Ford Bronco revealed, More Details Revealed With Race Version.
More hints from Ford (F) have been revealed about the new Bronco that is set to be unveiled in Spring 2020. On Friday, Ford launched a Bronco video teaser, and now the automaker has debuted a race version of the Bronco at the Baja 1000 race.
As a victory tribute, Ford unveiled the Bronco R prototype in a race-inspired version that paid homage to the Bronco that Rod Hall and Larry Minor drove to victory in 1969. Rod’s granddaughter Shelby Hall will drive it the Bronco R prototype for portions of the race to honor her late grandfather, Ford said.
“Bronco’s win at Baja in 1969 was epic, something that even after 50 years has not been repeated,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford chief product development and purchasing officer. “Rugged endurance racing is such a big part of Bronco heritage. The Baja 1000 gives us not only the perfect setting to honor Rod Hall’s win, it also provides an authentic test bed to demonstrate our upcoming Bronco’s desert racing capability and durability.”
The Bronco on display featured a race-theme livery and according to Ford, “drops heritage-inspired design and proportion hints of what enthusiasts can expect to see when the future Bronco makes its world premiere next spring.”
The vehicle, which was built by Ford Performance, Geiser Bros Design and Development, and Baja 1000 Trophy Truck champion Cameron Steele, uses a modified Ford T6 chassis. A variety of aerodynamic components were also added to the body while an ultra-wide stance, as well as a lightweight composite body with clamshell hood and roof, were incorporated as a throwback to the 1966 to 1977 Bronco models, Ford said.
The Bronco R was also equipped with an independent front suspension with 14-inches of travel and five-link rear chassis design with 18-inches of travel. Fox custom shocks were outfitted the vehicle as well as 17-inch beadlock-capable aluminum wheels and 37-inch BFGoodrich tires fitted all around.
“Like the original Bronco, we kept Bronco R’s design authentic and simple, with a roll cage on a production-style frame, and a five-piece lightweight body on top,” said Brian Novak, Ford Performance off-road racing supervisor. “For the endurance needs of Baja’s 1,000 grueling miles, we built in a limited number of race-focused parts. But even the twin turbos of the EcoBoost engine are representative of what the production Bronco will offer.”
A total of 15 LED lightbars were also integrated into the Bronco R to illuminate everything, including the emblem. Even the Bronco name is inscribed on washers used around the exterior of the vehicle and to secure the roll cage beneath the composite skin. A simple instrument panel was added with integration of real-time monitoring and performance measurements.
The Bronco R will be taken back to the Baja Peninsula to test on the 1,000-mile off-road course as Ford looks to challenge the vehicle’s powertrain and architecture, the company said.
The Baja 1000 race starts on Nov. 22.
Shares of Ford stock were up 1.24 percent as of 3:59 p.m. EST on Monday.