"Bronco's win at Baja in 1969 was epic, something that even after 50 years has not been repeated", said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford chief product development and purchasing officer. It starts with a look at the prototype Bronco, and shows the design progression up through the big-body Broncos and even the Bronco II.
Ford emphasized that the silhouette of the Bronco R will resemble that of the production Bronco, but fans suspect a more upright structure and lightweight composite body.
Along with Cameron Steele, Shelby Hall will drive the Bronco R at some parts of the Baja 1000 race.
The Bronco R will go to the Baja Peninsula later this month to pass near 1,000-mile off-road course and test the production Bronco's platform and powertrain. Soon we'll be adding the first new Ford Bronco since 1996 to that list, and the Blue Oval provides its first sneak peek behind the colorful livery of the Bronco R 50th anniversary Baja 1000 racer.
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Ford is hinting at the production version of the Bronco SUV by teaming up with Geiser Bros Design and Development and Cameron Steele, a Baja 1000 Trophy Truck champion, to create the Bronco R race prototype. They started last July and were under time pressure for the completion of Bronco R. They had to complete the racing truck in time before the Baja 1000 begins on November 22. "This wasn't our usual development process, but it was the right process for this project", said Wraith. Also, the vehicle is festooned with no less than 15 LED lightbars from Rigid along with a new front grille that boldly spells the Bronco name.
"The Baja 1000 gives us not only the ideal setting to honour Rod Hall's win", explains Ford chief product development officer Hau Thai-Tang, "it also provides an authentic test bed to demonstrate our upcoming Bronco's desert racing capability and durability". "I have no doubt he would be blown away by the Bronco R race prototype". The Ford Bronco R Prototype is utilizing the same Ford T6 body-on-frame architecture of the production model Bronco. Among other things, the chassis utilizes Fox suspension components that deliver 14 inches of travel in front, and a full 18 inches at the rear.
It's only fitting that Ford would unveil the Bronco R on such a historically significant day.
Brian Novak, Ford Performance off-road racing supervisor said, "For the endurance needs of Baja's 1,000 grueling miles, we built in a limited number of race-focused parts". The sand is flying again, and the heat is on.