The Ford Bronco Sport is off to a great start.
The Ford Bronco Sport - the compact, unibody counterpart to the rugged Bronco - isn't on sale yet, but it's already racked up its first win at a major motorsports event.
The all-new 2021 Bronco Sport won the Rebelle Rally in the X-Cross class over the weekend, in the hands of professional driver Shelby Hall and navigator Penny Dale, covering some 1,200 miles of harsh desert terrain spanning from Lake Tahoe in Nevada to California's Imperial Sand Dunes. The event is notable for being exclusively reserved for female drivers and navigators, not to mention for banning electronic devices for navigation.
Instead of relying on GPS, teams must navigate the vast expanse of desert using only a compass, maps, and a road book. The goal for teams isn't so much achieving the best outright speed as it is precisely navigating from checkpoint to checkpoint while overcoming whatever obstacles the desert can throw at them.
Ford entered three all-female driver-navigator teams in the 2020 Rebelle Rally. Amazingly, all three finished the drive.
"Just finishing Rebelle is an impressive feat - we're proud of all three Bronco Sport teams," says Bronco Brand Marketing Manager Mark Grueber. "The results really underscore that Bronco Sport delivers, both for seasoned pros and off-road novices. All of these women embody what 'Built Wild' stands for, and the first-place finish by Shelby and Penny helps establish this all-new vehicle as the Bronco of small SUVs."
Winning the Rebelle Rally is a significant demonstration of the Bronco Sport's off-road acumen, which seems important lest it be doomed to live in the full-size Bronco's shadow. Where the Ford Bronco boasts rugged body-on-frame construction and a traditional four-wheel-drive system, the Bronco Sport rides on a monocoque compact car platform, using a transverse-engine all-wheel-drive powertrain.
Of course, the regular Ford Bronco will have plenty of chances to prove itself in the coming years; a recent Ford trademark filing suggests the automaker might be looking to launch an entire Ford Bronco motorsports division.
The new 2021 Ford Bronco Sport will launch later in 2020.