The new Bronco is busting out.
Ford has unveiled a racing version of the soon-to-be rebooted SUV ahead of its debut as a production model next spring. The Bronco R offers the first look at the design of the 2021 truck and will be competing in this year’s Baja 1000 in Mexico on Nov. 22.
The modern styling is clearly inspired by the 1966 original’s, particularly its peaked front fenders, the shape of its wheel openings and the rectangular grille with the word BRONCO written across it instead of FORD.
Built on a frame that it shares with the Ford Ranger pickup -- as the showroom Bronco will be -- the Bronco R has a roll cage, four-wheel drive, an independent front suspension and a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engine that Ford isn’t releasing further details about. Nevertheless, the automaker says the turbos “are representative of what the production Bronco will offer.”
While very little about the retail Bronco has officially been confirmed, it is expected to come in two-door and four-door versions and feature a removable roof and doors like the Jeep Wrangler, which will be its top competition. Ford has promised to introduce a hybrid model at some point and a note in the tentative labor agreement reached with the UAW last week suggests it will have an aluminum body like the F-150, according to the Bronco6G fan forum.
The Bronco will be produced alongside the Ranger at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant.
First-generation Broncos took the overall victory at the Baja 1000 in 1968, 1969, 1971 and 1972. The new truck will be competing in Class 2 at the event this year, but is there primarily for testing purposes.