Ford shows off 2021 Bronco 'Built Wild' family – three models to kick off the new 'outdoor lifestyle brand' –

Ford has shared family photos of its new Bronco range for the first time. Actually, it’s more than a range. Ford is calling Bronco a new outdoor lifestyle brand, the off-road equivalent to Mustang (both logos feature horses). They’re going for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Jeep brand with this sub-brand, that’s for sure.

The “Built Wild” SUVs that build on the “1966 Bronco DNA and racing heritage” – to be revealed on July 13 across Disney network channels National Geographic, ESPN and ABC in the US – are the Bronco two-door, first-ever Bronco four-door and the smaller Bronco Sport. The Bronco reservation system will open when the 4x4s are unveiled.

“Bronco gave rise to the fun and versatile off-road SUV in 1966, becoming the first enjoyable sport utility vehicle for those who wanted to live, work and play outdoors. Like the original, the all-new Bronco family is engineered to take you to epic places, with capability to deliver confidence on any type of terrain,” said Ford COO Jim Farley.

So what’s this Built Wild thing about? There are three principles, according to Ford. Built Wild Extreme Durability Testing is about elevated torture tests that ensure toughness across thousands of lab, proving ground and real-world extreme challenges in the tough and harsh climates.

Built Wild Capability refers to confidence to go over any-type of terrain (G.O.A.T.), provided by standard 4×4 and an exclusive terrain management system, plus unique Bronco-variant architectures with claimed class-leading levels of capability and suspension technology.

As for Built Wild Innovative Design, Broncos “are the future of off-roading and deliver off-road ingenuity, new design innovations coupled with heritage-inspired DNA, plus new-levels of personalisation that can flatter the novice and challenge the expert adventure seeker.”

If you thought the G.O.A.T. thing sounds cheesy, it’s at least not new. The original Bronco was nicknamed G.O.A.T. by Donald Frey, the Ford product manager who championed both Mustang and Bronco nameplates and challenged engineering teams to deliver “go anywhere roadability”.

Also, Ford dubbed the original 1966 Bronco “a completely new line of sports-utility vehicles” at its reveal in August 1965 – the Blue Oval is now calling that the first reference to “SUVs” from an American carmaker.

The old Broncos all featured a body-on-frame design with short overhangs at both ends, high ground clearance and a short wheelbase. All these gave it agility and good off-road capability. Driven by Rod Hall and Larry Minor, the Bronco captured the overall win at the gruelling 1969 Baja 1000, a victory that no other production 4×4 has replicated in 50 years.

1966 Bronco Exterior

From L-R: 1966 Ford Bronco, 1996 Ford Bronco Eddie Bauer

Of course, the Ford Bronco is no stranger to popular culture, having been featured in more than 1,200 films and 200 songs. With news of the return of the nameplate after nearly 25 years (Ford last made a Bronco in 1996), prices for the old ones have skyrocketed; according to Barrett-Jackson, the average first-generation Bronco sale price nearly doubled from $39,763 to $74,820 in just over three years (the return announcement was made in January 2017).

Interestingly, Ford is also developing “authentic experiences” for its new lifestyle brand. Called Bronco Off-Roadeos, it’s four off-roading and outdoor adventure playgrounds built for all skill levels, with experiences designed to build confidence and inspire Bronco owners to get out in the wild. They will start opening in 2021. Needless to say, Ford is ramping up all-new Bronco merchandise, too, from gear to remote control cars.

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