The Ford Bronco is set to return in 2020, and we're getting closer to seeing its final form every day.
In 2017, the Blue Oval confirmed the Bronco's return, though it left a lot of details to speculation. Now, we have a good look at what the 2021 Ford Bronco will look like thanks to spy shots of a prototype roaming the streets of Detroit in what appears to be production metal.
These shots show a prototype of the revived Bronco, which is set to arrive in 2020 as a 2021 model. It's a brick that's clearly aimed at the Jeep Wrangler.
New Ford Bronco
The Bronco prototype features an upright stance, short overhangs, six-lug wheels, and a spare tire on the tailgate—all traits of earlier Broncos. The word "BRONCO" is spread across the grille underneath the camouflage. A teaser shot released a year ago confirmed the retro shape we can expect. Unlike earlier Broncos, though, both two- and four-door versions are planned for the new generation.
Don't let the camouflage on the roof fool you, it doesn't have an extra high roofline. This particular model is said to be an open-air version without its roof in place. Yes, a removable top is likely in the cards.
The new Bronco will be based on the T6 body-on-frame platform shared with the current Ranger pickup, albeit shortened for SUV duty. The rear will feature a solid axle, and a Dana rear differential is expected. Independent suspension up front should help ride and handling.
2021 Ford Bronco spy shots
The six-lug 17-inch wheels on the prototype spotted are 255/75R17 Bridgestone Dueller AT all-terrain tires. Earlier two-door mules rolled on six-lug wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrain tires, which are far more aggressive for off-road purposes than the Bridgestones.
Ford already uses the T6 platform in a pair of SUVs. One is the family-oriented Everest, a mid-size offering with three rows of seats not offered in the U.S. The other is a tough off-roader similar to the Jeep Wrangler and sold by Brazilian firm Troller, which Ford acquired in 2007. The Troller, which rides on a shortened version of the T6 platform, could be closely related to the new Bronco, mechanically at least.
2021 Ford Bronco spy shots
Inside, the Bronco features an upright dashboard with what appears to be an 8.0-inch touchscreen perched front and center. The dashboard looks very short, and it appears the driver can easily reach out and touch the windshield. Upright A-pillars and large side glass should provide good sight lines for the road or trail.
It isn't clear what engines are planned, but we know a hybrid option will be offered. Solid bets include Ford's 2.3-liter turbo-4 and/or 2.7-liter twin-turbo-6. Don't expect a 5.0-liter V-8. An electric motor's low-end torque could aid low-speed off-roading situations, and an electric power take-off feature could prove ideal for camping. Four-wheel drive will be offered, if not simply standard.
The Bronco will be built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, where the Ranger is built. Incidentally, it's the same plant that built the previous Bronco.
Watch for the Bronco's debut this spring or summer. The Bronco will be joined by the “baby Bronco,” which will be smaller but also off-road-oriented.