With each passing day, we’re learning more and more about the 2021 Bronco Sport. In just the past week, Ford Authority has exclusively reported that the “baby Bronco” will share its four-wheel independent suspension design with the Ford Escape, which should give it a ride more suitable for on-road use. We also detailed the Bronco Sport Badlands, providing spy shots of a prototype as it roamed around with steel wheels and and rugged looking Falken Wildpeak A/T tires. Now, we have a bit more information to share pertaining the rear tailgate and window.
Ford Authority has learned from sources familiar with the 2021 Bronco Sport that it will feature a liftgate that will open upward, much like the unit in the current Ford Escape. Additionally, the rear glass section will also be capable of opening upward, separately from the primary liftgate. This functionality will be enabled by the black-painted external hinges present on leaked photos and various spy shots.
Presumably, Ford wanted the Bronco Sport to offer more of a traditional cargo loading experience, given that it’s a ruggedized version of what is otherwise mostly on-road vehicle.
The Bronco, on the other hand, is more about building an ultimate off-road machine that pays proper homage to the past, and engineers also have a removable roof to contend with. It’s worth noting, however, that previous Bronco models had a traditional fold-down tailgate.
The 2021 Bronco Sport will be offered with two turbo-charged gasoline engines: the standard Ford 1.5L EcoBoost I-3 and the optional Ford 2.0 EcoBoost I-4 GTDI. Both are expected to be mated to the new Ford 8-speed automatic transmission.
Five trim levels will be available at launch, including the base model (called Bronco Sport), Big Bend, Outer Banks, First Edition and Bronco Sport Badlands. Roughly 18 months later, a pickup variant built on the same Ford C2 platform will arrive. It is expected to be called Ford Maverick.
Early 2021 Bronco Sport production has already begun at the Ford Hermosillo plant in Mexico. These units, however, are headed for crash testing and final testing duties. The very first units of the Bronco Sport to be sold at retail are expected to begin arriving at U.S. Ford dealerships sometime in the August-September timeframe, following a delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.