Hardcore Bronco R Off-Road Racer Could Hit The Market
As long as there's enough demand
Before the road-going production version of the 2021 Ford Bronco debuted last month, Ford built the Bronco R, a prototype racing version of the rugged off-roader that entered punishing Baja 1000 endurance race last year. Unfortunately, the Bronco's Baja 1000 debut didn't go too well.
Out of the 264 vehicles that were entered, over 100 failed to finish, including the Bronco R. Using lessons learned from last year's event, Ford is preparing to attempt a second run at the Baja 1000 this year. While the Bronco R was built exclusively for the off-road endurance race, Ford is considering building customer race versions of the Bronco if there's enough demand.
"If there's interest we'll look into it," Ford's Chief Product Development & Purchasing Officer Hau Thai-Tang said during an interview with Muscle Cars & Trucks. "We've done that with our Mustang and even our GTs."
As Thai-Tang explained, Ford already offers customer racing versions of the Mustang and GT with the Mustang GT4 and the GT GTLM. Considering that Ford reportedly received as many as 230,000 reservations for the Bronco in a few weeks after the debut, we suspect there will be plenty of demand for an off-road racing version.
While the Bronco R shares many of the same components as the production version, it was heavily modified with a raft of racing parts enabling it to compete in the Baja 1000 Class 2 category, including composite body panels, a roll cage, 17-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in chunky 37-inch off-road tires, and an independent suspension system offering 14 inches of travel at the front and 18-inches at the rear.
If Ford builds a customer racing version of the Bronco R, it will inevitably cost more than the regular off-roader, which starts at $28,500. To give you an idea, the Mustang GT4 costs around $225,000.