Ford has just ripped the covers off its Aussie-developed Bronco line-up in the USA and we reckon we need this awesome new off-roader here in Australia, but don’t hold your breath. We’re not getting it!
“Bronco is not being produced in right-hand drive so unfortunately that means we won’t be getting it in Australia,” Ford Australia’s Damion Smy told Unsealed 4X4. “Essentially the volume isn’t there. Most things are developed left-hand drive first, so its primary market is North America, but for right-hand drive you’d need us, maybe Japan and the UK, and that just doesn’t stack up.”
No Bronco for Oz then, which is a real pity. Here are 11 reasons we reckon Ford should have made it available in right-hand drive so we could have it here in Australia:
1. The Bronco was engineered in Australia
That’s right! Ford’s all-new Bronco was developed here in Australia, on the Ranger’s T6 platform. And not just the chassis, but also the development of the powertrain and suspension. The head office in the USA essentially looked after the top half of the Bronco – the body and interior design.
2. Class leading low-range reduction
The new Ford Bronco will be available with either a 10-speed auto tranny (on both 2.3L and 2.7L engines) or a 7-speed manual gearbox (on 2.3L engine only). When teamed with an electromechanical transfer case, the auto will have a crawl ratio of 67.8:1 and the manual will have a crawl ratio of 94.75:1. Now that’s low!
3. Class-leading ground clearance & off-road angles
Both 2- and 4-door Broncos ride on independent coil front suspension and a live-axle coil rear. When equipped with the optional H.O.S.S. (High-Performance, Off-Road, Stability, Suspension) System and 35-inch tyres, the 2-door model has up to 295mm of ground clearance and the 4-door up to 292mm. Both models also have class-leading off-road angles (2-door up to 43.2° approach, up to 29° ramp-over and up to 37.2° departure and 4-door up to 43.2° approach, up to 26.3° ramp-over and up to 37° departure).
Higher-capability models come with optional front bash plate, plus shields for the engine, transmission, transfer case and fuel tank. There are also optional side rock rails that are strong enough to support the weight of the vehicle.
4: 35-inch tyres
Depending on model grade, there are a range of tyre-size options from 255/70R16 (30-inch) up to 315/70R17 (35-inch) in road, all-terrain or mud-terrain patterns.
5: Removable doors & roof
The Bronco is built on traditional separate chassis architecture with a fully boxed, high-strength steel chassis that’s claimed to deliver best-in-class suspension travel. This also means the doors can be removed on both 2-door and 4-door models. And the roof can be removed…
The Bronco features a high-strength steel roll cage with integrated side curtain airbags in the upper structure and seats, which means the entire roof panel can be removed on both 2-door and 4-door models without leaving a centre beam. A soft-top is standard on 4-door models and it can be optioned with both the soft-top and a hard-top.
G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Terrain) means the Bronco offers up to seven driver-selectable modes including Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand, Baja, Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl.
There’s a choice of two 4×4 systems: base and advanced. The base system has a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case while the advanced system has a two-speed electromechanical transfer case that adds an auto mode for on-demand engagement to select between 2H and 4H. Both are equipped with a locking rear diff. There’s also Trail Control, which is a low-speed cruise control for off-road driving, while Trail Turn Assist tightens off-road turning radiuses through torque vectoring, and Trail One-Pedal Drive acceleration/braking control is designed to offer more precise and confident slow-mode rock crawling.
Bronco also features an optional semi-active hydraulic stabiliser bar disconnect for the front-end to offer improved wheel travel.
7: High-speed off-road ride and handling
The Bronco is available with optional long-travel position-sensitive Bilstein dampers with end-stop control valves so it will soak up high-speed bumps to provide a smooth ride at high speed over rough terrain.
8: Off-road mapping
The Bronco comes with topographic trail maps and more than 1000 curated trail maps powered by content from NeoTreks’ AccuTerra Maps, Trails Offroad trail guides and FunTreks trail guides.
“The trail mapping system available on Bronco is truly a game-changer in the off-road community,” Mark Grueber, Bronco consumer marketing manager said. “It works online or off on either of the navigation-capable 8- or 12-inch SYNC systems, allowing users to select one of hundreds of available curated trail maps to map out and then track, capture and share their adventures with others.”
9: 200+ factory-backed accessories
Ford says the Bronco will launch with more than 200 factory-backed aftermarket accessories that are designed to provide more capability, personalisation and style.
10. Optional 310hp EcoBoost engine
The standard engine in the Bronco is a 2.3L EcoBoost turbo-petrol four that makes a claimed 201kW and 420Nm of torque.
An optional 2.7L turbo-petrol EcoBoost V6 engine makes a claimed 231kW (310hp) and 542Nm of torque.
11. Hose-out interior
Ford says the interior of the Bronco is tough and rugged, and it features washable rubberised floors with integrated drains and marine-grade vinyl seating surfaces. The instrument panel surfaces are wipeable, and there’s seamless silicone rubber on the dash-mounted switches. Six available up-fitter switches mounted overhead are silicone-sealed to protect against the elements and they have pre-wired leads to key accessory points.
And just so you know what we’re really missing out on, check out this video below of the Ford Bronco in action.