Automotive

Ford unveils 2021 Bronco Sport, and it’s more than just a Baby Bronco

Ford unveils 2021 Bronco Sport...
The Ford Bronco Sport might look similar to its full-sized Bronco sibling, but it's a completely different animal
The Ford Bronco Sport might look similar to its full-sized Bronco sibling, but it's a completely different animal
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Differences from the larger Bronco are immediately apparent in the Bronco Sport’s side profile
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Differences from the larger Bronco are immediately apparent in the Bronco Sport’s side profile
The all-new Bronco Sport Badlands series in Area 51 paint
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The all-new Bronco Sport Badlands series in Area 51 paint
The all-new Bronco Sport has 29-inch all-terrain tires available for better off-road performance
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The all-new Bronco Sport has 29-inch all-terrain tires available for better off-road performance
The most off-road-centric model of the Ford Bronco Sport will be the Badlands model series
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The most off-road-centric model of the Ford Bronco Sport will be the Badlands model series
The 2021 Bronco Sport has more than 100 available factory-backed and aftermarket accessories
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The 2021 Bronco Sport has more than 100 available factory-backed and aftermarket accessories
Bronco Sport is available in 10 different exterior colors, including Area 51, Cyber Orange Metallic Tri-Coat and Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
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Bronco Sport is available in 10 different exterior colors, including Area 51, Cyber Orange Metallic Tri-Coat and Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat. (Pre-production models pictured)
When properly equipped, Bronco Sport Badlands models can tow up to 2,200 pounds
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When properly equipped, Bronco Sport Badlands models can tow up to 2,200 pounds
Ford is clearly marketing the adventure lifestyle with the new Bronco Sport
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Ford is clearly marketing the adventure lifestyle with the new Bronco Sport
The 2021 Bronco Sport is available with an interior bike rack that lets adventurers transport two 27.5-inch bikes inside the vehicle
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The 2021 Bronco Sport is available with an interior bike rack that lets adventurers transport two 27.5-inch bikes inside the vehicle
An overlanding-ready roof rack is available for the Bronco Sport
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An overlanding-ready roof rack is available for the Bronco Sport
Bronco Sport has an optional innovative slide-out working table
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Bronco Sport has an optional innovative slide-out working table
Every Bronco Sport comes standard with a bottle opener mounted in the cargo area for opening (ahem) soda while on the trail
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Every Bronco Sport comes standard with a bottle opener mounted in the cargo area for opening (ahem) soda while on the trail
The limited-edition Bronco Sport First Edition series in Cyber Orange Metallic Tri-Coat
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The limited-edition Bronco Sport First Edition series in Cyber Orange Metallic Tri-Coat
The Bronco Sport enables exciting, high-speed off-road driving thanks to a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine option with segment-best horsepower and torque. (Pre-production model pictured)
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The Bronco Sport enables exciting, high-speed off-road driving thanks to a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine option with segment-best horsepower and torque. (Pre-production model pictured)
The Bronco Sport enables exciting, high-speed off-road driving using the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine
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The Bronco Sport enables exciting, high-speed off-road driving using the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine
Powering the new Bronco Sport are a couple of familiar engines from the Ford lineup of crossovers
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Powering the new Bronco Sport are a couple of familiar engines from the Ford lineup of crossovers
Both engine options will mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission
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Both engine options will mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission
The 2021 Bronco Sport First Edition series can wade through up to 23.6 inches of water
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The 2021 Bronco Sport First Edition series can wade through up to 23.6 inches of water
The Bronco Sport will have all-wheel drive as standard on all models
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The Bronco Sport will have all-wheel drive as standard on all models
The Ford Bronco Sport small SUV comes standard with SYNC 3 and an 8-inch touchscreen, which includes compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
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The Ford Bronco Sport small SUV comes standard with SYNC 3 and an 8-inch touchscreen, which includes compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
The Bronco Sport has a terrain selection system that features up to seven available G.O.A.T. Modes
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The Bronco Sport has a terrain selection system that features up to seven available G.O.A.T. Modes
Interior spaciousness and storage were a high point of the Bronco Sport’s presentation during Ford’s unveil of the new and highly anticipated utilities
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Interior spaciousness and storage were a high point of the Bronco Sport’s presentation during Ford’s unveil of the new and highly anticipated utilities
The cargo area in the Ford Bronco Sport can stow two mountain bikes inside the vehicle
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The cargo area in the Ford Bronco Sport can stow two mountain bikes inside the vehicle
The 2021 Bronco Sport is available with washable rubber flooring in the cargo area and on the second-row seatbacks for easy cleanups
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The 2021 Bronco Sport is available with washable rubber flooring in the cargo area and on the second-row seatbacks for easy cleanups
View gallery - 24 images

When Ford unveiled the new Bronco series of sport utilities, a new Bronco Sport came with it. At first glance, this new Baby Bronco looked like a smaller version of the SUV. On closer inspection, it’s clear that the 2021 Bronco Sport is a completely different animal in almost every way.

Back in the heyday of the Ford Bronco’s popularity, the rig came in several model variants that included the Bronco II. Currently one of the most collectible of the Bronco series of yore, so it made sense that, if Ford was to revive the pony truck of the 1990s, it must also bring back the Baby Bronco. The Bronco Sport is that vehicle.

Differences from the larger Bronco are immediately apparent in the Bronco Sport’s side profile, which is much more compact and squared off. Lighting elements, especially at the rear, are chunkier and more dominant, and the stance makes it clear that there is no body-on-frame connection to the Ford F-Series as there is with the larger Bronco. Indeed, the Bronco Sport is based on the Ford Escape crossover, a unibody design, and (surprisingly) not the Ford Ranger or F-150.

The cargo area in the Ford Bronco Sport can stow two mountain bikes inside the vehicle
The cargo area in the Ford Bronco Sport can stow two mountain bikes inside the vehicle

Interior spaciousness and storage were a high point of the presentation during Ford’s unveil of the new and highly anticipated utilities, and there's an emphasis on safety equipment and comfort-based gadgetry too. Among the long list of accessories available as one-offs or in “lifestyle bundles” – with themes like Bike, Snow, Water, and Camping – are a slide-out work table, tailgate-mounted flood lamps, roof rack options to emphasize the adventure readiness that Ford is aiming for, together with gems like the military-ish MOLLE-style straps on the back of its seats, and the bottle opener integrated into the rear hatch’s side wall.

Powering the new Bronco Sport are a couple of familiar engines from the Ford lineup of crossovers. The base engine will be a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 181 horsepower (135 kW) and 190 lb-ft (258 Nm) of torque. That’s probably just enough to make it a decent cruiser, but won’t be enough to give any kind of excitement. Those qualities are reserved for the engine upgrade option, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four that outputs 245 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque (183 kW and 373 Nm). Both engines will mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Sport will have all-wheel drive as standard on all models. This will include an “advanced 4x4 system” with a twin-clutch rear-drive unit that includes a differential lock. Like its larger sibling, it also has G.O.A.T. modes for its terrain management, allowing the driver to select from up to seven options to adjust the drivetrain to varied conditions or needs. Special editions (Badlands, First Edition) will include special tuning for a more off-road aim.

Ford is clearly marketing the adventure lifestyle with the new Bronco Sport
Ford is clearly marketing the adventure lifestyle with the new Bronco Sport

Both 17- and 18-inch wheels are specified, but the Badlands and First Edition models will have larger 28.5- and 29-inch tires from Pirelli and Falken. The tires specified for the Sport make a big difference in ground clearance, with standard options having 7.8 in (19.8 cm) and the larger Falken upgrades boosting that by an inch to 8.8 in (22.4 cm). The wheelbase is just over 105 in (266.7 cm) and its track width is 63.4 in (161 cm) at the front and 62.8 in (159.5 cm) at the rear.

For its size, the aggressiveness of the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is clear in its off-road metrics. Standard numbers for the rig are 21.7 degrees in approach, 18.2 degrees in breakover, and 30.4 degrees in departure. The Badlands and First Edition models, though, change those numbers to 30.4 degrees in approach, 20.4 degrees in breakover, and 33.1 degrees in departure. Water fording is rated at 17.7 in (45 cm) in the standard models and 23.6 in (60 cm) in the more aggressive options. This all indicates that while the Sport model may be far more road worthy and more of a daily drive than is the larger Bronco, it will still be surprisingly capable when off the paved path for occasional weekend adventuring.

So far, there is no pricing information, fuel economy estimates, and so on. It will arrive earlier than the full-sized Bronco, though. Ford expects the 2021 Bronco Sport to become available in late 2020 and is taking reservations now.

Here's look at the new Bronco family:

2021 Ford Bronco Family: The Return | Ford

Source: Ford

View gallery - 24 images
2 comments
dugnology
Did Ford just ask your father what he wanted when he was a Teenager? The only cars they make now are Muscle Cars and Trucks from the '70's.
D[]
To be clear- the 2021 Bronco is based on the Ford Ranger- not the F-150 platform. The older Bronco's, from 78-96 the Bronco was built off of the F-Series frames. Also the Bronco II is not yet, "one of the most collectible of the Bronco series of yore" as is the 1966-1977 Early Bronco. The Bronco II may be rising in popularity but there are a handful on the west coast available, running, from $3000-7000 while the early Bronco will run you about one additional zero more across the board.

Though this Bronco sport looks like a great grocery runner and very capable snow, sport, gravel road, SUV- I seriously doubt it has the chops or abilities that a Bronco II had, not the capabilities to be modded up in a similar fashion. Not that that is a problem, The Bronco Sport competes with the Renegade and Patriot and I'm hoping to see lots on the road.