The smaller and less hardcore of two new Ford Bronco models, the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport, has had its key specifications leaked online as the new model joins Ford’s US ordering system, less than a fortnight after leaked images surfaced online.
The revived Bronco will arrive as an off-road legend with body-on-frame construction and three and five-door body styles along the lines of the Jeep Wrangler – and that hero model is the most talked about and anticipated version. The Bronco Sport, however, aims to somewhat bridge the gap between the halo model and tamer members of Ford SUV range.
In this instance the Bronco Sport will be based on a familiar chassis and mechanical package from the Ford Escape. Unlike the Escape, however all Bronco Sport models appear to be equipped with all-wheel drive.
It’s difficult to ascertain if the Bronco Sport’s hardware will be ported over directly from the on-demand system in the Escape, but Ford’s ordering system lists all models as “4x4”.
The leaked info, supplied by Juggernaut Performance, also shows the trim levels that will be available. Ford USA’s usual S, SE, SEL and Titanium grades have been given the flick, in favour of a national park naming convention.
The base model will simply be known as the Bronco Sport, but from there, Big Bend, Outer Banks and Badlands will make up the rest of the model walk, capped by a First Edition introduction model.
An eight-speed automatic – again likely the torque-converter auto from the Escape – appears to be the only available transmission, able to be paired with a choice of either 1.5-litre three-cylinder or 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol, or EcoBoost, engines.
While no specific outputs are given, based on specifications for the American market Escape expect the 1.5L engine to be rated around 135kW and 258Nm while the 2.0L should be good for 186kW and 380Nm – a little different to what’s available in the Australian Escape.
Although it’s unclear from the guide if the options shown are linked to a specific trim level, there appears to be a choice of ten exterior colours – most of which carry obvious names like Cyber Orange and Alto Blue, along with a more mysterious ‘Area 51’ (not to ruin the surprise but it’s one of three shades of grey available).
Contrasting black or grey roof colours are available, as are orange or grey fabric trim (highlights, most likely) with a black leather trim option. A choice of 17-inch wheel and tyre packages is also shown, along with stand-alone option packages listing dual-zone climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, powered passenger’s seat, wireless phone charger, towbar, remote start, and body-coloured bumpers and door handles.
The Bronco Sport, and the bigger, tougher Ranger-based Bronco are expected to debut later in 2020, though exact timing for their respective reveals is still to be confirmed. Given the order system has gone live for the Bronco Sport, you can expect it to be sooner rather than later.
Aussie buyers hoping to get their hands on either the Bronco Sport, or Bronco, will be disappointed to learn that Ford Australia's official angle is that neither will be coming here. While that could simply be a corporate smoke-screen, there's every chance the new model lines won't be open to global consumption.