Features & Specs

Ford dishes on most popular 2021 Bronco build options

The 2021 Ford Bronco is very nearly ready to arrive on dealership lots.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor COmpany

You know how you would spec your Bronco, but how is the rest of the country configuring theirs? In a recent interview with Autoblog, Ford's US consumer marketing manager Mark Grueber dished the details on which model options have become the most popular choices since the vehicle's online configurator launched last week. More than 190,000 people have reserved a 2021 Ford Bronco so far.

Two-thirds of reservation holders have called dibs on a four-door Bronco with the other third getting the two-door version. The number of four-door box checkers has exceeded Ford's expectations.

Ford Bronco build configurator 2021 Ford Bronco build-and-price configurator is now open for business. Photo by AutomotiveMap with screen image courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Grueber relayed that the most popular Bronco trim levels chosen so far are among the most expensive - Wildtrak and Badlands. The Bronco Wildtrak has garnered about 26 percent of the reservations while Badlands has 20 percent. The remaining 54 percent of reservations are split between the remaining five grades: Bronco base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, and First Edition. First Edition models sold out quickly.

Half of the Broncos reserved have included the Sasquatch Package. It includes 35-inch tires, 17-inch beadlock wheels, front and rear locking differentials, a lifted suspension, Bilstein shocks, a wider track, and fender flares. Ford recently made the package available in combination with a seven-speed manual transmission after receiving feedback from social media users, but it won't be available at the outset of production because the powertrain combo is still undergoing some fine tuning. Look for Ford to offer it in late 2021.

Bronco has a standard 2.3-liter turbo-four in the base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, and Badlands models. Wildtrak and First Edition Broncos come standard with a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 engine, which is also available in the bottom five trim levels. The V6 is proving to be the most popular engine choice though Ford declined to say by how much.

Despite the outpouring of support from online enthusiasts, just 10 percent of Bronco reservations have included a manual transmission. Though low compared to the 10-speed automatic's take rate, it far exceeds the industry average. Genesis offered a manual option in its G70 but after just 100 people chose it, the company announced that it was moving on. The Honda Accord also recently lost its manual option.

Like every other automaker, Ford is listening to customer voices and pouring over the data to see what their customers truly seem to want from the Bronco. A white roof option has been a popular ask, and it will go on sale in 2022.

As for the lingering elephant in the room, it's been forecasted that a Bronco super-off-roader should be expected down the line. Whether or not it wears the Warthog badge, or takes up the Raptor moniker is to be determined, at least for those outside the Ford payroll.

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The King Ranch trim level has been added to the Ford Explorer lineup for 2021.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 2021 Ford Explorer is getting a King Ranch trim level. The midsize SUV's new grade combines rugged appearance and premium appointments for a look befitting the Texas ranch's name. Ford currently sells King Ranch versions of the Expedition, F-150, and Super Duty as well.

"In 1853, Captain Richard King bootstrapped the King Ranch in the harsh landscape of southern Texas until it became a shining example of agricultural and livestock innovation and success," said Lee Newcombe, Ford Explorer marketing manager. "Ford Explorer families can now enjoy a piece of the King Ranch's renowned craftsmanship and the multi-generation legacy that still thrives 168 years after its founding."

2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

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The Explorer King Ranch gets a Stone Gray-painted mesh grille insert, 20-inch aluminum wheels with Running W center cap, liftgate scuff plate, King Ranch badging, and quad chrome exhaust tips.

It is powered by a 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine that delivers 365 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The new version of the Explorer adds a standard Class III Trailer Tow Package, which makes the SUV capable of towing up to 5,600 pounds.

The interior of the new model gets mahogany-colored Mesa Del Rio perforated leather seats. The leather extends to the armrest. Both areas wear the King Ranch Running W logo. Leather door trim rollovers, a leather-wrapped and stitched instrument panel, Sapele wood appliqués, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with Norias stitching and a Salepe wood insert add sophistication.

"Introducing King Ranch's specialty leather, genuine wood, crafted details and signature colors to Ford Explorer elevates the SUV's brand," said Janet Seymour, Ford color and materials manager. "The warm, earthy Norias colorway, natural open pore wood appliqués and rope perforation design on the seats are just a couple ways we were able to bring the King Ranch lifestyle to a whole new group of customers."

Introducing the 2021 Explorer King Ranch® Edition | Explorer | Ford www.youtube.com

Buyers can add the Premium Technology Package to the model, which will give them multi-contour seats with massage functionality, a 10.1-inch informant touch screen, and a 14-speaker B&O Sound System.

Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ is standard on the model.

The Explorer King Ranch edition will start at $52,350 for rear-wheel-drive configuration and $54,350 MSRP for four-wheel drive models. It will be available in dealerships this spring.

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Photo courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service

The long process to design, engineer, and award a contract for the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) next-generation mail delivery vehicle (NGDV) has finally come to an end. The government has awarded Oshkosh Defense a contract to produce the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle for service. Oshkosh Defense is a a wholly owned subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK).

The NGDV project is the USPS's first large-scale fleet procurement in three decades. Over the next 10 years, the contract allows for the delivery of between 50,000 and 165,000 new vehicles.

"Oshkosh operates with unparalleled commitment to those who depend on our products and services to build, protect and serve communities around the world. We are honored to have been selected by the USPS to support their important work by manufacturing American-made Next Generation Delivery Vehicles that will connect every home and business across the United States for decades to come," said John Pfeifer, President & Chief Operating Officer, Oshkosh Corporation.

U.S. Postal Service's Next-Generation Mail Delivery Vehicle

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service

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The new mail trucks will have multiple powertrain options, just like many passenger vehicles on the road today. There will be a battery electric vehicle (BEV) version that runs exclusively on electric power and a fuel-efficient low-emission internal combustion engine vehicles (ICE) variant.

Under the contract awarded today, USPS has committed to paying Oshkosh Defense $482 million as a first step toward the new vehicles' production. The money will be used to finalize the production vehicle design and complete factory build-out, all of which is necessary before production gets underway. The process is similar to ones mass market vehicle manufacturers use.

"Our century-long history of delivering products to customers, operating in some of the most demanding and severe conditions on the planet, uniquely positions us to bring exceptional reliability, safety, and maintainability to USPS's Next Generation Delivery Vehicles," said John Bryant, Executive Vice President, Oshkosh Corporation, and President, Oshkosh Defense. "Partnering with trusted suppliers, we have developed a purpose-built solution to support the current and future needs of the USPS," Bryant concluded.

In addition to a new exterior and powertrain options, the NGTV also gets modern features and amenities like a rearview camera, walk-in cargo area, air condition, telematics, and a sliding cargo door. There's also a host of safety technology and equipment including airbags, automatic front and rear braking, blind spot warning, a 360-degree camera, and forward collision warning.

Production of the next generation delivery vehicle is expected to begin in 2023.

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