What clues could be lurking on the underside of this Bronco prototype?
As we inch closer and closer to its reveal, we’re starting to see the 2021 Ford Bronco prototype out on the roads a bit more often. TFLcar reader Jonathan spotted this one on a transporter on Highway 121 outside McKinney, Texas recently. The first shot above shows off a better view of the Bronco prototype’s side profile, including part of the frame rails.
Unfortunately, there’s also a shroud near the rear of the prototype, masking the rear suspension. However, we can see this Bronco is riding on BFGoodrich KO2s, which is likely part of the model’s FX4 package. If Ford’s keen to hide the rear suspension, it could also be a clue of a Bronco Raptor, but maybe it’s best not to jump to conclusions on that one.
This setup is identical to the 2021 Ford Bronco prototype we spotted in Colorado last week. Check that out over on TFLnow for more detail.
Ford is testing left-hand drive and right-hand drive models
One clue we haven’t seen up until this point is one of the decals on the back. The stickers higher up on the rear glass are illegible from this distance, sadly. However, one we can partially read says “LEFT HAND DRIVE” on it. Naturally, that means this is a left-hand drive prototype. However, that does serve as a sign that Ford may be testing right-hand drive models as well.
Earlier reports suggested the Bronco would only be sold in left-hand drive markets, but that may not be the case after all.
The question there is whether Ford will release certain right-hand drive Bronco models, like a Raptor version, in right-hand drive markets like they did with the Ranger. That’s if they are indeed working on a right-hand drive model at all. I’m also wondering what powertrains will ultimately live in the 2021 Ford Bronco. There is no official information yet, but we will likely see an EcoBoost engine (or two) as options in the new Bronco.
In the 2019 Ford Ranger, we have a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder as our only engine option. Perhaps this will be a base engine in the Bronco, while a larger 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 sourced from the F-150 or Edge would be the top variant. Ford could also slot a 2.0-liter turbodiesel with 369 lb-ft of torque from the Ranger Raptor into global versions of the new Bronco.
Here’s what Ford has shown us (so far)
Keep in mind, there’s a good reason a lot of the information I’m suggesting is speculation. This shot above is the only official image we’ve had showing the new Bronco. Not very informative, is it? Ford is naturally keen to keep the actual shape of the new model a secret, hence the strange Ranger-esque body on this prototype.
Crucially, though, the prototype does show the same proportions that the new Bronco will have. It’s good to see that the car will have short front and rear overhangs, as well as large wheel arches for bigger tires like KO2s. By where Ford positioned the wheel arches and the front bumper protrudes through the cover, it also looks like this Bronco will have ground clearance similar to the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, at least in its most off-road worthy configuration.