Ford’s latest electrification strategy involves not only introducing 16 new battery-electric vehicles by 2022 but rolling out hybrid electric variants for high-volume profitable models like the Explorer and the all-new Bronco, Jim Hackett, President & CEO, Ford, had confirmed at the annual shareholder meeting last year.
After rounds of leaks, rumours and renders, Ford finally unveiled the new Bronco family in July 2020 and won the approval of the internet widely. Following its launch, a report on the reputed GreenCarReports.com appeared, suggesting that Ford will introduce “corresponding hybrid versions” of both the Bronco and Bronco Sport.
The story speculated that the Ford Bronco hybrid, due to its ladder-frame construction, is likely to share electrical components of the F-150 and the Explorer hybrid versions. A modular electric motor system and a disconnect clutch to the 10-speed automatic transmission, with a V6 engine, are the expected to form the core hardware of the Bronco Hybrid.
As for the ‘softer’ Ford Bronco Sport which uses the unibody construction of the Escape, the planetary torque-split hybrid system of the latter would support the ‘green’ variant of the crossover. In the all-wheel-drive version, the Escape Hybrid has an impressive EPA-estimated mileage of 43 mpg city and 40 mpg combined, and an EPA-estimated 568 miles of range.
‘EV Coaching’ display on Bronco instrument cluster
Ford hasn’t revealed clearly if it will offer a hybrid variant of both the Bronco or the Bronco Sport. What we do know, thanks to a leak via a promo video (now pulled down), is that the electrified variants will feature ‘EV Coaching’ display in the instrument cluster to let the driver see the level of energy stored in the battery pack. This feature hints the availability of a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
The Ford Bronco is technically related to the next-gen Ford Ranger, which, as per a report from thedrive.com, will have a plug-in hybrid powertrain comprising a 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine teamed up with an electric motor. The same plug-in hybrid powertrain could be offered in the Ford Bronco.
For the C2 platform-based Ford Bronco Sport, the hybrid solution could be borrowed from its platform-mate Ford Escape. We are talking about the full hybrid, and plug-in hybrid powertrains which share the same 2.5-litre iVCT naturally aspirated gasoline engine (165 HP/155 lb.-ft.) and have the same total system output of 200 hp. Either one of them could be offered in the neo-retro SUV.
TFL Car: 3.0L V6 is coming on the Bronco Hybrid
TFLcar.com, citing an insider, is reporting different details. This publication claims that the Ford Bronco Hybrid would get the company’s twin-turbo 3.0 V6 Ecoboost engine. The hybrid SUV would employ the company’s 10-speed modular hybrid transmission. The 3.0L Ecoboost engine is already available on the Ford Explorer, Lincoln Aviator and Lincoln Continental models. Based on where is it is used, it develops between 350 hp (260 kW) and 400 hp (298 kW) – or 494 hp (368 kW) in the Lincoln Aviator plug-in hybrid. Regardless of how much power or torque the Ford Bronco Hybrid makes, it would retain the 47 hp (35 kW) electric motor.
TFL Car says the Ford Bronco Hybrid would be unveiled in 2021 and go on sale in 2022.
We’ll keep an eye on further updates of the Bronco Hybrid family and update this page when new information surfaces. Until then, here’s everything you need to know about the 2021 Ford Bronco and 2021 Ford Bronco Sport.
Bronco & Bronco Sport specifications
The 2021 Ford Bronco is the spiritual successor to the original icon, and it’s going to be sold in 2-door and 4-door versions. The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport, on the other hand, is an extension of this model that, banking on the esteemed marque, is aimed at appealing customers looking for a more rugged but still a family-oriented SUV.
Ford has developed the all new Bronco on the T7 ladder-frame platform, which is an evolution of the Ford Ranger and Ford Endeavour’s T6 platform. The first-ever Bronco Sport sits on the C2 unibody platform, which underpins the truly American Ford Escape, as well as the Euro-focused Ford Puma and Ford Focus.
Currently, Bronco customers get to choose between 2 engines and transmissions. The standard engine is a 2.3-litre turbo Inline 4 pushing 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. For off-road enthusiasts demanding more power, Ford also offers a 2.7-litre twin-turbo V-6 producing 310 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. The two transmissions on offer are a 7-speed manual which has 6 traditional gear with one low-range crawl gear and a 10-speed automatic gearbox. The manual is only available with the smaller engine.
Since the Bronco is mainly aimed at off-road enthusiasts, Ford has included a variety of goodies to assist the driver while off-roading.
With the G.O.A.T functionality present in the centre console (G.O.A.T. stands for Go Over Any Terrain), customers can choose between eight different drive modes namely, Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery, Sand, Baja, Mud, and Rock Crawl. Apart from the drive modes, the Bronco also gets a ton of hardware to improve off-road capability, including all-terrain tires on the Badlands and Wildtrak versions, independent front suspension paired with a solid multi-link rear axle while Bilstein’s top-of-line Position-Sensitive dampers are optional. Bronco’s dimensions range from 4412 mm to 4839 mm in length, with a wheelbase between 2550 mm and 2949 mm respectively, which makes it larger in size than its arch rival Jeep Wrangler.
The Bronco will be offered with both 2 and 4 door variants. The two-door Bronco has 23.6 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats folded up. Folding the rear seats expands capacity to 58.4 cubic feet. The four-door Bronco offers maximum practicality offering 35.6 cubic feet with all seats up and 77.6 cubic feet with the second row folded.
If the Bronco is too hardcore, customers have an option of selecting the Bronco badge in a more family-oriented guise. Its called the Bronco Sport and it’s a compact SUV in dimensions. It fits in between the Ford Escape and the Ford EcoSport and the Bronco badge will give it some extra appeal in the highly competitive crossover and SUV market.
The Bronco Sport and the Ford Escape share their two petrol engines as well as an eight-speed automatic transmission. The standard engine on offer is a turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder making 181 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque (259 Nm), while the more powerful engine is the turbocharged 2.0-litre that makes 245 hp and 275 lb-ft (259 Nm).
The Bronco Sport like its off-road sibling gets a standard all-wheel-drive system, a range of off-road drive modes, and on higher trim levels, a trick rear-drive unit with a differential lock function.
The all new Ford Bronco Sport will be sold with features like LED signature lighting, fog lamps and configurable DRLs, 18-inch aluminium wheels, 8-inch SYNC 3 touchscreen infotainment system, 6.5-inch digital instrument panel, 8-way power driver seat, 6-way power front passenger seat, 10-speaker B&O sound system, 180-degree front camera with split-view and washer, etc. 18-inch aluminium wheels, LED headlamps and tail lamps, 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 10-way power driver’s seat and 10-speaker B&O sound system are some of the salient features of the more rugged and expensive all new Ford Bronco.
The two-door, base-model Bronco with no options will cost $29,995 and the Bronco with four doors will cost $34,695, both of which are costlier than similarly trimmed Jeep Wrangler. Ford Bronco Sport Base model will set customers back by $28,155.