Listen: This is the 2021 Ford Bronco's powertrain in action

The Bronco R raced the 2019 edition of the Baja 1000 but didn't take the checkered flag.

Photo by Sue Mead

Speculation about the new Ford Bronco is a favorite topic on forums and in your friendly hometown bar. The return of the SUV has been hotly anticipated for the better part of a decade now. Still, firm details are hard to nail down.

The 2019 SCORE Baja 1000 gave the general public the first glimpse of what will evolve to become the new Bronco. Despite the company's DNF, the Bronco R revealed a key nugget of detail about the forthcoming production SUV.

Ford has confirmed that the Bronco R ran the Baja race with the 2021 Ford Bronco's production powertrain.

Exactly what that engine and transmission are is currently under embargo, but AutomotiveMap was along for the ride during the race and captured several examples of in-vehicle and outside-the-vehicle recordings of the engine revving at idle, accelerating, and decelerating.

We've isolated the engine noise in recordings below so you can hear the sound for yourself and make a judgement about what you think the engine in the new Bronco is. We've also included a few pictures of the Bronco R's under-hood set up a little further down.

The Bronco R idling then taking off at the ceremonial start line in Ensenada, Baja California:

2021 Ford Bronco: Production Powertrain Isolated Sound // Baja 1000 Bronco R at Ceremonial

Sound from the cockpit of the Bronco R driving along the road and then off road on the way from Ojos Negros, Baja California to Ensenada:

2021 Ford Bronco: Production Powertrain Isolated Sound // Baja 1000 Bronco R Driving

2021 Ford Bronco: Production Powertrain Isolated Sound // Baja 1000 Bronco R Cockpit

The Bronco R rejoins the race with rapid acceleration:

2021 Ford Bronco: Production Powertrain Isolated Sound // Baja 1000 Bronco R Rejoins

On the scene in Baja California, AutomotiveMap was able to get a few photos of what was under the hood of the Bronco R as it sat in Ensenada.

2019 SCORE Baja 1000: Bronco R Powertrain

Bronco R 2019 SCORE Baja 1000

Photo by Sue Mead

The Bronco R sits at the ceremonial start line in Ensenada, Baja California at the start of the Baja 1000.

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Subcompact SUV

Honda details all-new 2023 HR-V

The Honda HR-V is all-new for 2023.


The HR-V is Honda's smallest and most affordable SUV, slotting into the automaker's catalog beneath the long-running CR-V. The entry-level HR-V got a complete overhaul for 2023 that brought a new powertrain, updated technology, and refined styling that aligns closely with the new Civic Sedan.

2023 Honda HR-VThe new SUV features more refined, upscale styling, better tech, and new safety features.Honda

Honda offers the HR-V in three trims: LX, Sport, and EX-L. While the 2022 HR-V got a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, the 2023 model gets a larger 2.0-liter engine that produces 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a continuously variable transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. The new SUV comes with hill descent control for the first time in a Honda, and three drive modes are included.

Inside, a 7-inch touchscreen comes standard that runs Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A larger 9-inch screen comes in the top EX-L trim that adds wireless smartphone connectivity. The EX-L trims also gets wireless charging and navigation. Both touchscreens come with a physical volume knob for easier interactions with the system. All models are wider and longer than before, which improves interior passenger and cargo space.

All 2023 HR-Vs come with Honda Sensing safety equipment. The package has been updated for 2023 with a traffic jam assist feature and traffic sign recognition. Honda offers blind spot monitoring for the first time in an HR-V, and a driver attention monitoring system comes standard.

2023 Honda HR-VThe HR-V picked up sleek styling for the new model year with hints of Honda Civic sprinkled in.Honda

The new HR-V starts at $24,895, including a $1,245 destination charge. The range-topping EX-L all-wheel drive model starts at $30,195. Honda says the new SUV will go on sale soon.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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