How does a 450-horsepower Bronco sound?
In revealing the all-new 2021 Ford Bronco earlier this summer, Ford declined to include any reference to a forthcoming hybrid model, which might join the lineup later on down the line in order to do battle with Jeep's impending Wrangler 4xe hybrid. To date, there's been no official confirmation from Ford that a Bronco Hybrid is in the works at all, even though the company has for years made a big to-do about its billions of dollars being invested in powertrain electrification.
Regardless, we've seen strong evidence that a hybrid is indeed in the works, and a new report from TFLCar provides a glimpse of what that might look like.
According to that site, the Ford Bronco Hybrid will use the same hybrid power configuration as the new Ford Explorer Hybrid and forthcoming F-150 Hybrid, sharing those models' ten-speed automatic transmission with an electric motor connected to the input end by an automated clutch. The design is flexible and modular, so while the Explorer Hybrid uses a 3.3L V6 engine and a 35-kW electric motor, the Bronco Hybrid might well use a completely different combination.
Indeed, according to TFLCar's sources, the Bronco Hybrid will draw upon the same 3.0L EcoBoost V6 that powers the Ford Explorer ST and Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring, likely producing the same 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque even before the electric motor is accounted for. Add that in and we could be looking at a 450-hp total for the Bronco Hybrid - the same peak power output as the Ford F-150 Raptor.
That output figure is just conjecture for now, but it would be enough to match Jeep's awesome, Hemi-powered Wrangler 392 concept. We're not sure if environmentalists would generally be thrilled, or vexed.
And that's the thing with some of Ford's latest hybrids; they're tuned for capability rather than efficiency, the automaker's thinking being that most American consumers have to be sold on the performance benefits of electrification before they'll line up to become adopters. That's why the Ford Explorer Hybrid offers a stout 318 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque, but only lukewarm fuel economy - at least compared to Toyota's Highlander Hybrid.
Whether the Ford Bronco Hybrid ends up using the 3.0L EcoBoost as reported, or its existing 2.3L or 2.7L EcoBoost engine, we expect the mentality to be similar.