What will the modern version look like?
The Ford Bronco was introduced back in 1965 and was phased out of the Ford lineup back in 1996. After five generations, the full-size Bronco was replaced by more trendy, family-friendly SUV models like the Expedition and Explorer. Now, more than 20 years after it left production, the Bronco nameplate is finally returning with a new model, which will go head-to-head with the Jeep Wrangler. It will be joined by a smaller Bronco Sport model, which will offer rugged styling but for shoppers who don't plan to hit the trails every weekend.
To prepare for the new model's reveal and to remember the nameplate's heritage, a video has been put together showing how the Bronco evolved from the 1960s to its final run in the 1990s. The Bronco changed a lot over five generations but it never abandoned its rugged origins.
The first-generation Bronco lasted for more than a decade from 1966 to 1977. It was offered with either a straight-six or Windsor V8 in roadster, station wagon, and pickup body styles. The original Bronco was developed as a rival for the Jeep CJ-5 and International Harvester Scout with a compact size and excellent off-road capability.
For the second-gen Bronco, which only lasted from 1978 to 1979, Ford wanted to compete with the larger K5 Chevy Blazer and Dodge Ramcharger. Now a full-size SUV based on the F-150 pickup, the second-generation model did away with the six-cylinder engine options in favor of two large V8s.
The third-gen Bronco (1980 to 1986) became shorter and lighter, with a compact Bronco II model introduced into the mix. Based on the F-150, the straight-six returned as a base engine but also offered three V8 options. The fourth-gen (1987 to 1991) arrived at the same time as the eighth-gen F-150, offering a smoother, more aerodynamic body style.
The fifth-gen Bronco (1992 to 1996) became the most famous of the bunch when 95 million people watched live as the police chased OJ Simpson (sitting in the back of a white Bronco) on the 405 Interstate in 1995. While not the reason for its discontinuation, the OJ chase happened just one year before the Bronco left production. The Bronco is set to make its return for a sixth-gen in 2020 and before it arrives, Ford teased us with a Bronco R Prototype, which competed at the 2020 Baja 1000 race.