15 Interesting Facts About Ford Bronco You Probably Didn't Know
The Ford Bronco has been an integral part of the American off-road scene for the better part of the late 20th century, and one of the biggest names in its segment ever since this model was introduced in 1965. Even though it has been absent from our lives for 25 years, it wasn't forgotten, and when Ford announced its return for the 2021 model year, even the people who weren't born when the original Bronco was produced knew exactly what it is. The incredible strength of its image and place in collective conciseness makes Bronco one of the real Ford's legends.
However, since this model has such an exciting history as well as a very promising future, we bet there are more than a few very cool and interesting facts you didn't know. Today, we will present to you 15 fun and unusual moments from Ford Bronco's past, present, and future.
The 2021 Bronco Is Made Out New Type of Steel
We all remember the controversy behind Ford's decision to introduce an all-aluminum F-150 truck. More than five years later, we can say that this was a smart move since it revolutionized the technology in the segment and provided the best-selling pickup in the world with better driving dynamics and better fuel economy. However, the 2021 Bronco will be almost as revolutionary as the 2015 F-150 since it will feature special Gen 3 steel.
Called Fortiform 980 GI and produced by a company called ArcelorMittal, this innovative material is known for being much more robust than regular steel and capable of being stretched into 35% thinner panels, which retains the same structural rigidity and strength. This material is used for creating chassis, floor panels, and other structural parts of the 2021 Bronco. The result is weight savings of 150 pounds, which is respectable.
Ford Bronco Was Offered as right-hand-drive Model
We bet you didn't know, but from 1981 to 1987, Ford assembled and sold Bronco in Australia with right-hand-drive. The Australian market was always crucial to Ford, and along with the range of locally-developed models, Bronco was offered as the most significant and most capable off-roader.
Powered by a 4.1-liter straight-six and 5.8-liter V8, it was very competitive and pitted against Range Rover on the local market. During six years of the production run, Ford Australia made and sold over 10,000 examples. We hope that Ford will also offer the new 2021 Bronco and Bronco sport with RHD.
The Name of The Project Was "G.O.A.T"
In the early '60s, when the idea of the small but off-road ready vehicle was born at Ford, the project still didn't have a name. After a few meetings with engineers and marketing people, even before the name "Bronco" was in use, this project was named "G.O.A.T," which stood for "Goes on Any Terrain."
This was soon forgotten when Bronco was born, but Ford did remember this detail from the history and named the 2021 Bronco's driving modes "G.O.A.T." Cool touch and nice not to the new Bronco's predecessors and their all-terrain legacy.
Every New Bronco Comes with The Bottle Opener
The new 2021 Bronco and Bronco Sport are full of exciting features and details that will make your life easier on and off-road. Apart from an ergonomically great interior, lots of storage spaces, and practical features, Ford outdid themselves with one special thing – a bottle opener.
The 2021 Bronco and Bronco Sport both have a small latch on the side of the trunk, which you can use as a bottle opener in case you forgot to carry it before you went on your Overlanding experience or camping trip. Even though it is small detail, it means a lot, especially if you are in the middle of nowhere and your beer is getting warm.
Ford Bronco Was Unintentional TV Star
In 1993, Ford had produced 32,281 Broncos, but one particular model had become world-famous as a "getaway" vehicle in one of defining moments caught on live TV. You probably guess what it is. The infamous 1993 Bronco was the object of a slow car chase down Highway 405 in Los Angeles.
The white Bronco carried O.J. Simpson, which at the time was a prime suspect in a murder case. Over 95 million viewers saw the Bronco moving down the highway, and even though it wasn't the best moment in Bronco's history or O.J.'s career, free marketing is free marketing, right?
Ford Bronco Served in Vietnam
During the '60s'60s, military Jeeps were the predominant light tactical vehicles in the US military's arsenal. However, the introduction of the 1966 Bronco inspired military to give this Ford a chance, and Pentagon ordered 120 military-spec Broncos, all painted in signature green color and divided amongst the Navy, Army, and Air Force.
Most of them were used for testing purposes in bases all over the country, but apparently, some were sent overseas. There are no official records if the Military Bronco ever saw combat, but it probably did since some were shipped to Vietnam. Today, surviving examples are scarce.
2021 Bronco Sport Is Not the First "Small Bronco."
During the third-generation production cycle, Ford decided to introduce a completely new model under the Bronco moniker. Called the Bronco II, it was a significantly smaller and lighter SUV designed to fight increasing foreign competition in the segment. The Bronco II was built on a Ford Ranger platform and featured two-wheel-drive as standard and all-wheel-drive as an optional. As you might expect, the Bronco II was cheaper and easier to live with than the full-size Bronco, which resulted in strong sales during the mid-'80s.
We can say that Bronco II was underpowered from today's perspective since it was offered with 2.8 and 2.9-liter V6 engines with 115 and 140 hp. Interestingly, Ford decided to introduce Mitsubishi's 2.3-liter diesel unit as an option, but it was soon withdrawn due to poor performance and slow sales.
The First Official 4-Door Bronco Is The 2021 Model
All Broncos made between 1965 and 1996 were two-door models, and Ford officially never offered a 4-door version. This doesn't mean that you couldn't buy one if you want to, just not from Ford. The market void was filled by several independent coachbuilders, which offered pretty convincing and immensely practical Broncos with four doors. Over the years, those companies sold them successfully all over America.
The 2021 Bronco is offered in two and four-door versions, which is a smart move by Ford, providing customers with more practicality and comfort. The 2021 Bronco Sport is only offered with four-doors since it is the norm in its market segment.
Ford Bronco Won the Baja 1000 In Almost Stock Form
Even though Ford's first showing of 2021 Bronco in action was in late 2019 during a racing event, the Bronco R wasn't so successful. However, it doesn't matter since Bronco already proved its worth in off-road racing and won the Baja 1000 event almost unchanged compared to the stock model.
In 1969, Ford managed to win the prestigious Baja 1000 Mexican race beating two motorcycles and a buggy and setting the record time! The quality of construction with smart modifications performed by Bill Stroppe made the Bronco unstoppable. The famous mantra "Win on Sunday – Sell on Monday" proved right, and racing success had a significant effect on sales.
Over 230,000 Orders For 2021 Bronco and Bronco Sport
It is entirely incredible that over 230,000 people ordered the 2021 Bronco models. It just goes to show how enthusiastically the market will react when offered with perfectly designed and executed products at affordable prices.
However, at this point, when only the 2021 Bronco Sport deliveries have started, and we will wait until Summer to see the 2021 Bronco on the streets, it is unsure if Ford will manage to deliver all of those Broncos in a single model year. If it does, 2021 will be the record year in Bronco history.
1979 Was the Best-Selling Year for Bronco, So Far
When the 1978 Bronco was released, the customers snapped over 77,000 cars in the first year alone and over 100,000 in 1979. The bigger dimensions, more interior room, and features proved to be a winning combination and the second generation set the record with whopping 181,955 units produced in just two years.
Even though those numbers sound impressive, we firmly believe that 2021 and future Broncos will manage to break that record with ease and establish a new high point in Bronco history and in SUV class in general.
The Future High-Performance Bronco Will Be Called "Warthog."
The Warthog is designed to be the most extreme off-road vehicle ever to the manufacturer by Ford and available to the general public. Similar to what the Raptor is to the F-150 truck series, Warthog should be to the Bronco lineup. This means that this particular SUV will feature completely different drive train components, engine, chassis enhancements, and trim details.
The Warthog will come with 3.5-liter, twin-turbo Ecoboost with at least 450 hp (we expect to be closer to 500 hp), which will probably be the same unit from F-150 Raptor. Ok, this is still not a V8, but Warthog will definitely have enough firepower to fight the pesky Hemis.
The 2021 Bronco First Edition Is First Bronco with an MSRP of over $60k
Starting at a whopping $60,800, First Edition Bronco is designed as a collector's item since only 7,000 will be made. Apparently, all have been spoken for, and if you want to get one, you will have to pay a premium. The First Edition comes with every piece of equipment from Badlands Bronco, plus a desirable Sasquatch package, and on top of that, the Lux package.
It includes adaptive cruise control, a premium audio system, touch screen navigation, leather interior, and much more. It also comes in four unique colors and impressive graphics.
Ford Bronco with Shelby Touch
Back in the late '60s, Ford was neck-deep in muscle car performance wars and its engineering department developing all kinds of cool projects. One of them was the Bronco Boss. This yellow Ford is definitely one of the coolest Broncos ever produce, and it is, in fact, a cross between the 1969 Shelby GT350 and regular Bronco.
With 290 hp, 302 V8 engine, 3-speed automatic gearbox, modified suspension and drivetrain, and tall 4:11 gears, this Bronco could outrun many muscle cars in stoplight drag battles. Unfortunately, Ford decided that production would be very costly and that the market is not yet ready for high-performance SUV models. That is why the project was abandoned after two prototypes, which were considered lost but resurfaced recently.
The 2021 Bronco Is Full of Cool "Easter Eggs."
Ford knows that the 2021 Bronco is the lifestyle vehicle for the new generation of off-road enthusiasts, but it is also aware of the heritage that comes with this nameplate. That is why the designers tried to incorporate all they could to show the new owners where this model has come from and what it represents.
There is a small American flag on a gear lever, a Bronco logo on the steering wheel and on the seats, unique animation for the screen on the central console, and much more. However, the coolest touch is the design of the tailgate's inner side on the Bronco model, which features the same pattern and font as the tailgate of the original 1965 model.