The upcoming 2021 Ford Bronco has been spotted in the wilds of Colorado with a Ranger disguise.
We knew that the Bronco would share the Ford Ranger’s platform, but this is a little ridiculous. The latest Bronco test mule spotted by the fine folks over at The Fast Lane Car seems to be a Ranger with the rear section but in half and then given a bed cap. The entire cab is exactly like the Ford Ranger, while the rear still has the Ranger’s tail lights but has been given some bulging fenders to try and cover up those huge off-road tires.
For those concerned about what this might mean for the final production version of the Bronco, never fear. We’ve heard from earlier reports that the real Bronco has a boxy, retro design that looks nothing like the Ranger. This particular prototype is just using the Ranger’s chassis and body because the two vehicles will share the same platform.
TFLCar reported in their spy video that the Bronco also sounded exactly like the Ranger, which means a 2.3-L EcoBoost turbo 4-cylinder with 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. That could be what the base Bronco winds up with, but Ford CEO Jim Hackett confirmed earlier in May that the Bronco would also get a hybrid powertrain option as well.
We don’t know much about the hybrid option, but it seems likely that Ford will use the hybrid tech from either the Lincoln Aviator or Ford Explorer, which would be either a 3.0-L twin-turbo V6 (415 hp) or a 3.3-L V6 combined with an electric motor (450 hp).
Ford obscured the suspension components using some sort of fibrous material, but it seems likely to expect the Ranger’s suspension or possibly even a new solid axle type to more directly compete with the Jeep Wrangler. Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission is almost guaranteed to show up, and a 7-speed manual is also rumored to be available.
It looks like Ford still has quite a ways to go before we see a more production-worthy Bronco prototype, so don’t expect any official confirmations any time soon.