This Ford Baja Race Truck Offers a First Look at the New Bronco
The iconic 4×4 is set to return in the spring of 2020.
Keep in mind that these images show the Bronco R, a one-off prototype manufactured to mark the 50th anniversary of the Bronco’s historic win at the 1969 Baja 1000. The off-roader is set to be tested on the Baja California peninsula’s nearly 1,000-mile desert course at the annual race in mid-November, and Ford says that the build “hints at the all-new Bronco to come while paying homage to the first-gen Bronco’s styling and proportions.”
A modified Ford Ranger architecture provides the base for the production model, but the Bronco R boasts an independent front suspension with 14 inches of travel and a production-based five-link rear chassis design with up to 18 inches of travel, plus custom Fox shocks, 17-inch aluminum wheels and knobby 37-inch BFGoodrich tires.
Its lightweight composite body includes a clamshell hood and roof, as well as clean body panels that also hark to the first-OG Bronco. A bar of 15 LED lights sit in front of the grille and behind “BRONCO” brand lettering boldly. Washers inscribed with the same lettering are visible at various points around the exterior and secure the composite skin to the roll cage beneath it.
Inside are three lightweight Recaro racing seats. A simple instrument panel serves as yet another nod to the first-generation Bronco, and the integration of a data acquisition system enables real-time monitoring and measurement of the prototype’s performance attributes.
Exact engine specs weren’t provided, but Motor 1 was in attendance at the launch event and reports that it appears to be a twin-turbocharged 2.7 EcoBoost V6.
“Like the original Bronco, we kept Bronco R’s design authentic and simple, with a roll cage on a production-style frame, and a five-piece lightweight body on top,” said Brian Novak, Ford Performance off-road racing supervisor.
“For the endurance needs of Baja’s 1,000 grueling miles, we built in a limited number of race-focused parts. But even the twin turbos of the EcoBoost engine are representative of what the production Bronco will offer.”
The new Ford Bronco arrives in the spring of 2020.