Ford Bronco R prototype previews production model with race-ready Baja tribute

'Even the twin turbos of the EcoBoost engine are representative of what the production Bronco will offer'

Take a look at this lovely surprise Ford gave us today. It’s called the Ford Bronco R race prototype, and it’s meant to give us a preview of what we can look forward to in the production Bronco coming next spring

The Bronco R seen here is built on a modified Ford T6 architecture. Ford says that platform (used for the Ranger truck) will provide the base for the production model. Of course, the truck you’re looking at here is a fully race-prepped Bronco designed to race in the Baja 1000. Ford Performance and Geiser Bros Design and Development worked together, and it will be unleashed on the Baja Peninsula later this month to compete in the race. Ford says it’s going to be used to “challenge the production Bronco’s powertrain and architecture.”

Ford Bronco R Prototype
Ford Bronco R Prototype
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Unfortunately, Ford is stingy on the powertrain details, but we do get one hint at what’s coming. “For the endurance needs of Baja’s 1,000 grueling miles, we built in a limited number of race focused parts. But even the twin turbos of the EcoBoost engine are representative of what the production Bronco will offer,” said Brian Novak, Ford Performance off road racing supervisor.

That means we’re definitely going to be getting a Ford EcoBoost engine with twin turbos in the production Bronco. The 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 is the obvious answer, but the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 is also laying around in Ford’s parts bin.

Also, this thing looks freakin’ awesome. Ford says the Bronco R was developed with heritage-inspired design and proportions to hint at what we’ll see on the production car. So far, so good. The red, white and black livery was designed to throwback to Rod Hall’s and Larry Minor’s 1969 Baja 1000 victory in their Ford Bronco.

“Like the original Bronco, we kept Bronco R’s design authentic and simple, with a roll cage on a production style frame, and a five-piece lightweight body on top,” Novak says.

It has an independent front suspension with a useful 14 inches of travel. The rear suspension is a “production-based” five-link chassis design with up to 18 inches of travel. It gets custom Fox shocks, 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels and 37-inch BF Goodrich tires. Get excited, folks.

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