The 2021 Ford Bronco is scheduled to drop Monday, July 13, 2020, but eager enthusiasts over at the Bronco6G forum have been discussing a huge alleged leak detailing specifications and options all week. It can’t be confirmed with 100 percent certainty, but it’s certainly interesting enough to discuss.
In a forum thread that was started on Tuesday by Bronco6G user 72roadster, you can see a very long list of Bronco features and buyable options that most folks on the forum seem to think is legit. Another user, Toccoa, added some context and helped “decode” the list of options from a few Ford codes into plain English.
Everything here pretty much does track with what makes sense for the Bronco and what we know about Ford options, so I’m inclined to think this list is accurate. Or, at least, was at one point.
So first, I’ll just copy over 72roadster’s top-level summary from the forum:
3.73 Open Style Rear Axle Final Drive Ratio
4.27 Locking Rear Axle Final Drive Ratio
4.46 Rear Axle Final Drive Ratio
4.7 Electronic-locking Front and Rear Axle
P255/70R16 All-Season (A/S) Tires
LT315/70R17 BSW Mud-Terrain (M/T) Tires
P255/75R17 All-Terrain (A/T) Tires
LT265/70R17 All-Terrain (A/T) Tires
LT285/70R17 All-Terrain A/T Tires
LT285/70R17 Mud-Terrain (M/T) Tires
P255/70R18 All-Terrain A/T Tires
*unknown name (PN3XX)
*unknown name (PN4JR)
*unknown name (PN4JT)
Base - Standard Package
Big Bend - Standard Package / Mid Package
Black Diamond - Standard Package / Mid Package
Outer Banks - Mid Package / High Package / Lux Package
Badlands - Standard Package / Mid Package / High Package / Lux Package
Wildtrak - Standard Package / High Package / Lux Package
First Edition - Hood and Bodyside Graphic Package
Top - First Row Soft Top Conversion for Hard Tops
Top - Bimini Soft Top
Top - Bimini Soft Top and Canvas Soft Top
Top - Bimini Soft Top and Mesh Shade Top
Top - Bimini Soft Top, Canvas Soft Top and Mesh Shade Top
Top - Mesh Shade Top
Top - Canvas Soft Top and Mesh Shade Top
Modular Hard Top, Body Color-Painted
Modular Hard Top, Shadow Black-Painted
Dual Tops - Modular Shadow Black-Painted Hard Top - Black Soft Top
Dual Tops - Modular Body Color-Painted Hard Top - Black Soft Top
Dual Tops - Modular Body Black-Painted Hard Top - Black Soft Top
Soft Top, Black Cloth
Hard Top, Carbonized Gray Molded-in-Color (MIC)
On Wednesday even more info came through the Bronco 6G thread, including some accessories, but let’s zoom in on the important specs from the original post and see how they might translate to real-world performance if this alleged option sheet proves to be accurate.
Again, while I’m fairly confident there’s truth to the claimed specs here, Ford’s people officially declined to comment when I reached out so we can’t say it represents the Bronco’s final form for sure. And, of course, the company’s not looking to scoop its own big reveal party next week.
A 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder and a 2.7-liter turbo six-cylinder make sense for the Bronco since those engines should both be compact enough to fit in a medium-sized SUV and are both already made by Ford. The 2.3-liter I4 EcoBoost makes 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque in the current Ranger, while the 2.7-liter V6 has been in the F-150 for a few years now and currently claims 325 HP and 400 lb-ft of torque.
So I think it’s fair to figure the base Bronco will have about 300 lb-ft of torque while the bigger-engined option will step to over 400 lb-ft. Of course, Ford already offers a more powerful tune for the small-engine Ranger, so it should have no issue getting bigger numbers from the 2.3-liter if it wants to. I guess it will depend on what kind of mpgs are being targeted.
The seven-speed manual, as bonkers as it sounds, has basically been confirmed by photos of a shift lever. Folks are figuring it will effectively be a six-speed with an ultra-low gear for crawling, which is exactly the kind of cool gimmick this truck’s going to need to stand out.
A 10-speed auto makes sense, as these are already ubiquitous in Ford’s truck lineup. I’m not a fan myself. It’s a clunky transmission in town in the Ranger, but should help get some gas mileage back on highway cruising.
So you don’t have to scroll back up: The Bronco6G forum said the 2021 truck will get four different final drive axle ratio options: 3.73, 4.27, 4,46, and 4.7.
Axle ratios don’t seem like a particularly sexy topic... until you understand just how important they are to a vehicle’s performance. It’s a very big deal in the off-road world, especially once you start messing with big tires and need to put down lot of power at low speeds.
My colleague David Tracy did a great writeup explaining crawl ratios and off-road gearing, so please give that a peek to understand the science here.
To lay it out a little more expediently, the axle ratios written like “X.XX” mean “X.XX:1,” which means the vehicle’s driveshaft turns X.XX times for every one turn of the wheels. Even simpler: The bigger the X number, the more powerful the vehicle feels. Of course, you pay for it by burning more fuel.
So if the axle ratios posted above for the Bronco are accurate, the “3.73 Open Style Rear Axle Final Drive Ratio” would be the base, more-efficient option while the “4.7 Electronic-locking Front and Rear Axle” would be the most capable. The 2020 Wrangler Rubicon has a 4.1 final drive ratio, so everything else being equal, it seems that the top-end Ford might be more aggressive than the top Jeep on its power-to-efficiency equation.
There’s more to it, including wheel size and of course HP, that will dictate which setup is objectively “better” though.
Hot dang, tires, my favorite topic! I love tires because they’re the one piece you can change on a vehicle and change every aspect of said vehicle’s performance. When it comes to 4x4s, you want something big for ground clearance, but not obscenely big if you want to hang on to daily drivability and efficiency.
This alleged spec sheet claims that the Bronco will have seven stock tire sizes. That would be a lot for a Honda Civic, but it makes sense for a mass-market 4x4. There are four LT (“light truck”) options, and three P (“passenger”) options. The significance there is basically that LT tires are chunkier, more ply, harder to pop, heavier, use more fuel and handle worse. P tires are lighter, so they’re better for road driving, but may puncture more easily. They can still be knobby and be decent on dirt, though.
As for the difference between all-terrain and mud-terrain tires, the MTs tend to be the most off-roady road-legal option available with really deep knobs for paddling through thick mud. All-terrain tires are a little more balanced. All-seasons, of course, are road tires.
Tire size are usually expressed as “letter, number, slash, number, R, wheel diameter” but discussed in terms of overall diameter, so I used the handy wheel size calculator at tiresize.com to translate the coded sizes into overall diameter for you here:
- P255/70R16 All-Season: 30.1-inch overall diameter
- LT315/70R17 BSW Mud-Terrain: 34.4-inch overall diameter
- P255/75R17 All-Terrain: 32.1-inch overall diameter
- LT265/70R17 All-Terrain: 31.6-inch overall diameter
- LT285/70R17 All-Terrain: 32.7-inch overall diameter
- LT285/70R17 Mud-Terrain: 32.7-inch overall diameter
- P255/70R18 All-Terrain: 32.1-inch overall diameter
There will be some variance in those diameters due to inflation level and tread life remaining, but that’s the baseline. For those of you unfamiliar with the off-road scene, 34.4-inch tire is pretty darn big. In fact, LT315/70R17 is the same tire you’ll see on a stock Ford Raptor.
The 30.1-inch option will be most efficient, and the 33-inch options should provide a decent balance.
Who wants to guess what the Sasquatch Package is?
This would be a good crop of colors if it turns out to be real. Hopefully, there will be a green and tan in the mix, too.
I’m really into the idea of a “mesh shade top” but mostly I’m just excited about the prospect of variety. From the teaser images we’ve seen so far, it’s clear Ford’s committing to open-air off-roading, which is huge.
I’ll state one final time that the specs and options discussed here are conjecture, and unconfirmed by Ford. But it’s all plausible enough to warrant the discussion I’ve presented here. I’m confident the Bronco’s final form will be pretty close, at any rate.
Now we just need to see some honest images of the thing throwing sand, already!