Watch 6+ Minutes Of 2021 Ford Bronco Badlands Rock Crawling Action

Ford will not begin deliveries of the new Bronco to customers until next spring. So there is still plenty of time to make the final adjustments and optimizations. One of the best ways to test the capabilities of a die-hard off-roader is to take to the 35km long Rubicon Trail and abuse pre-production prototypes. The Blue Oval did just that with a few test vehicles in the Badlands specification with two and four doors.

As you can clearly see from the adjacent images, these prototypes were severely beaten in escalation and have numerous combat scars all over their body and skid plates. As well as checking out the Bronco’s off-road chops in the real world, we can also watch Ford at work as the video above shows an engineer sitting in the passenger seat working on a laptop.

The video above is interesting for a different reason – the manual transmission. It is a seven-speed gearbox with crawler gear for which a petition is underway to make it available across the range. It’s worth mentioning that none of the prototypes had the optional Sasquatch pack, meaning they all had 33-inch tires instead of the 35-inch set. The Bronco 2-Door sat on BFG AT rubber while its more practical sibling was fitted with Goodyear MT tires.

Of the 150,000+ people who have lined up to buy a Bronco so far, it’s unlikely to head to the Rubicon Trail on day one to put its off-road credentials to the test. That being said, it’s heartwarming to know that the Ford Wrangler competitor has what it takes to take on some of the toughest terrain in a timely manner.

Adjacent footage from Northern California shows Bronco’s off-road prowess to be unmistakable and further proof that Ford is finally ready to take on Jeep. Bronco’s rebirth is rumored to also include the pursuit of the Wrangler-based Gladiator with a pickup truck slated for as early as 2022.

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