Ford is taking too long to brag about its 2021 Bronco Badlands four-door SUV. The automaker announced that two Bronco engineers at the wheel of a 2021 stock Bronco Badlands put the SUV on the podium in the NORRA Mexican 1000 off-road rally. When Ford talks about stock, it means the vehicle had a power train and stock transmission, but it was equipped with the safety equipment needed for the strenuous race.
The two Ford engineers took third place in the pre-Runner Truck class. The pair drove the SUV across the rugged terrain of the Baja Mexicana Peninsula for five days. The race started last Sunday near the port city of Ensenada. Bronco engineering manager Jamie Groves says the race was a critical pre-launch final checkbox for what the Bronco can do. Groves and another Bronco engineer named Seth Goslawski drove most of the race, which lasted 1141 miles. Another driver, Brad Lovell, drove the Bronco and helped navigate a stage in one day.
Lovelle is a three-time member of the NORRA winter on the Ford Bronco advisory panel. Modifications to the Bronco that will not be found in original SUVs when they land at dealerships include a safety cage, harness, racing seats and fire equipment. The Bronco ran the entire race using the factory 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, an option available on the Bronco paired with the available 10-speed SelectShift transmission.
The vehicle also operated with the on-demand automatic transfer box from the stock factory and had a high-performance off-road stability suspension system with Bilstein-sensitive shock absorbers with long-stroke coil. Although Ford does not say so, this is not the factory suspension.
Groves said there were some stretches of rough roads during the race, where the Bronco was moving at over 160 km / h. Engineers also noted that the Baja mode was beneficial in this area.