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Ford teases new Bronco SUV

New YouTube video released by Ford shows Bronco prototype desert testing


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13 Jan 2020

FORD has released a new promotional video online showing a prototype of its upcoming Bronco SUV undergoing testing in the desert ahead of its official debut later this year.


In the video, Ford is quick to point out the vehicle is an “experimental prototype” and not the final vehicle but it is difficult nevertheless to not see the vehicle’s relation to its platform donor, the Ranger pick-up.


The similarities are so close it could be akin to a bob-tail Ranger with an appropriately shortened canopy, though a far squarer body closer to the original design of the first Bronco is more than likely to be revealed.


One big difference to the Ranger – a direct result of the shortened tub – is a dramatically reduced rear overhang and therefore drastically improved departure angle, something that came in handy during the video shoot with professional off-road racer Brad Lovell at the helm.


Pushing hard through the Johnson Valley in California, Lovell tackles rocky outcrops, narrow climbs, soft sand and even some rock crawling, clearly pushing the suspension and giving us enough of a glimpse underneath to make some fairly safe assumptions about the Bronco’s underpinnings.


Just like the T6 Ranger on which it’s based, the Bronco appears to have an independent front suspension setup and a solid axle out the back though with the vigour Lovell was attacking the testing ground, it would be fair to assume the setup has been developed for more hard-core off-roading than the ute.


With a racing Bronco R prototype taking on 2019 Baja 1000 we also would not rule out an even more hard-core, possibly even Raptor version to follow in coming years.


As GoAuto reported last month, the race car was powered by twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 of undisclosed capacity that Ford Performance off-road racing supervisor Brian Novak said was “representative of what the production Bronco will offer”.


A force-fed 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 is currently in service in the Fusion (Mondeo) and F-150 pick-up, good for 242kW of power and 474Nm of torque which would give the Bronco a handy leg up on its main rival, the Jeep Wrangler – Jeep’s 3.6-litre V6 currently produces 209kW and 347Nm.


These figures may not be too far off the mark going by Mr Novak’s comment and piece of promotional text on Ford’s website which reads “And now, Bronco is coming back, strapped with thrilling power and go-anywhere capability, uniquely equipped to carry true adventure seekers deep into the wild and untamed places their souls long to be”.


The new Bronco will be built alongside the upcoming T7 Ranger at Ford’s soon to be upgraded Wayne plant in Detroit and despite prototypes being spotted testing in Australia, Ford’s HQ has maintained it will not be headed Down Under, despite the new Ranger being Australia-bound.


“We have no plans to introduce Bronco in Australia,” a Ford Australia spokesperson said.


“Bronco is underpinned by the highly capable T6 platform, which was developed for Ranger and Everest by an Australian-led global engineering and design team,”


“Products derived from the platform – including Bronco – are a collaboration between key teams based in different parts of the world.”

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