bronco will start $29,995 and the four-door will start at $34,695.
And, not to be overlooked with all of the excitement over the 2021 Bronco, is the fact that Ford has also unveiled the 2021 Bronco Sport. Despite sharing branding and even a similar silhouette with the "big" Bronco, the Bronco Sport competes in an entirely different class of vehicle.
Based on the underpinnings of Ford's Escape crossover, the Bronco Sport is car-based small SUV that Ford has injected with the style of its larger counterpart, along with a very strong helping of all terrain capability.
Exterior-wise, the Bronco Sport looks a lot different than the Escape, leaving the Escape's hatchback-like appearance for a boxy, upright look that certainly delivers on the Bronco name.
Like the big Bronco, the Bronco Sport will only be sold with AWD and will have two different EcoBoost options available. A base 1.5 liter EcoBoost three-cylinder and an optional 2.0 liter EcoBoost four-cylinder with 245 horsepower.
Despite being based on FWD underpinnings, the Bronco Sport looks poised to be one the most capable "soft-roaders" available. Depending on which model one chooses, options such an advanced 4x4 system with twin clutch rear drive unit, terrain control and a lot more.
Needless to say, the smaller and more affordable Bronco Sport won't be quite the rugged trail machine as the big Bronco, but crossovers like the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, Toyota RAV4 TRD and Subaru Crosstrek have shown that you don't always need a "truck" when it comes to off-road fun. It will start with a base price of $28,155.
Any time a vehicle launch is as drawn out as long as the Bronco's has been, there's the risk of the product not meeting the hype. Time will tell whether Ford delivers on all its promises for the 2021 Bronco lineup , but based on what we've seen tonight it looks like it will be worth the wait.
Ford has just opened up ordering for both models with a $100 deposit to reserve your 2021 Bronco or Bronco Sport. And so the new Bronco era begins...