Ford may have just given us our first official look at the upcoming Bronco SUV thanks to their new Baja 1000 racer.
Way back in the day, Ford won the Baja 1000 race in a Bronco. The truck survived the grueling 1,000-mile race through the Mojave desert and secured its place in Ford’s history books. Fifty years later and Ford is rushing their new Prototype out the door to ensure it’s ready for their 50th anniversary.
Yes, the first Ford Bronco to arrive is a desert trophy racer.
It’s called the Bronco R Prototype, and it's a tribute to the original Bronco that won the 1969 race. Originally driven by Rod Hall and Larry Minor, the new Bronco will be driven by Shelby Hall, Rod's granddaughter. It'll also share a livery inspired by the '69 Bronco.
Before you ask, no, we don't have any idea what's going on underneath the Bronco R's hood. We know the production Bronco will have a 2.4-L EcoBoost engine, but that seems a little underpowered for desert racing.
What we do know is that the Bronco R will be built on a modified version of the production chassis and will share many of its components. Not the suspension though: while the rear five-link design will share its design with the regular Bronco, the front suspension's custom Fox shocks are all custom.
From there, we can take a look at the 17-inch beadlock aluminum wheels wrapped in 37-inch BFGoodrich tires. A set of 15 Rigid LED light bars ensure that the Bronco R can race even in the dead of night, and the lightweight composite body ensures that weight is kept to a bare minimum.
It also has no doors. Driver and navigator are forced to wiggle their way inside through the second-row hatch.
The Baja 1000 begins on November 22nd, and Ford hopes to repeat its 1969 performance in the latest SUV. It would be a fitting tribute and a hell of a way to preview the upcoming SUV.