The Official Comeback of the Ford Bronco
That’s right, it’s official! There were merely rumors that rumbled throughout the Internet and amongst Ford enthusiasts, but it has been made official by the auto manufacturer at the 2017 Detroit auto show, the Ford Bronco is coming back. Ford intends to re-deliver the Bronco in 2020. Read on to learn more about the history of the Ford Bronco SUV and why Ford is bringing it back to the American market.
History of the Ford Bronco
Generation I (1966-1977)
The Ford Bronco was first made available way back in 1966. The first generation Bronco, also known as the ‘Early Bronco’, was initially offered with a 9-inch rear, Dana 30 front, and a 170 cubic inch inline 6-cylinder engine. Consumers could choose between a wagon, half cab, and roadster configuration.
Compared to other 4-wheel drive vehicles of its time, the Bronco was smoother riding, could handle heavier loads, and was much easier to maneuver off and on road. And due to its drivetrain, it came to dominate off-road racing and became something of a racing legend.
Generation II (1978-1979)
Eleven years later in 1978, the second generation of Broncos was introduced. This generation saw a larger redesigned version that was based on a shortened fullsize F-100 pickup. Ford wanted complete interchangeability of doors with the F-100, plus a removable hardtop that would be leak-free and it also featured a folding rear seat. It was fitted with a coil-sprung Dana 44 front axle and a leaf-sprung Ford 9-inch axle in the rear. The base engine was the 351M V8 with an option 400M V8.
Generation III (1980-1986)
With a new decade, a new generation was born. The generation III Ford Bronco hit the American market in 1980 and was redesigned following the 1970s fuel crisis, which meant a reintroduction of a six-cylinder engine to complement the V-8. It was also designed shorter and lighter than the previous generation with a revised front suspension. This helped reduce the off-road emphasis of the Bronco and made it much more tolerable on-road. Finally, in terms of aesthetics, you’ll notice this generation was when the switch to the blue oval Ford logo was made. Previous generations had F-O-R-D spelled out on its grille.
Generation IV (1987-1991)
In 1987, the next generation of Ford Bronco was redesigned again to follow the changes in the Ford F-series and was given a number of updates to both the exterior and interior. The new exterior design was more aerodynamic with changes to the front bumper, a flatter front grille, a reshaped hood, as well as composite headlamps.
Other improvements included electronic fuel injection, rear-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) for safety, and push-button control for its four-wheel drive. Engine options stayed the same as the previous generation with the 300 straight six, the 302 V8, and 351M V8.
Generation V (1992-1996)
The last generation Bronco (or so we once thought) was introduced to the market in 1992 and the last Bronco came off the line in 1996. This generation was redesigned along with the F-150s and had a number of safety updates added, including crumple zones, three-point seatbelts for the rear seat, a 3rd brake light in the top, and a driver side airbag.
With the brake light added to the removable top, this effectively made it illegal to remove. Guidance on how to remove it was left out of user manuals, but it still could be unbolted and removed by the willing and able.
After 1996, the Ford Bronco was discontinued and replaced by the 4-door Ford Expedition.
An automotive icon is about to make its return
Over the course of 30 years, the Bronco has become an automotive icon due to the simplicity of its design and its off-roading history. Vintage Broncos are actually increasing in value due to their popularity. They have actually doubled in value in the last five years. Could this be part of the reason Ford has decided to bring back the ever-popular Bronco?
There are currently no pricing on the upcoming 2020 Ford Bronco, but Ford will no doubt begin to leak specs and other news in the upcoming years. What they do say is that the reintroduced Bronco will be a “no-compromise mid-size 4×4 utility for thrill seekers who want to venture way beyond the city.”
Here at Seabreeze Ford, we don’t want to wish away time, but we can’t wait for 2020! But until then, visit us in Wall Township, NJ for new, used, and certified pre-owned Ford vehicles. Call 732-681-1600 for more information.