Editor's Note: Apparently the line at the end of the story and the date on the article weren't enough, so we'll say it now up top so everyone knows loud and clear: APRIL FOOLS! (You're welcome, Ford, now build one already)
It’s finally happening: after waiting 20 long years Ford is bringing back the Ford Bronco for 2016 and it’s not the Early Bronco concept that was unveiled to the world in 2004 like many believed. This all-new Ford Bronco is based off the highly popular Ford Atlas and if history does indeed repeat itself, this could kick-start the 2-door 4x4 SUV market once again.
The fullsize Ford Bronco faded away after the 1996 model year never to be seen again; that is, until now. The 2016 Ford SVT Bronco isn't a cookie cutter soccer mom all-wheel drive purse with a steering wheel, it’s a genuine off-road rig and its large size and menacing appearance make no apologies at all. The 2016 Ford SVT Bronco is all business all the time like its predecessors before it. This definitely isn't the Ford Bronco concept you probably saw in 2004 and every year since then as the so called "new" Ford Bronco.
Although some say that the solid axle ’78-79 Ford Bronco was the best of the breed, we feel that the three variations of the Twin Traction Beam equipped ’80-96 Ford Bronco was what cemented its place in history. They were so popular that even the Border Patrol used them to traverse the treacherous deserts of the Southwestern United States because they could speed across harsh terrain like no other truck on the market at the time.
The fullsize Bronco was inarguably one of the greatest 4x4 SUVs of all time so it’s only natural that the Blue Oval would bring this iconic off-road beast back. Many, including ourselves, believed we would never again see the resurrection of the beloved Ford Bronco but once again Ford has stunned everyone and done what was seemingly impossible. Ford has brought back one of the most iconic names in its lineup and not a moment too soon considering it has been gone for 20 years.
The single biggest reason that this truck wasn’t built sooner was that the only way the project was able to get approved was if it was done as an SVT vehicle and with the highly successful SVT Raptor, the Bronco program would have to be put on the backburner while the F-150 SVT Raptor program ran its course. Now that production of the SVT Raptor is ending in 2015, Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT) will be rolling out production of the all-new 2016 Ford SVT Bronco and this wild horse will no doubt become a huge success in the 4x4 SUV market.
The 2016 Ford SVT Bronco is available with three different engine options from a base 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 that pumps out 420 hp to an optional 4.9-liter Powerstroke V-6 diesel engine that is based off the revised 6.7-liter Powerstroke diesel. The 4.9-liter Powerstroke delivers 330 hp as well as 645 lb-ft of torque. This all-new Powerstroke V-6 diesel engine will allow the 2016 Ford SVT Bronco to haul heavy payloads with ease while significantly improving fuel economy over the standard 5.0-liter Coyote V8. As if that wasn’t enough, we’re hearing that there is a good possibility that we’ll see the 5.8-liter supercharged V-8 engine out of the Mustang Shelby GT500, make its way into the SVT Bronco. With 662 hp and 631 lb-ft of torque on tap, there won’t be much this all-new SVT Bronco won’t be able to conquer. To be perfectly honest, the SVT Bronco probably doesn’t need much more than 500 hp to scoot through the dirt in a hurry but having 662 screaming horses available at your disposal is flat out awesome!
Transmission choices are either a 6R140 6-speed automatic transmission or a ZF-6 speed manual transmission in case you like to row your own while running down the highway. The 2016 Ford SVT Bronco also features a Dana 60 front differential as well as a Sterling 10.25-inch rear differential with 4.10 gears. You might be wondering why it is that the Bronco has six lug wheels if it clearly has 1-ton running gear but believe it or not, these axles are closer to a full floating competition axle rather than a standard 1-ton axle. The wheel studs on this wild steed are massive 5/8-inch studs to hold up to serious off-road abuse.
While it might seem counter intuitive to not offer the SVT Bronco with the same suspension that was under the Ford SVT Raptor, Ford has said it didn't want to build a Raptor copycat but that doesn't mean the SVT Bronco can’t play in the dirt. In fact, the radius arm front suspension has been reworked to cycle 12-inches of wheel travel which is slightly better than the SVT Raptor’s 11.5 inches of front wheel travel. The reality is that this suspension was designed to crawl up gnarly trails that require plenty of ground clearance but make no mistake, the 2016 Ford SVT Bronco will eat up whooped out desert roads too thanks to a set of FOX Racing Internal Bypass shocks at all four corners.
Despite the no frills nature of the 2016 Ford SVT Bronco, it’s still a truck that can be daily driven comfortably and is at home both off-road and on the highway while having the ability to carry 5 adult passengers or even the occasional pallet of concrete. While many enthusiasts will have you believe that trucks today aren’t quite what they used to be, we’re going to go out on a limb and say no, they’re not built like they used to be; they are in fact better than ever!
While the Blue Oval has not yet released any pricing, it’s probably a safe bet to assume that it will go for around the same price as the outgoing 2015 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor crew cab truck. One thing’s for sure, if you’ve gotten this far into our story and are as excited about wheeling in this new generation Ford Bronco as we are, this minor detail might just make your blood boil. This was all part of an elaborate scheme for one of our biggest April Fools pranks ever. Please take a few minutes to wipe away the tears from your eyes. Now before you decide to punch us square in the jaw for doing this to you, just remember one thing, if our voices are loud enough, we just might see an SVT Bronco from the Blue Oval in the near future.