Will the plucky SUV prove successful yet again?
The Ford Bronco family is remarkably adept at traversing the world's toughest terrain. Even the little Bronco Sport exhibits impressive prowess off the beaten track. Keen to demonstrate these abilities, the Blue Oval has entered three Bronco derivatives into this year's Rebelle Rally, an all-woman motorsport competition.
Bronco two-and four-door models, along with a Bronco Sport, will be expertly piloted by three teams over the duration of the event. Melissa Clark and navigator Chris Benzie are hoping to strike a third win for the Bronco Sport in the X-Cross category, which features two- and all-wheel-drive vehicles.
The baby Bronco has previously claimed victory at the rally, an achievement that Ford should be proud of. It stands a good chance - Clark is a 2021 X-Cross winner and Bronco Moab Off-Roadeo Trail Guide and Benzie is an expert Rebelle Rally navigator with plenty of experience.
Professional driver Shelby Hall and experienced navigator Penny Dale will fly across arid landscapes in a Bronco Wildtrak equipped with a HOSS 3.0 System Package upgrade. This should give the off-roader an edge, with improvements such as Fox 2.5-inch Internal Bypass Dampers, a steel front bumper and bash plate, and a Ford Performance severe-duty steering rack.
Hall and Dale are a duo to be reckoned with; the blisteringly quick pair raced the Bronco Sport to victory in 2020. This year, however, they'll be competing in the 4x4 class alongside a customized Bronco Badlands. Driver Kathryn Reinhardt and Victoria Bundrant of 4 Wheel Parts will put their company's parts to the test, and hopefully improve on the 21st-place finish achieved in their rookie year.
The Rebelle Rally is no drive in the countryside. Over the 1,500-mile, eight-day journey, drivers and navigators will be challenged as they race to the finish. The event, which began on October 6 in Nevada, sends teams on a journey through the rugged terrain of Nevada and California.
To make things tougher, no personal support crews are permitted and participants must spend their nights camping along the way.
The finish will take place on October 15, in the Imperial Sand Dunes in southern California. The trio of Fords has every chance of winning, but they will face strong competition. Kia has built a specially-equipped Sportage just for the occasion, and Hyundai has joined in on the fun with a rather menacing Santa Cruz.
Only one team can win, though, so may the best women win.