Ford Bronco with stock setup places third in NORRA Mexican 1000 Baja rally
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While we wait for the late 2021 Ford Bronco to hit the showrooms, we look forward to news in the meantime that will demonstrate its capabilities in the real world. And although production vehicles are not yet rolling off the assembly line, the Ford does not prevent them from racing. It was just announced that a Bronco Badlands four-door car took third place in the National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA) Mexican 1000 rally in the Baja Peninsula.
"Bronco has a long and successful history down here, so we wanted to test the new test as the final validation for Built Wild Extreme tests - and it exceeded all expectations for performance in this treacherous environment," said Bronco's technical director Jamie Groves. "This race is an important pre-start check for what the Bronco can do."
Groves and his colleague Seth Goslawski, the Bronco engineer, drove most of the race. Brad Lovell, who won this race three times and advised Ford on the development of the Bronco, drove a stage on the first day. The rally stretches for 1,100 miles over many beautiful, rugged landscapes: dirt, rocks, ruts, dry lakes and salt marshes.
The SUV was in stock except for the required safety equipment: roll cage, seat belts, seats and fire extinguishers. It had the optional 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 and 10-speed auto.
"We had some sections of busy roads built for Bronco that hit 100 mph in some of the arid seabeds," Groves said. “The Baja mode [one of the GOAT driving modes] was particularly helpful on this terrain. The shift points are kept at exactly the right speed so that the turbocharger stays wound up so that power is available when needed and the brakes are more aggressive for braking quickly on uneven terrain. "
This Bronco was powered by standard 33-inch BFGoodrich off-road tires, Dana 44 AdvanTEK M220 rear axle and M210 independent suspension with Spicer Performa-Trak electronic lockers and Bilstein coilovers with long travel and position-sensitive dampers. The Badlands fairing includes a front pendulum bar separation.
The Bronco 2021 two-door and four-door SUVs arrive this summer after some delays in a supplier's roof production. It joins the brand new 2020 Bronco Sport already at dealerships.
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