The Technology Behind the 2021 Ford Bronco
We are used to the fact that appearance, not technology, sells the cars nowadays, especially in the SUV. Although the fantastic retro-futuristic design is what caught the attention of most people, the 2021 Bronco is much more than a just revival of an icon. Underneath the well-sculpted sheet metal lies serious off-road hardware with precisely engineered components. That is why the 2021 Bronco isn’t the marketing gimmick designed to cash in on a famous name. Quite the contrary, it is a highly capable, all-terrain vehicle, and a continuation of the off-road legends started over 50 years ago.
Today, we will explain the technical aspects of 2021 Bronco, including the engines, transmissions, and suspension components. The things that make the new Bronco more capable then the competitors and that stuff off-road enthusiast want to know.
Two engines and two transmissions
For the 2021 model year, Ford will offer two petrol engines for the new Bronco. One is a 2.3-liter four-cylinder unit with 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, and the other is a 2.7-liter V6 with 310 hp and 400 lb-ft. Both engines are part of Ford`s EcoBoost family, which means that they are turbocharged and equipped with modern technology and direct fuel injection. Many hardcore Bronco fans were expecting Ford`s fantastic 5.0-liter Coyote V8 to make an appearance, but that didn’t happen and probably never will as Ford designed Bronco with the fuel efficiency of the goals. However, the engines are currently offered more than capable of delivering decent acceleration and top speed; Bronco enthusiasts are already calling for a more powerful version. Thankfully, Ford had announced the Bronco Raptor, coming in a few years, which will have a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 similar to the one in F-150 Raptor and at least 450 hp.
Interestingly, Ford didn’t mention a diesel option, and that is probably because the new Bronco will not be offered in Europe, traditionally the biggest market for diesel SUV models. However, we can expect to see Bronco hybrid very soon, possibly for the 2022 or 2023 model year. Knowing that Ford is investing heavily in electric vehicles, the Bronco EV is impossible, but there is no information about that at the moment.
The standard transmission is a 7-speed manual, which is cool touch since manuals are mostly abandoned in the SUV market. However, this manual is a “6+1” type, which means it has six regular gears and one super-low gear for crawling. Whether you are in high or low range, you can shift into “7th” (dogleg position on the shift pattern) and have an 11:1 gear ratio, ideal for pulling heavy trailers uphill, rock crawling, or getting out of the muddy ditch. The Ford`s 10-speed is the optional transmission, and it is already known and proven in F-150. Also, there is a choice of two transfer cases for the new Bronco. One has a final ratio of 2.73:1 and the other 3.06:1.
Chassis and Suspension
The engine and transmission options don’t mean a thing if there is no proper chassis to complete the package. In the new Bronco case, we can safely say that Ford invested a lot of time and money in constructing the most capable platform on the market. With a maximum ground clearance of 11.6 inches, class-leading approach and departure angles, and optional 35-inch off-road tires, it is evident that Bronco means business. The base wheel size is 16-inch and goes to 18-inch in higher trim levels. The tire size starts at 255/70R16 and follows with 255/75R17, 255/70R18, 265/70R17, or 285/70R18. In most cases, you will get all-terrain tires, but mud-spec tires are optional.
The front suspension of the 2021 Bronco has control arms, and in the rear, there is a live axle with Panhard rod and trailing links. Not a revolutionary set up but well-proven and highly capable for any on or off-road duty. All Broncos are four-wheel-drive as standard with locking differentials (front and rear) as part of the package. Depending on the package, customers can get regular shocks or state-of-the-art Bilstein dampers. Also, there are several electronic stability programs; up to 7 driving modes (available on higher trims) as well as a fancy front stabilizer bar disconnect system.
This one is particularly interesting since it of the utmost importance when you go rock crawling. You can detach the front stabilizer bar from the cabin and go off-road. Once you go over 20 mph, the sophisticated electro-hydraulic system will attach it again to give you better control and precise handling in on-road conditions. This option is standard on higher trim levels or with the Sasquatch package.
Apart from the standard package of stability systems, electronic drive modes, and so on, the new Bronco comes with few exciting toys. For example, Tail Turn Assist, a system designed to help you turn in off-road driving by breaking the rear inner wheel (left or right) and making the turning radius significantly smaller. Also, one-pedal-driving is particularly interesting and helpful. It comes as a standard if you have a 2.7-liter V6 paired with a 10-speed auto box. When you are in off-road driving models, you can lift your foot from the accelerator pedal. The system will be ready to apply the brakes if needed calculating the elevation, angles, speed of the vehicle, and so on. It is helpful for off-road beginners and allows you to concentrate on steering and not worry about braking.
Every inch of the 2021 Bronco is designed to get out there in the wilderness and get dirty while providing the owners with the most fun they can have in a vehicle. That is why; Ford went a step further and introduced washable interior and rubberized floors, which can withstand being washed with a pressure washer. Yes, there is also a leather seat option, but only the durable cloth seats and rubber floors will do for real off-road guys.