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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
S. America-built SUV shares little with old namesake

By Eric Mayne / The Detroit News

Can an SUV carry too much baggage?

Perhaps, if it’s called Bronco.

Despite the potentially negative imagery associated with it — rollover lawsuits, O.J. Simpson’s televised flight from police — Ford Motor Co. is reviving the Bronco name with a rugged SUV concept based on a vehicle it builds and sells in South America.

“It’s a good name,” said Phil Martens, group vice president for North America product creation at Ford.

The Bronco concept, in fact, looks little like the 1988 model that earned a one-star rollover rating from Washington’s vehicle safety watchdog three years ago. And it has no visual cues to link it with the vehicle Simpson used in a failed attempt to run from police following his wife’s murder.

Despite the baggage, many American have fond memories of the large and rugged SUV.

“True to its heritage, the Bronco concept is a tough, genuine SUV that’s all about function,” said J Mays, Ford’s group vice president for design.

Featuring a 2.0L turbo-diesel engine equipped with a nitrous-oxide injection system to boost horsepower, the Bronco is shouldered by the same underpinnings that support the Ford EcoSport. Built in Brazil, the EcoSport is smaller than the Escape — Ford’s smallest North American SUV.

Acclaimed for its styling, functionality and driving dynamics, the EcoSport was such a hit in South America that Ford will begin exporting it next month to Central America and the Caribbean. There are no plans, however, to sell it in North America — just as there are no plans to build the Bronco concept.

Also making their auto show debut with Bronco are production versions of the Ford Five Hundred sedan and the Freestyle, a minivan-SUV fusion. Scheduled for production in Chicago later this year, they share the same underpinnings along with the Mercury Montego sedan, which will debut next month at the Chicago Auto Show.

Ford isn’t sure yet which will be the hot seller.

“We thought the sedan would be the volume product,” Martens said. “We may be wrong. We haven’t set that up yet. We’re going to watch the feedback we get from Detroit.”

Both vehicles will feature available all-wheel drive and a fuel-stingy continuously variable transmission (SVT).

Ford also will use the occasion to debut the 2005 Mustang and Focus. The former has been re-engineered for greater refinement and the latter benefits from a new four-cylinder engine designed by Mazda Motor Corp.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Ford Bronco Concept captures spirit of original while showcasing new powertrain technologies

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Ford has issued the following press release:

The legendary Bronco is back as Ford re-explores the origins of the sport utility vehicle in a concept making its debut at the 2004 North American International Auto Show. The Ford Bronco concept demonstrates the original’s authentic spirit while advancing powertrain technologies.

At a time when sport utilities are becoming more and more civilized – some to the point of forgetting their roots – the Bronco’s clean, raw shape, uncluttered interior and capable chassis make it the ideal tool for work, play or just making a statement.

Key design features reminiscent of the original Ford Bronco include the boxy, upright roofline, short wheelbase, round headlamps and the Bronco nameplate milled into the modern three-bar grille. A winch and guide rollers are integrated into the lower fascia. Exterior details include exposed door hinges, cowl vents and flared wheel wells. Unique loop-shaped door handles are integrated into the door panels and open with a tug.

"True to its heritage, the Bronco concept is a tough, genuine SUV that’s all about function," said J Mays, Ford Motor Company group vice president of Design. "It’s like a claw hammer in a box full of department store, battery-operated, plastic, power tools."

Yet within Ford Bronco concept’s rugged design is an advanced turbo-diesel powertrain with concept technologies that stretch the envelope of today’s conventional propulsion modes.

"The Bronco concept showcases significant advanced powertrain technologies, mating a 2.0-liter intercooled turbo diesel with an efficient six-speed PowerShift™ transmission and Intelligent™ four-wheel-drive system for a powerful, sure-footed off-roader," said Graham Hoare, director, Powertrain Advanced and Research Engineering. "Then comes the fun part. We’ve added nitrous-oxide injection for a burst of power at your fingertips."

Although only a concept, the Bronco demonstrates how Ford could further complement its extensive SUV lineup that includes Escape, Explorer, Expedition and Excursion.

Design
The Bronco concept strikes a familiar profile of the authentic SUVs of the late 1960s and at the same time is contemporary, appealing and relevant for today’s market. The Bronco concept adds modern technologies to an original theme for a fresh new approach. The headlamps use LED and halogen light sources to cast a wider beam for better peripheral vision in off-road situations.

The Ford name is integrated into the tailgate that swings open to the side, allowing easy access to the rear cargo area. The taillamps are rectangular and feature LED lights in a cascaded array. Bronco sits on LT 265/70R18 Goodyear all-terrain tires mounted on specially cut 18-inch, six-spoke aluminum wheels that convey the confidence to carry it over any surface in any condition. A full-size spare tire is mounted in the rear cargo area.

The roof is made up of two separate sections.

A monotone color scheme featuring a warm silver finish, coupled with bright anodized brushed aluminum accents, flows seamlessly from the exterior body panels to the exposed interior surfaces. The two seats are trimmed in ginger-hued suede that looks and feels like a leather work glove, accented with same color leather inserts and a four-line stitching pattern often found on a rugged tool belt.

The instrument cluster is made up of two round bezels, housing a speedometer and a combination odometer/compass. A lockable glove box features an integrated grab handle that is perfectly positioned to reassure the passenger when traversing rough terrain. Corrugated interior floor panels further communicate strength and durability.

"The Bronco concept is like your favorite pair of worn, faded jeans – classic, familiar, comfortable and always in style," said Mays.

The Original
Ford introduced the original Bronco in August 1965 as a response to the needs of active Americans who sought adventure as well as practical transportation. Bronco, with a 92-inch wheelbase, was available in three body styles: A four-passenger wagon with a removable full-length roof, a pickup with a half roof and open rear and a two-door roadster with a choice of two- or four-passenger seating.

Bronco was an immediate success, leading the emerging recreational four-wheel drive market with sales of 18,200 units in its first full year of production. Ford continued to update the original Bronco until 1977 – its best sales year, but its last. More than 230,000 were produced from 1966-1977. A much larger Bronco took over in 1978.

Powerful Diesel Punch – With a Little Extra Kick
The Ford Bronco concept is powered by a proven 2.0-liter common-rail Duratorq TDCi engine from Ford’s European product range. This 16-valve turbo diesel combines outstanding power, torque, smoothness and exceptional fuel economy in a compact package, helping to change public expectations about diesel engines.

Using the latest common-rail fuel-injection technology, the 128 horsepower (130 PS) engine delivers peak torque of 244 lb-ft (330 Nm) at a relatively low 1,800 rpm – an ideal quality for off-roading or urban driving. Plus, Ford has engineered the engine technology to deliver overboost that provides an extra surge of power on driver demand for situations such as hill climbing. Overboost generates an even higher torque of 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) for a limited time under full throttle.

A Nitrous "Kick"
The use of nitrous oxide (N2O) as a performance enhancement dates back to World War II, when it was employed to give Allied aircraft "emergency" boosts in both airspeed and altitude capabilities.

In the 1970s, nitrous systems saw growing popularity in the automotive performance community among racers looking for that added "kick." The word began to spread when enthusiast publications such as Hot Rod, Car Craft and Popular Hot Rodding informed their readers by publishing in-depth, technical feature stories on nitrous-oxide systems.

On the new Ford Bronco concept, a stream of nitrous oxide is injected into the engine’s cylinders as long as the N2O button is held down, providing up to a temporary 50-hp boost and a three-second improvement in quarter-mile times, with 10-15 mph more top speed.

Revolutionary PowerShift™ Transmission
Power is transmitted to the Bronco’s wheels through a revolutionary new six-speed PowerShift™ transmission that significantly improves performance and fuel economy.

PowerShift is the result of a Ford-Getrag joint venture, a transmission that will be seen in Ford Motor Company products later in the decade. In gasoline applications, PowerShift promises a 12-percent fuel economy advantage over today’s four-speed automatic transmissions and provides capability to handle a whopping 332 lb-ft (450 nm) of torque in a compact package.

"A twin wet-clutch module replaces the traditional torque converter and operates using hydraulic actuation. This feature is similar to the clutch found on a typical manual transmission," said Ernie DeVincent, department manager for transmissions and drivelines in Ford Advanced Research and Engineering.

While the shifting is automatic, the PowerShift transmission on the Bronco concept also can be placed in manual mode, with sporty Formula 1-style shifting, using a pair of control paddles on the steering wheel.

Intelligent 4WD System
The new fully automatic Intelligent 4WD System on the Bronco concept will be seen in production first on the 2005 Ford Escape. It replaces the current Control Trac II™ System and offers better traction and vehicle stability, improved fuel economy and smoother operation. The Intelligent 4WD System uses a fully computer-controlled clutch that engages the rear wheels only as needed.
 

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Nice concept...but I sure hope they reconsider the diesel engine if they ever decide to market a new Bronco. A Bronco would not be a Bronco if it didn't have a big V-8 providing all the torque and hp you need for off-roading and towing. If it came with the 5.4L and perhaps the 6.8 as an option.....I would be first in line.
 

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Also i noticed the side windows were manual, hopefully they make power windows when and if it goes into production
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Motor Trend

Ford Bronco
The legendary Bronco is back as Ford re-explores the origins of the sport/utility vehicle in this concept. Key design features reminiscent of the original Ford Bronco include the boxy upright roofline, short wheelbase, round headlamps, a winch and guide rollers integrated into the lower fascia, and the Bronco nameplate milled into the modern three-bar grille. The roof features separate removable sections for open-air driving, giving the look and feel of the "Baja Broncos" of the early 1970s. Exterior details include exposed door hinges, cowl vents, flared wheelwells, and unique loop-shaped door handles integrated into the door. The Bronco concept mates a 2.0-liter/128-hp intercooled turbodiesel with six-speed PowerShift transmission and Intelligent 4WD system for a powerful, sure-footed off-roader, and adds nitrous-oxide injection for a temporary 50-horse burst of power at the driver's fingertips.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Automotive News

Type of vehicle: Rugged 2-door off-roader
Designer: Joe Baker
Comment: "With SUVs becoming more sophisticated, luxurious and bigger, we thought there was really a gap opening up below the Escape for an SUV that is far more compact, basic, clean and raw. And that was really what we were trying to do. We looked at the original '65 Bronco and tried to capture the purity and rawness of that vehicle."
Production possibility: Fair. The Escape platform is probably not tough enough; no room for a V-8 engine.
 

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A Bronco BELOW the Escape?? For shame. I can guarantee that won't go over well with nearly all diehard Bronco fans. The Bronco name has always been synonymous with off-road prowess, durability, and loads of power. To make a Bronco concept that fills a gap below the Escape is like making a new Mustang that fills a gap below the Aspire. It's a slap in the face of the Bronco name.

Of course.....I don't have an opinion or anything!
 

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We should all sign a petition to Ford, saying we demand it to be based on an F-250 with the F-250 front, with 5.4V8, 6.8V10 and 6.0Powerstroke as engine options!!
 
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