New Model News

Leak reveals 2021 Ford Bronco Sport trim levels, engines, features, packages

BroncoSportForum.com has posted what appears to be leaked information about the forthcoming Bronco Sport.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

There's good reason to believe that the cat is out of the bag when it comes to the grades, packages, paint jobs, features, and powertrain options of the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport. On Thursday, BroncoSportForum.com had a user post images from Ford's dealer ordering portal.

The information below is what the images show. AutomotiveMap has not been able to independently verify the information.

There are five trim levels

The portal lists the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport model in Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, Badlands, and First Edition trim levels. Ford recently trademarked the Big Bed, Badlands, and Out Banks names in correlation with the name Bronco.

Ford frequently sells First Edition models. It's likely the Bronco Sport First Edition is a limited run of the first models that are slated to come off the line. Frequently these models feature special badging, a unique paint color, "First Edition" logos on the interior on floor mats and headrests.

All models are 4x4s.

That's not a surprise. The so-called Baby Bronco is expected to be similar in nature to a Jeep Renegade, which is quite capable in its own right. It rides on the same platform as and is manufactured in the same facility as the Ford Escape, which comes standard with front-wheel drive and is available with all-wheel drive.

The Bronco Sport will have a 105.1-inch wheelbase.

That's not the same as the Ford Escape. Despite the fact that they share a platform, the Escape has a wheelbase that's about 1.5 inches longer.

It will come in the buyer's choice of 10 paint jobs.

The colors listed in the leaked photos show Shadow Black, Rapid Red Metallic TC, Oxford White, Kodiak Brown, Iconic Silver, Cyber Orange Metallic TC, Carbonized Gray, Cactus Gray, Area 51, and Alto Blue Metallic TC.

Here are the other vehicles the paints are available on:

  • Shadow Black - Mustang Mach-E
  • Rapid Red Metallic TC - Explorer and Escape for a $395 surcharge
  • Oxford White - F-150 and Ranger
  • Iconic Silver - Mustang Mach-E, F-150, Transit, Ranger, Edge, Super Duty, Fiesta, and Mustang
  • Cyber Orange Metallic TC
  • Carbonized Gray - Mustang Mach-E

Some of the colors have been leaked previously in relation to the Bronco when AutomotiveTouchUp.com listed 2021 Ford Bronco paint touch up colors.

There are two roof colors.

Buyers can only choose from a black or gray roof. There is no indication that the model will be available with a body color roof.

The Badlands Package adds a touch of class.

If you won't want to opt for the full Badlands model, which is likely to be the top-tier model, buyers can opt for the Badlands Package. The images show that the package includes:

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Automatic dimming rearview mirror
  • Body-color door handles
  • Heated front passenger seat
  • and two other components coded as "F6-A-L-SVT MINI PERF TWOTONE" and "FRONT 4-WAY HD RESTNT ST 1"

There's other stand alone package options.

The long list of addition options includes:

  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • MyFord technology/6 speakers/SiriusXM
  • Power six-way passenger seat
  • Remote start
  • Reverse sensing system
  • Roof conversion - low opening (likely a removable roof; low opening may refer to a lesser amount of headroom, a common feature of sunroofs)
  • Body-color bumpers
  • Wireless charging
  • Cargo mat
  • Cargo management system
  • Engine block heater
  • Front license plate bracket

The Bronco Sport can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

A Class II Trailer Tow Package is listed as available. Class II hitches are rated to carry up to 3,500 pounds of gross trailer weight. This is the same capacity as the 2020 Ford Escape.

One size wheel and two types of tires are available.

Ford lists the tires as 225/65R17 A/T and 235/65R17 A/T. The 225/65R17 tires are the standard tires on the 2020 Ford Escape S, SE, and SE Sport. The others come on the Limited and XLT grades.

The form shows that the Bronco Sport rides on 17-inch wheels.

There are two engine choices.

It looks like the Bronco Sport will come standard with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. A 2.0-liter turbo-four is also available. Both engines are likely paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Automatic start-stop engine tech is standard.

This may be the most disappointing Bronco Sport news. However, it's not unexpected.

Cloth seats are standard. Leather-trimmed seats are available.

It looks like the cloth seats will be available in the Active Orange or Area 51 colors while there are also Ebony leather-trimmed seats. The good news is that these likely aren't the only options, just the options shown with the particular paint color the Ford spy chose.

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is likely going on sale later this year.

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Research and development

Ford names site for battery development facility

Ford's new facility will house battery research and development.

Ford

Ford is in the news again for its electrification efforts, this time with the confirmation of a Michigan location for a new battery research and development facility in Romulus, Michigan. The facility may eventually help Ford in-source much of its EV supply chain, a shift that could prevent or mitigate the challenges presented by parts and technology shortages.

As part of its electrification initiative, the automaker plans to build a new research and development facility, called Ford Ion Park. The facility will house new tech research, pilot programs for new manufacturing techniques, and will help give Ford more control over its supply chain.


Ford Ion Park Once complete, the facility will initially house 200 engineers.Ford


The price tag for the new facility and related efforts lands at $185 million, which sounds like chump change for a global automaker until we consider that Ford has committed $30 billion to electrification by 2025. The automaker says that its new facility renews its dedication to Michigan as its home base for EV development, a promise it originally made back in 2010. The company's new electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck will be built in Dearborn, which will add 500 jobs. An additional 225 jobs will be retained at Ford's Dyke Electric Powertrain Center.

As part of Phase One of the project, Ford plans to hire 200 engineers within 18 months of the 270,000-square-foot facility's opening. Ironically, the site was previously owned by A123 Systems, a battery manufacturer that closed the facility in 2017 due to low demand for batteries.


Ford Ion Park Ford has committed $185 million to the new facility and related efforts.Ford

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New SUV Review

2021 Ford Bronco review: Return of a legend

Several of the Bronco's body panels are removable.

Ford

Ford says its 2021 Bronco is 'Built Wild' like its wild-horse namesake and, as this iconic model returns to the U.S. market after a 25-year hiatus, it's ready to gallop to glory once again. Released from the Ford stables in 1965, the Bronco was America's first-ever "sport ute" and heralded as the first "4WD sports car" with both off-road capability and on-road competency; it was also dubbed the "G.O.A.T." (goes over any terrain). The all-new model is reincarnated as a modern-day midsize SUV with heritage-inspired styling; rugged engineering; and a collection of smart technologies for the backcountry and four-wheeling, as well as for a smoothish ride around town and on the highway. It marries the tough attributes of Ford's F-Series trucks with a fully-boxed steel-ladder frame and advanced 4WD systems to the performance spirit of the Mustang—and, once again, is nicknamed G.O.A.T! Larger than its stablemate, the Bronco Sport competes with vehicles like the Jeep Cherokee, while the Bronco is a direct competitor to the Jeep Wrangler. It goes on sale this summer starting at $29,995

Bronco Trims and Configurations


2021 Ford Bronco Two- and four-door versions of the Bronco are available.Ford


The new Bronco comes in 4WD only, and is available in a two-door version that seats four people or a four-door model with room for five, plus hard-top and soft-top options. There are two engine choices: A turbocharged 2.3-liter I-4 that offers up to 300 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque (best-in-class) is standard. It pairs with either a 10-speed auto or a 7-speed manual. The optional engine is a 2.7-liter V6 with a twin turbo that produces 330 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque, which is also best-in-class. The V6 is available only with the ten-speed automatic transmission.

The manual transmission has six traditional gears, plus a "crawler gear" that has a best-in-class gear ratio of 94.75:1. There are seven Bronco models that include Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Badlands, Wildtrak and a limited First Edition that quickly sold out when order banks opened.

Bronco Features and Styling

The Bronco comes in a staggering number of exclusive color combinations that vary between models. The highly configurable off-roader is designed for both novice and hard-core 4WD experts, with easily removable roof panels, bumper sections and doors that can be stored in the trunk.

Though all-new, the latest Bronco takes its design cues from the proportions, square, boxy looks and flat sides of the original model. Large, open wheel wells are amplified by removeable bolt-on front and rear fenders, while the Bronco's fender flares sport quick-release fasteners to help with customization. Interior appointments vary by model but are designed to appeal to the heart and lifestyle of weekend warriors and 4WD adventurers with durable, with waterproof surfaces, an off-road performance app, and an available 12-inch LCD touchscreen paired with Ford's SYNC4 system touchscreen (an 8-inch is standard), among other communication and audio features. A 12-volt hook-up and USB power connections are at-the-ready to mount cameras, navigation units, phones or other devices.

Bronco First Drive Impressions


2021 Ford Bronco Several color combinations are available with various Bronco trims.Ford


We tried out 5 different models during our test drive that began in the urban environment of Austin, TX and took us to Ford's first Off Roadeo 4WD playground in Marble Falls. Our road-going drive was in a 2-door Outer Banks model with the manual transmission. On the plus side, the manual shifts smoothly, and we had the opportunity to use the crawler gear at a local boat launch. On a steep uphill over loose-surface terrain-we found it suitably impressive.

In general, there was good power, plenty of torque, and competent steering that carved the twisty roads with ease. The Bronco offers surprisingly smooth braking, although we'd like the brakes to be a bit "taller" for more aggressive stopping. Notable is the quietness of the cabin and comfort of the seats. Our only complaints were seatbelts that are not height-adjustable and a couple of ergonomics complaints for our 5'2" driver (although Ford is looking into making changes for both!).

We navigated our way through three off-road courses designed by 4WD experts that included rocky terrain, muddy motoring and dirt two-track with up and downhill climbs. We were impressed with Ford's Terrain Management System with G.O.A.T. (goes over any terrain) modes, which allow up to seven driver-selectable settings (Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand, plus Baja, Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl for off-roading). Two 4WD systems include a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case and an optional two-speed electromechanical transfer case with an auto mode for on-demand selection between 2H and 4H. A Dana 44 solid rear axle and Dana independent front differential unit are both available, as electronic locking differentials-provide more grunt. Bead-lock 17-inch wheels compliment aggressive off-road tires.

We also tested the Bronco's Trail Toolbox, which is a suite of off-road technologies that includes Trail Control (cruise control for low-speed trail driving), class-exclusive Trail Turn Assist (tightens off-road turning radiuses through torque vectoring), and Trail One-Pedal Drive (aids in acceleration/braking control for precise and confident low-speed rock crawling).

The Bronco's four-wheel-drive attributes include:

  • Up to 11.5-inches of ground clearance
  • 43.2-degree approach, 26.3-degree breakover and 37.0-degree departure angles
  • Best-in-class water fording of up to 33.5 inches (w/ optional 35-inch tires that are available on every series)
  • Steel underbody armor to protect vulnerable parts and an available front bash plate
  • Heavy-duty modular steel front bumper w/ an integrated accessory winch mount
  • Side rock rails
  • Standard front and rear tow hooks
  • Sway bar disconnect
  • A 360-degree camera system with class-exclusive off-road spotter views for additional visibility in technical off-road terrain
  • Trail sites (a styling cue from the first Broncos) on the front fenders that also serve as tie-downs with a 150-lb. capacity for securing longer items, such as canoes.

The Bronco moves with ease at both slow- and high-speeds as a result of its class-leading front and rear suspension travel with a high-performance off-road stability suspension system (HOSS). Up front is an independent front suspension set-up with a solid rear axle with long-travel coil springs; suspension systems vary by model-for instance, the Sasquatch off-road package (available on all models) and standard on Badlands is long-travel position-sensitive Bilstein dampers, with end-stop control valves that allow more articulation, reduce harshness and bring durability.


2021 Ford Bronco The Bronco can be ordered with either a hard or soft top.Ford


After years of buildup and speculation, the Ford Bronco had to be good, and for the most part it accomplishes that goal. The combination of technology and off-road prowess, combined with a mostly reasonable price tag, should be enough for the Ford to put up serious competition against the Jeep Wrangler and other off-road SUVs.

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