The legendary Bronco is back

The legendary Bronco is back as Ford re-explores the origins of the sport utility vehicle in a concept making its debut at the 2004 North American International Auto Show. The Ford Bronco concept demonstrates the original’s authentic spirit while advancing powertrain technologies.

At a time when sport utilities are becoming more and more civilized – some to the point of forgetting their roots – the Bronco’s clean, raw shape, uncluttered interior and capable chassis make it the ideal tool for work, play or just making a statement.

Key design features reminiscent of the original Ford Bronco include the boxy, upright roofline, short wheelbase, round headlamps and the Bronco nameplate milled into the modern three-bar grille. A winch and guide rollers are integrated into the lower fascia. Exterior details include exposed door hinges, cowl vents and flared wheel wells. Unique loop-shaped door handles are integrated into the door panels and open with a tug.

"True to its heritage, the Bronco concept is a tough, genuine SUV that’s all about function," said J Mays, Ford Motor Company group vice president of Design. "It’s like a claw hammer in a box full of department store, battery-operated, plastic, power tools."

Yet within Ford Bronco concept’s rugged design is an advanced turbo-diesel powertrain with concept technologies that stretch the envelope of today’s conventional propulsion modes.

"The Bronco concept showcases significant advanced powertrain technologies, mating a 2.0-liter intercooled turbo diesel with an efficient six-speed PowerShift™ transmission and Intelligent™ four-wheel-drive system for a powerful, sure-footed off-roader," said Graham Hoare, director, Powertrain Advanced and Research Engineering. "Then comes the fun part. We’ve added nitrous-oxide injection for a burst of power at your fingertips."

Although only a concept, the Bronco demonstrates how Ford could further complement its extensive SUV lineup that includes Escape, Explorer, Expedition and Excursion.

"The original Bronco carved new trails as a rugged off-roader, but Ford really created the SUV phenomenon with the introduction of the Explorer in 1990," said Steve Lyons, president, Ford Division. "Since that time, Ford has always been the clear leader in SUVs. But we will keep looking at new ways to extend our SUV leadership. For example, we’re introducing the Freestyle crossover for customers who are looking for a very civilized SUV alternative. At the other extreme, the Bronco concept shows how a small, rugged and extremely capable off-road machine could complement our SUV lineup."

The Bronco Is Back:

Gallery: Ford Bronco Concept