Like most Bronco fans, we were a bit sad when the 2020 year model slipped to a 2021 year model as things were delayed a bit. The reason for that delay was cited as poor performance in focus groups, leading to a front end redesign according to reports. The style the general public wants from an SUV isn’t always what the hard-core Bronco fans want to see. The delay raised the question, what classic Bronco features does the 2021 Ford Bronco need?
Motortrend ran down a list of what it thinks the 2021 Ford Bronco needs to compete and we can’t say that we disagree with most of them. The first thing is a spare tire on the back, something that Broncos in the old days had and something that the main competition, the Jeep Wrangler, has as well. We would certainly want to see that carried over to the 2021 Ford Bronco.
Paint colors need to extend beyond the standard Ford colors of red, black, white, silver, and blue. We’d like to see some bright colors; Ford could borrow from the colors offered on the Mustang line. We’d totally buy a 2021 Ford Bronco in Grabber Lime, Grabber Blue, or Competition Orange. Broncos have always offered two-tone paint jobs, a modern Bronco with a combination of colors would be a welcome sight.
As for the shape, it needs to be boxy. The Bronco has always been a box, and fans love that shape. Boxy is the same approximate shape that the segment-leading Jeep Wrangler offers, and Ford would do well to stick with what the segment wants without being too retro or too modern.
Motortrend wants graphics packages; we don’t care one way or the other on that point. Graphics were very ’80s, early ’90s. As long as we get some cool two-tone paint jobs with white roof and matching fender flares, the graphics aren’t a necessity for us.
One significant feature that the 2021 Ford Bronco must have is a roof that opens. A convertible top is one of the main draws to the Jeep Wrangler, and old Broncos offered removable roofs. Beating Jeep here would be a possibility if the Bronco offers an easy to remove roof that blocks more noise than the Wrangler soft top does.
Icon CEO Jonathan Ward says that the 2021 Bronco needs a manual to succeed, we’d disagree. A manual is nice, but we would much rather have a V8. That said, we can count on the same EcoBoost four-cylinder from the Ranger truck being the engine option. One thing the 2021 Bronco needs to be successful and take the sales war to the Jeep Wrangler is solid front and rear axles for off-road prowess. If the Wrangler lands with independent front suspension, as the Ranger has, it will lose the enthusiast market. We have seen images that appear to show solid front and rear axles, so fans are likely safe from that catastrophe. What do you want to see in the 2021 Ford Bronco?