The Bronco comes in 7 variants with ascending order of off-road capability and a myriad of technological marvels which are set to place the car at the top of the food-chain like it once was more than two decades ago.
Ever since Ford released a teaser in July confirming that it will indeed be bringing back the legendary Bronco, fans around the world have been excited. Globally known as one of the original SUVs featuring the two door design, Bronco has become a symbol of robustness even after the original production ended in 1996 having spanned five generations. What remains to be seen is if the Bronco will be wading into Indian waters, a country where the love for SUVs has been increasing by each passing year.
America’s famous, the Bronco is one of the most well known SUVs around the world and its 2021 iteration has been made to justify just that from each and every angle and for the first time ever will be available in a 4-door configuration in addition to the 2-door classic and is here to directly challenge the Jeep Wrangler with its off-road capabilities and the range of customized models available from Ford itself. The Bronco will be available in 7 distinct trim or custom models, each with its own characteristics meant for a myriad of on and off road functionalities. The Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Badlands, Wildtrak and First Edition are the models currently announced by Ford for 2020.
While purists would be disappointed with the V8 being left out of the fold, two grunty engine options are available, a turbocharged 2.3L inline-four that makes 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque and a 2.7L V6 that has been twin Turbocharged and makes 310 horsepower and 400lb-ft of torque, with a Hybrid powertrain available in the future. A 7-speed manual is available but only on the inline-four, while a 10-speed automatic is available for both the engine options. The frugal option of the two is capable of low speed crawl which comes in handy, with all the models coming with the all time 4×4 or on-demand 4×4 options.
To tackle the toughest of terrains, the Bronco comes with 35 inch mud-terrain tires, beadlock-capable wheels, electronic locking front and rear differentials, long-travel dampers, and a sway-bar-disconnect with 11.6in of ground clearance and water wading up to 33.5in make up for very capable equipment on the car. The real magic of the Bronco comes to light when one notices the limitless range of factory customisations that Ford is offering, with the 2 or 4 door options, soft or hard top, and removable body panels and frameless doors with storage.
The Bronco has a rack on the dash for mounting smartphones or cameras and closely located power outlets, rubberized flooring and vinyl-upholstery to face the wilderness with optional leather, with the dashboard equipped with a row of rubber switches and space for more for all the extra equipment one might add. The infotainment system has either a 8in or 12in display, with all modern connectivity features like Apple Carplay and its Android counterpart and an optional Bang & Olufsen speaker system. Safety features like forward collision warning, lane departure, blind spot sensor have also been fitted.
A smaller sibling named the Bronco Sport, similar to the Discovery Sport is also being released to appeal to the civil users and also comes in five models with all-wheel drive with two engine options, the 1.5 litre three cylinder making 181hp and a 2 litre four cylinder engine making 245hp mated to eight speed automatics which being cheaper is the one suited more towards the Indian markets, which if manufactured locally and priced competitively below INR 20 lakh ($28,155) will be a direct competitor to the reigning SUVs in India like the Creta, XUV500, Compass, Hector and others, and owing to its revolutionary design and capability will be able to easily oust the others.
The 4-door version of the Bronco is the one that Ford should be looking at launching for the Indian subcontinent, the appeal of a 2-door SUV in India is scarce and with the rising fanbase of off-road cars like the new Thar compared to which the Bronco is a beast, it is sure to be hit. Ford can capitalize on the Bronco and up its sales in the country and also set it up as a regional manufacturing hub for the South-East asian region and let Ford garner a more commanding share of the market but it remains to be seen, as the car may realistically compete with the Wrangler and give the Mustang some company while Ford is jointly developing two SUVs with Mahindra anyway. The Bronco is set to hit the stores early 2021 with a price tag of $29,000 (INR 22 Lakh) for the base version.
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