This Badass Race Truck Is Our First Real Look at the New Ford Bronco

This Ford prototype is basically the new Bronco—albeit in Baja 1000-ready racing spec.

The original version of the iconic Ford Bronco earned its off-roading cred with four wins at the Baja 1000 race. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 triumph in the desert, Ford is racing a new race truck called the Bronco R at this year’s Baja 1000. Though not identical to the forthcoming stock version, this racing prototype offers by far our best look yet at the all-new 2021 Bronco.

The Bronco R is based on Ford’s T6 platform, whicht will underpin both the next Ranger and the new Bronco. It has a twin-turbo EcoBoost engine that Ford’s press release says will be “representative of what the production Bronco will offer.” Notably, Ford did not mention which EcoBoost engine is in the Bronco R, but Motor1 says the powerplant looks like the 2.7-liter V6 found in the F-150, which may well appear as the larger engine option in the production version.

The Bronco R’s shape generally matches the furtive glimpses and renderings we’ve seen so far. It appears boxier and more traditional than the new 2020 Defender, which should please enthusiasts. Don’t expect this SUV’s ultra-wide stance, high-travel suspension and massive 37-inch tires to carry over to production. Expect the new Bronco to appeal to the less extreme off-roading end of the Jeep Wrangler‘s customer base —  which, to be fair, is a huge chunk of said customer base.

Ford has confirmed it will unveil the new Bronco in the of spring 2020, but has not confirmed an exact date. Consider this race truck a nice amuse-bouche to keep our hunger stoked until then.

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