Ford Authority

2021 Ford Bronco Body Panels Made Of Steel, Aluminum

Ever since Ford introduced aluminum body panels on the 13th-generation Ford F-150 beginning in the 2015 model year, the automaker has explored the use of mixed-material construction on other vehicles, including the Ford Explorer. So it’s fair to wonder what materials, exactly, make up the panels of the 2021 Ford Bronco. And unsurprisingly, Ford used a mixture of steel and aluminum in the new off-roader.

A large portion of the body of the 2021 Ford Bronco is made from lightweight aluminum. This includes the hood, front fenders, rear fenders, doors, and tailgate.

Meanwhile, steel was used to construct the Bronco’s frame and floor. The sport tubes and cage are made from boron steel as well.

2021 Ford Bronco

Aluminum panels:

  • Hood
  • Front Fenders
  • Rear Fenders
  • Doors
  • Tailgate

Steel panels:

  • Frame
  • Floor
  • Sport Tubes/Cage (ultra high-strength steel / Boron steel)

This use of materials makes a lot of sense, as the extensive presence of aluminum on the exterior helps save considerable weight. Exactly how many pounds the aluminum panels shave off the Bronco’s curb weight is unknown, but it’s likely significant. Plus, while aluminum is still corrosive, it is more corrosion-resistant than steel.

Meanwhile, the use of steel in key areas ensures that the structure of the Bronco will be able to hold up to the beating that the vehicle is designed to take off-road. And in the event that the SUV rolls over, the boron steel cage adds a necessary and welcome element of safety.

Overall, a targeted use of aluminum and steel on the all-new Bronco delivers a best of both worlds approach that Ford has been honing for several years now on its various other products.

We’ll have much more on the new Bronco in the coming days and weeks, so be sure to subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Bronco news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

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Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Tom Jahn

    The picture is incorrect, saying the doors are steel, while the text shows the doors are aluminum. I think that “door” got transposed into the picture when it should be “floor”. Thank you though for the update since I hate rust and currently drive an alloy bodied F-150. I was hoping that the body on the bronco would be alloy.

    1. Alex Luft

      Thanks Tom. The image should have indeed read “floor”. Fixed and updated 🙂

  2. Patrick Neary

    I’m looking forward to test driving a new Ford Bronco Sport! It looks great!

  3. Gary

    The use of alum. Is just smart. I remember my GM buddies calling the f150 a rolling beer can. Now 6 years in I see f150/250 rolling down the road hauling towing working they look just find to me.

    1. Ricardo

      The use of aluminum on non-stress-bearing panels is smart. The use of aluminum in the bed is not. Ford should have used a different material that’s stronger for the bed of its pickups.

      Next time you look at whether a 6 year-old truck looks “just fine”, take a look at the bed of a truck that was really used for work.

      1. TomJ

        The comment about the bed being alloy really is misguided as well. If you drop items into a steel bed, even high strength steel, it will dent too. Those dumb GM ads from 2015/16 were some of the worst advertising that has ever been put out, only beating GM’s “man step” ads where they poked fun at Ford’s ingenious tailgate step, only to come out with their own steps in the bumper, and later, a tailgate that drops down into a set of steps to grant easier access to get into the bed. A bed liner solves the “issue” you are commenting about. IMHO, Ford should’ve made the spray in bed liner standard. My 2016 came with the factory spray in liner. Despite hauling all sorts of things like heavy green hardwood rounds, there’s no sign of denting. The only sign is residue/ dirt/ from the heavy items that get stuck to the grippy texture of the liner. I can deal with that.

  4. Nobody Special

    Lightweight aluminum, or lower density aluminum?

  5. John Sorensen

    I laid a sheet of vinyl flooring in my 2016 F-150 to cut down on scratching the bed, and to protect my loads. I’ve been hauling all sorts of stuff for 4 years. Everything works well and there’s no denting. Despite several years of fishing on the beach in Delaware with the truck, there’s absolutely no rust. And, no issues at all with the 4wd system.

    I owned two full size Broncos in the 1990’s, and one was a rust bucket in certain places. Putting aluminum panels on the new Bronco is a great idea!

  6. Garry

    The fenders are steel not aluminum – I did a magnet test – I won’t be paying 50 k for a rust bucket in a few years – was thinking of a 23 Ranger also but no one knows what the doors and other panels will be made of


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