Ford has revived the Bronco brand and we could not be happier. The two new models are a breath of fresh air for all off-road enthusiasts, but some people confuse the one for the other or have misleading ideas about the least publicized Bronco Sport.
It has been almost twenty-five years since Ford decided to end production of the Bronco to make room for the larger Explorer and Expedition.
Thankfully, the ongoing health crisis did not ruin everything about 2020 as we finally got to see the production version of the Bronco and the Bronco Sport.
The focus and the well-deserved hype were instantly attributed to the Bronco, which was seen as the missing link in Ford’s lineup. A capable and versatile mid-size SUV built specifically for off-road adventures.
Alongside it, Ford also released the Bronco Sport, which led some to believe that it is the sportier version of the lineup, a Bronco with a bigger, more powerful engine.
Like what the RAM TRX is for the RAM 1500, which could not be farther from the truth. Some even call the two-door Bronco version Sport.
The Bronco Sport only comes with four doors and two engine options, a 1.5-liter EcoBoost inline-3 that produces 181 hp (184 PS) and 190 lb-ft (260 Nm) of torque, and a larger 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline 4 with a power output of 245 hp (248 PS) and 275 lb-ft (373 Nm) of torque.
These are smaller engines that what we can find on the sixth-generation Bronco, which also has a couple to choose from, with the first being a 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost inline 4 capable of 270 hp (274 PS) and 310 lb-ft (420 Nm) of torque.
The second option is a 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 that spits out 310 hp (314 PS) and 400 lb-ft (542 Nm) of torque.
These are differences that should hint at the fact that we are dealing with two different kind of Broncos here. The Sport is basically a Ford Escape (Kuga outside the U.S.) that is more suited for off-road use, it even shares the same C2 platform that is also used for the Focus, which is a compact car
The suspension and engines are also borrowed from the small crossover, but the Bronco Sport does include a twin-clutch rear-drive unit with a differential lock feature, albeit without a low-range transfer case.
On the other hand, the new Bronco has been developed using a modified version of the Ranger platform, has an off-road specific suspension system, more ground clearance, Dana 44 solid rear axle, and an independent front differential unit. Moreover, it has removable doors and a roof.
The two SUVs do have something in common, other than the name, and that is the G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) terrain-management system. But this system behaves differently with the two vastly different vehicles.
Both cars are exciting in their ways but are tailored to suit different customers. The Bronco is a very capable SUV designed for intense use on rugged terrain and has the Jeep Wrangler in its crosshairs.
In contrast, the Bronco Sport is more of a crossover that is suited for an equal time between paved roads and trail exploring, being capable of handling itself in tougher conditions but not in the same manner as its more powerful cousin can.
We can only hope that Ford does a better job of naming future models of the revived brand.