It's impossible to mention the Ford Bronco and not immediately think of this SUV in terms of its amazing ability in different circumstances. Of course the Bronco isn't the most high performance vehicle to hit the open roads, but it is known for its more than adequate performance on the streets. Its real worth becomes apparent in off road situations. It was designed to meet the needs of the outdoorsman whether following off road trails or blazing new ones of its own. The Ford Bronco's sturdy suspension system made it the ideal vehicle for taking on the rough and tumble terrain of a variety of regions. So much so that there are still enthusiasts that seeks out the oldest models for their outdoor excursions. While the Bronco isn't the most luxurious SUV ever made, it does truly live up to the name with its unshakable body and carriage design.
The Ford Bronco has a special distinction among sport utility vehicle, being one of the first SUVs to hit the market. This model hit the showroom floors in 1966 and quickly became well known for its dependable nature and impressive variety of functions. The Bronco was designed to meet the needs of a large selection of owners. Ford touted this SUV as an ideal option for families, the outdoors crowd, and even as a military and/or law enforcement vehicle. The Bronco also claimed better than expected performance capabilities such as on and off road stability and performance.
In 1966 the Ford Bronco performed well especially for off road ventures and featured a two-door body design. Ford chose to update the Bronco in 1978 and added the popular and incredibly sturdy F platform. This updated version is relatively difficult to find considering the Bronco was updated again for the 1980 model year. After this final drastic change, the Bronco remained pretty much unchanged until its retirement in 1996. Naturally, the third generation did see a number of moderate changes to the exterior body design as well as in the cabin with advancements and improvements made to the available upholstery options and the like.
Ford chose to offer the Ford Bronco for the last time in the 1996 model year. Prior to that model, the last major revision to the Bronco had been done in 1992. The company did upgrade a variety of different functions and features of the Bronco. The 1996 version featured the same tough exterior and off road capabilities of its predecessors as well as the two-door design. The Bronco remained a strong contender for first place in the truck based SUV options all the way up to its final incarnation.
The 1996 Ford Bronco was made in three trim levels including the XL, the XLT, and the Eddie Bauer versions. Under the hood, the Bronco features a 4.9-liter, six-cylinder engine for the base models. This engine offered 145 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. The standard transmission was a five speed automatic, though the Bronco was offered with an optional four-speed manual gearbox if desired. The upgraded versions of the SUV were equipped with a 5.0-liter, V-8 motor that promised 185 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque.
Over the years it was in production, the Ford Bronco passed through three generations. The first began with the SUV's introduction in 1966 and continued until the end of the 1976 model year. As noted, this generation is recognized for starting the trend of sport utility vehicles as a viable option for the average buyer and is most noted for its rough and tumble off road capabilities.
The second generation for the Bronco was short lived, but had a tremendous impact on the line and SUVs in general. Many experts believe the Bronco in the 1978 and 1979 model years were a turning point in how this class of vehicle is seen. Due to the fuel embargo of the late 1970s, this generation was released later than planned and Ford had already designed a lighter weight, more fuel efficient Bronco for the remaining generation.
From 1980 to the end of production in 1996, the Ford Bronco saw cosmetic and some design changes, but overall remained the same truck based SUV it had always been. Naturally some tweaking did occur in terms of meeting the needs of a more fuel conscious market.