Ford is feeling even more nostalgic as the Bronco takes off. It announced the new Bronco 4600, which nods to the 1969 Baja 1000 champ. The new offroader is a desert-racing modified version of the Bronco Sasquatch.
The 4600 refers to the racing truck’s stock class and the new truck pays homage to the Bronco that won the 1969 Baja 1000, though it’s not a direct evolution. This isn’t a Bronco you can just order from your dealer; it’s more of a motorsport test bench for Ford Performance upgrades and aftermarket parts as Roadshow explains:
This stock Bronco fits into the 4600 stock class. However, don’t think that stock means unmodified. The rules state that while the stock frame, body, engine and transmission must be used, teams can install upgraded tires, transfer cases, axles and the like. Even upgrades to suspension components are allowed, provided they remain the same type. So leaf springs have to remain leaf springs, coilovers have to remain coilovers. You get the gist.
The race-ready Bronco 4600 takes cues from the Bronco R concept. Ford Performance took what they learned at Baja to develop this new Bronco which will run in the 4600 stock class of the Ultra4 series this year, alongside the Bronco 4400 teams, which debuted at the King of Hammers race. Though it’s still unclear exactly when the 4600 will be competing and we have reached out to Ford for clarification.
One of the coolest things about the Bronco 4600 is that it’s running with practically the same engine as the Sasquatch. The 4600 is really just a beefy version of the top two-door Bronco, and it uses a “race-tested production 2.7-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6, SelectShift 10-speed automatic and second-generation T-6 chassis,” according to Ford.
Of course, it sports significant upgrades elsewhere, from its differential and axle to coilovers and brakes. Among those upgrades, Ford outlines the following:
Heavy-duty front portal hubs from 74 Weld are mounted to Triton Engineering control arms with heavy-duty Howe hydraulic steering rack with cooler. A factory Dana™ AdvanTEK e-locking differential with RCV custom halfshafts deliver front wheel torque. In back, Triton Engineering rear links support a Dynatrac ProRock XD60® axle with an ARB 35-spline Air Locker® and Spidertrax Spider 9™ axle shafts and hubs
Overall it’s a kitted-out Bronco that is conceivably possible for stock Bronco drivers, and it’s got classic-inspired livery to go with its performance upgrades. I’m a fan of the red R they’ve put into the grille.
It’s a small change that you could possibly overlook in comparison to the other livery bits, but I think it looks great. It feels DIY in a sense — at least when compared with the Baja 1000 champ, which sported a full set of red lettering. But, it’s subtle and emphatic at the same time.
The thing that Ford got wrong here is the wheels. This lively Bronco needs color throughout. Bring back the brighter wheel tones, Ford! The Baja 1000 champ wasn’t afraid to be flashy, and this new Bronco 4600 shouldn’t be shy.
Sure, the wheels are gonna get dusted up but I am just so over black wheels. It’s time to bring back the chrome Mickey Thompson look for offroaders. And I’ll die on this hill, err dune.