Ford’s famous Bronco SUV will be available in Europe for the first time but, sadly, in limited numbers.
The 4×4 go-anywhere vehicle has a loyal following in the US, and the company want to allow others to experience the model. Jeremy Webb explores why the Bronco is such a popular choice.
I drove a Bronco a few times when living in Colorado, and it was ideal for the conditions out there. Winters meant snow and ice on the roads, spring lots of mud from the melting snow and summer the perfect time to go off-roading. It was an old Bronco owned by a student who had been past it down from his Dad, who I believe had it given to him. It kept going and was simple to maintain, so it made sense to keep driving it. Ford has kept the Bronco in its lineup because the same core values are there and appealing to owners.
Europeans can now purchase a bronco and enjoy the freedom to explore anywhere. Ford calls it Bronco’s “Goes Over Any Type of Terrain”. The Terrain Management System™, with up to seven selectable drive modes, is at the centre of the vehicle’s ability to take occupants away from the roads. Ford has many options available to augment owners’ experience of the outdoors, including washable seat trims, equipment carriers, roof tents, and light bars.
The 1966 Bronco original has inspired the latest model with rugged looks and solid performance taken from aspects of the F-Series truck and the spirit of the Ford Mustang.
to create an SUV with a unique style and a genuine sense of adventure, Bronco has a four-wheel drive system and innovative adventure technologies including Trail Control™ and up to seven drive modes. It incorporates removable panels, integrated mounting points explicitly designed for accessories, and easy-to-clean materials as standard.
The front of the vehicle features a distinctive full-width grille, circular headlights and bold badging to give a truly unique look. The squared-off body panels are designed to make it easier to see the SUV’s outer corners and, therefore, easier to place in challenging off-road conditions.
Bronco also features many simple but clever touches such as the bolt-on plastic wheel arches and trail sights – raised sections on top of the front wings to help the driver locate the vehicle corners – that can be used as tie-down points capable of supporting up to 68 kg. This makes it easier to transport more oversized items such as canoes.
The Bronco has a removable hard top with a sound-dampening headliner for comfortable on-road performance. The hard top also separates into four panels with dedicated onboard storage bags for the front two panels for maximum flexibility. All the doors can be removed using a single tool in eight minutes, providing the ultimate fresh-air freedom and even greater visibility in off-road environments.
At the heart of the Bronco’s go-anywhere ability is the Terrain Management System™ which makes it easy for drivers to select the mode they need to suit the conditions. Alongside on-road modes such as Normal, Eco, Sport and Slippery, dedicated GOAT off-road modes include Mud/Ruts, Sand and an available racing-inspired Baja mode, each mode optimising throttle, gearbox shift points and steering response to suit the environment.
Bronco is available with a two-speed electronic transfer case that allows shifting on the move, or a two-speed electromechanical transfer case with an automatic mode, allowing the system to switch seamlessly between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive depending on the conditions. A locking rear differential is standard, while an available locking front differential and front anti-roll bar disconnect system delivers maximum articulation in challenging situations.
The Bronco also offers a Trail Toolbox, a suite of sophisticated off-road technologies to support drivers and allow them to explore the vehicle’s capabilities confidently. Trail Control™ 2 operates similarly to cruise control; the driver can select a speed up to 31 km/h, and the car will automatically manage acceleration and braking to maintain the desired speed while the driver concentrates on steering through challenging terrain.
Trail Turn Assist 2 uses brake-based torque vectoring to reduce turning radius by up to 40 per cent when off-roading in confined spaces, while Trail One-Pedal Drive 2 allows the driver to accelerate and brake using only the accelerator pedal, making it easier to control speed accurately when driving in challenging conditions. Driver assistance technologies include AdvanceTrac™ with Roll Stability Control™ and Trailer Sway Control for driver confidence when towing.
Matching the tough and purposeful exterior, the new Bronco’s interior design is highly functional, packed with technology, and robust and designed to withstand use in harsh environments. The instrument panel takes inspiration in its design from the first-generation Bronco, with colours inspired by natural palettes, outdoor gear, and materials chosen for durability.
Grab handles are integrated into the instrument panel and centre console for passenger comfort in all conditions. The centre console features a wireless charging pad that has been designed to keep a mobile phone in place even at extreme angles of lean. Instrument panel surfaces are wipeable, and physical switches in the cabin are silicone-sealed and feature rubber touchpoints to ensure they are protected from the elements and are easy to clean.
Bronco is built for the most challenging conditions but doesn’t compromise comfort or convenience features. An 20 cm partial TFT instrument cluster is paired with a 30 cm LCD centre touchscreen featuring the latest-generation SYNC 4 communication and entertainment system, which benefits from Ford Power-Up wireless software updates for improved functionality over time.
Bronco also offers attachment points on top of the instrument panel for a device rack, allowing customers to attach their cameras or mobile phones with dedicated 12-volt and USB power connections.
Rivals to the Ford Bronco are plentiful with the Land Rover Defender, BMW X3 , Jeep Wrangler,
Base model $44000, through to the top of the range Raptor $99000.
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