More Details Revealed With Race Version Bronco At Baja 1000

Yolanda Curtis
November 5, 2019

As for what is powering the Bronco R, Ford remains tight-lipped, but a quick glance into the engine compartment reveals a V-6 of some sort.

The Bronco R was built by Ford Performance in collaboration with builder Geiser Bros Design and Development, and Baja 1000 Trophy Truck champion Cameron Steele.

The late Rod Hall's granddaughter Shelby, who was at the unveiling of the Bronco R, was impressed by the race prototype.

The Ford Bronco isn't scheduled to arrive until next spring. "We stretched ourselves, but it was worth it - and great fun".

The prototype also runs a twin-turbo V6 petrol engine, and Ford hinted that this powerplant will be also used in the production model, although whether that's the 2.7-litre petrol V6 or the 3.5-litre version is unclear. The Bronco R in a livery inspired by Hall's winning vehicle is debuting in the desert to celebrate 50th anniversary of the mentioned win.

We're not simply talking about a concept vehicle that won't make it to production.

Aside from the obvious PR value, participating in the Baja 1000 will enable Ford to test the chassis of the new Bronco for durability in extreme conditions. The squared-off proportions of the Bronco R bode well for what is to come in production. Also, the vehicle is festooned with no less than 15 LED lightbars from Rigid along with a new front grille that boldly spells the Bronco name.

The Bronco R rides on an independent front suspension with around 355mm (14 inches) of wheel travel, and a five-link rear suspension based on the production Bronco's setup, albeit with up to 457mm (18 inches) of travel. But with a compressed body design, lifted off-road suspension, and a wider stance, it looks meaner and more capable than before. The prototype's lightweight composite body includes a clamshell hood and roof, as well as clean body panels that harken back to the first-generation Bronco models (1966 - 1977).

As a tribute, it was appropriately parked alongside the Bronco that Rod Hall and Larry Minor famously drove to an overall win 50 years ago at the 1969 Baja 1000 - a victory that no other 4x4 has replicated.

Ford emphasized that the silhouette of the Bronco R will resemble that of the production Bronco, but fans suspect a more upright structure and lightweight composite body. "I have no doubt he would be blown away by the Bronco R race prototype".

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