The off-road Badlands trim totally earns its name.
After years of anticipation and a production delay, the reborn Ford Bronco is set to finally begin production this summer with customer deliveries expected shortly thereafter. The Escape-based, AWD-only Bronco Sport, meanwhile, is already in dealerships and demand remains extremely high. Ford has already demonstrated the smaller Bronco's impressive off-roading capabilities in stock form, and only now has it done the same with its bigger brother.
Two Ford engineers just completed the grueling NORRA Mexican 1000 off-road rally in a completely stock Bronco 4-door Badlands trim. The five-day rally ended with a third-place finish in the Pre-Runner Truck class near the port city of Ensenada.
"Bronco has a long, successful history racing down here so we wanted to put the new one to the test as our final Built Wild Extreme Testing validation - and it exceeded our every expectation for performance across this treacherous environment," said Bronco engineering manager Jamie Groves. "This race is a key final pre-launch check box for what the Bronco can do." Groves was joined by fellow engineer Seth Goslawski and, on day one only, three-time NORRA winner Brad Lovell.
With its 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission and on-demand transfer case routing power to all four wheels, the Bronco was also equipped with stock 33-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain tires, a Dana 44 AdvanTEK 220 rear axle, and an M210 independent front suspension with Spicer Performa-Trak electronic lockers.
The Badlands model's front sway-bar and Terrain Management System with GOAT Modes further contributed to the impressive accomplishment. "We had some stretches of hard-packed roads that were made for Bronco, topping 100 mph in some of the dry lake beds," said Groves. "Baja mode was especially helpful in this terrain. It keeps shift points at just the right rpm and keeps the turbos spooled up so power is there when you need it and brakes are more aggressive to slow quickly for rough terrain."
The Bronco Badlands 2-door has a starting price of $42,095 and $44,590 for the four-door version. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost is a $1,895 option over the standard 2.3-liter turbo-four. Ford further offers numerous other upgrades and features designed to accommodate any outdoor adventure need.