A camouflaged prototype for the rebooted SUV was recently photographed during an off-road test in the snow and the images offer a peek at the basic shape you can expect from the model when it is unveiled later this year.
The four-door truck’s body is partially obscured by cladding and a black and white patterned wrap, but its overall profile is evident and similar to that of the Jeep Wrangler that it will compete against. The long hood with peaked fenders were previously teased on a racing version of the Bronco that competed in the Baja 1000 last year. A two-door model even more similar to the race truck should also be available.
The Bronco’s roof pillar-mounted side-view mirrors confirm a report from Automotive News that they will be able to stay in place if the front doors are removed. This differs from the Wrangler, which has its mirrors attached to the doors and requires accessory mirrors to be installed for al fresco driving.
The photos also suggest that the Bronco will feature a live rear axle with coil springs, instead of leaf springs, and an independent front suspension. The Wrangler uses coil springs all around but has solid axles at each end that trade on-road refinement for improved articulation in extreme off-road environments.
The Bronco’s frame is based on the Ford Ranger’s and it is expected to feature the same 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and 10-speed automatic transmission as the pickup, too, while a Ford dealer who was provided with additional details told TFLCar that a manual transmission will be optional. Ford has previously said that a hybrid powertrain was in the works, but it was not mentioned in the latest UAW contract that outlined Ford’s upcoming products.
The Bronco will officially debut in the spring ahead of sales slated to start closer to the end of the year. A smaller, Bronco inspired crossover will also be added to the lineup and was photographed during testing last year.