We know you all can’t wait to see the new generation Bronco, and trust us, so do we. But while the debut of the final car still few months away, Ford is presenting the Bronco R race prototype as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Rod Hall’s historic Baja 1000 win.
Of course, Bronco R is not just a concept that will look nice on a showroom floor, it will be put to extreme testings at the Baja Peninsula later this month where it will have to take on the near 1,000-mile grueling off-road course and challenge the production Bronco’s powertrain and architecture.
Being a tribute car, its livery was inspired by the winning 1969 Baja 1000 Bronco livery: a combination of red, white and black colors accented by its blue space frame, with number “2069” placed across its rear quarter-panel and wing – “20” to signal the class in which it will race and “69” in honor of the year in which Hall and Minor roared to an overall victory in the Mexican 1000 (now SCORE-International Baja 1000).
Other than the cool livery, the Bronco R race prototype features 15 LED lightbars from Rigid, including a grille sequence framing the new BRONCO brand lettering boldly.
But the most important part about the Bronco R is the fact that it was built with the production model’s body-on-frame architecture to test its capability and durability. We are talking about a modified Ford T6 architecture, modified of course for the R version with an independent front suspension with 14 inches of travel and a production-based five-link rear chassis design with up to 18 inches of travel, plus custom Fox shocks, 17-inch beadlock-capable aluminum wheels and 37-inch BFGoodrich tires.
“Bronco’s win at Baja in 1969 was epic, something that even after 50 years has not been repeated,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford chief product development and purchasing officer. “Rugged endurance racing is such a big part of Bronco heritage. The Baja 1000 gives us not only the perfect setting to honor Rod Hall’s win, it also provides an authentic test bed to demonstrate our upcoming Bronco’s desert racing capability and durability.”