Pre-production versions of the all-new 2021 Bronco family of all-4x4 rugged SUVs, shown here, include (left) Bronco two-door in Cyber Orange Metallic Tri-Coat, Bronco four-door in Shadow Black, and Bronco Sport in Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat.

Ford Bronco 2021: That Was Worth the Wait

Ford has been teasing us with the 2021 Ford Bronco for nearly 2 years. We finally saw it and are already drooling.

If you crave adventure in your vehicle, Ford just scratched a big itch. So I’m going to take a second and just let you drool over this photo. Go ahead and click the image to see it full size — we’ll wait.

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Pre-production 2021 Bronco four-door Badlands series with available Sasquatch off-road package in Cactus Gray

Does that have you already checking your bank account balance? Saving your (many) pennies? OK, then read on. We’re going to break down Ford’s 2021 Bronco reveal and tell you what we know now. And if you want to watch the buzz reel released today, you can find it at the end of this article.

2021 Ford Bronco: 2-Door & 4-Door

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The four-door 2021 Bronco will have available removable modular roof sections — left and right front panels, a full-width center panel, and a rear section.

Ford swung for the fences with the return of the Bronco, offering three unique body styles right off the bat. Calling it the “flagship of a new all-4×4 family of rugged SUVs” the Bronco will come in a two-door, four-door, and a smaller sport model.

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The 2021 Bronco two-door prototype with potential aftermarket accessories.

Starting at the engine, Ford gives consumers an available 2.7L EcoBoost V6 engine, which is projected to produce 310 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. For those who don’t want as much wallop, it also offers a 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder putting out 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.

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A stick shift for a seven-speed manual next to an “oh sh*t!” handle. You got our attention.

All those ponies will reach the ground with up to 35-inch tires available right from the factory. While that gives you a big footprint and clearance (Ford claims available 11.6-inch ground clearance), it also engineered an impressive maximum 29-degree breakover angle and 37.2-degree departure angle. It claims water fording capability of up to 33.5 inches.

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Pre-production 2021 two-door Bronco Black Diamond series in Cyber Orange Metallic Tri-Coat with Sasquatch off-road package.

Yes, this is just the beginning of the story. There are more than 200 available accessories already. You can stow the doors in the back of the vehicle while traveling. There are all kinds of interior options, tech stories, and more. But before we hop into those, let’s take a look at the Bronco Sport.

G.O.A.T.: Get Over All Terrain

ford bronco 2021

Ford nabbed one great name for its off-road system with G.O.A.T. Not only does it sounds like the animal that can go anywhere, but it’s also the acronym for “greatest of all time.” Nice work, marketing department.

But will it get you where you want to go? One short look at the specs says oh yeah. Depending on the build, you can get up to seven driver-selectable modes including Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery, and Sand, with Baja, Mud/Ruts, and Rock Crawl for off-road driving.

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The all-new Bronco Sport offers available 29-inch all-terrain tires

Ford offers two 4×4 systems, a base setup, and advanced 4×4. The base system utilizes a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case. The optional advanced system has a two-speed electromechanical transfer case that adds an auto mode for on-demand engagement to select between 2H and 4H.

Power is distributed to a Dana 44 AdvanTEK solid rear axle and a Dana AdvanTEK independent front differential unit — both with available Spicer Performa-TraK electronic locking differentials for improved traction over rough terrain.

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All 2021 Bronco two- and four-door models offer a swing-out tailgate

Additionally, a Trail Toolbox gives Bronco owners some exciting technologies. This includes Trail Control — cruise control for low-speed trail driving that works up to 20 miles per hour. Trail Turn Assist tightens off-road turning radiuses through torque vectoring. “Trail One-Pedal Drive” acceleration/braking control aims for more precise and confident slow-mode rock crawling.

All this tech, independent front suspension with a solid rear axle (with available Bilstein shocks on some builds), and excellent approach and departure angles hint that the Bronco is going to be one serious contender off road. We can’t wait to get some mud on the tires.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport: A Smaller Off-Road SUV

Where the two- and four-door Broncos compete with other midsize SUVs (173.7 inches long for the two-door, 189.4 for the four-door), the Bronco Sport is a smaller member of the group. Dropped squarely in the subcompact SUV segment, it measures just 172.7 inches long. That makes it just a touch longer than the smallest Jeep Wrangler.

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Bronco Sport is available in 10 different exterior colors

Fittingly, the Sport carries a smaller engine offering. The Badlands and First Edition series run a 2.0L EcoBoost engine that produces a targeted 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque for high-speed off-road performance. Base, Big Bend, and Outer Banks series have a 1.5L EcoBoost engine with expected 181 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque.

Ford paired both engines with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while Bronco Sport Badlands and First Edition add SelectShift with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The 2.0L engine also has a cooling system with additional transmission and rear-drive coolers.

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The Bronco Sport

Hau Thai-Tang, Ford chief product development and purchasing officer, pretty much nailed the target demographic in the brand’s press release.

“Bronco Sport has the toughness and smarts to help turn off-road novices into 4×4 pros,” Thai-Tang said. “Bronco Sport embraces the needs of outdoor enthusiasts — every inch of it was designed and engineered with weekend adventurers in mind.”

Ford Bronco 2021: One Sweet Jeep Competitor

Ford Bronco Camping

The 2021 Ford Bronco is aiming squarely at the “adventure” market. Beyond the burly build, big tires, and off-road photos, it also hired Oscar-winning outdoor documentary-maker Jimmy Chin and professional climber Brooke Raboutou to help promote it.

And, well, just look at it. It has mounts for a GoPro camera as an option!

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The instrument panel in the 2021 Bronco two- and four-door models is ready for installation of accessories such as a bring-your-own-device rack, shown on this prototype.

Ford claims that there are already 200 factory-backed aftermarket accessories available (100 for the Sport). These could range from “practical lighting solution” to “wow, that looks rad,” but customization is big in the off-road driving world. This is another sign Ford is ready to toe up to Jeep in a big way.

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2021 Ford Bronco four-door interior

We’re pretty excited to see how some of the very outdoorsy features — like interior bike racks — function in the real world.

2021 Ford Bronco Pricing

The 2021 Ford Bronco has a base MSRP of $29,995. So while it’s not a cheap vehicle by any means, it’s a realistic purchase for most new-car shoppers.

And while we expect that some of the more tricked-out builds will head well north of $50,000 (this is just a guess), it gives shoppers a broad spectrum of vehicles, all with capable four-wheel drive.

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A slide-out rear tailgate for two- and four-door Bronco models

One of the only downfalls for some folks is no V8 on offer. But with this being the first model year of the new Bronco, we’re not surprised the designers at Ford left a couple of tricks up their sleeves. In the coming years, we wouldn’t be surprised if a howling Coyote not too far away.

But for now, suffice that a hefty 310-horsepower, retro-appealing Ford Bronco is just a gas pedal away. And you can order one now. The 2021 Bronco two- and four-door SUVs can be reserved at Ford.com starting today for $100.

Sean McCoy
By

Editor-in-Chief Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.

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