Trucks & SUVs

Bronco R Trophy Truck Suggests Production Version

In the middle of the Nevada desert, Ford just unveiled its homage to the Bronco that won the Baja 1000 50 years ago. Originally driven by Rod Hall and Larry Minor, the “2020 Bronco R” trophy truck will be driven by “Desert Assassin” Cameron Steele and Rod Hall’s granddaughter Shelby Hall. The race takes place starting November 19, 2019. Oh, and this is the closest we’ve gotten so far to see the upcoming 2021 Bronco.

Bronco R Reveal In Middle Of Desert

Ford Bronco R race prototype
Ford Bronco R race prototype | Ford

The unveiling was done in conjunction with the 2019 SEMA Show taking place in Las Vegas. Automotive scribes were transported into the middle of the desert where the unveiling took place. Ford kept it so secret that none of the writers knew exactly what they would be witnessing. Or, why they were trekking out into the desert. As we’ve seen with the Ford GT unveiling Ford is good at keeping secrets.

Because this is a racing version of the new Bronco, Ford wants to keep the wraps on any info as tight and long as it can. Of course, almost all of the questions center around how close the Bronco R is to the actual production Bronco set to debut in the spring of 2020 as a 2021 model. Everything is slightly exaggerated with a racecar body, and this is no exception. Some proportions will differ from the stock Bronco. Still, it’s not too difficult to squint and think of a tamer-looking version on the street, and there you have it.

Bronco R Power Production-Based V6

Ford Bronco R race prototype
Ford Bronco R race prototype | Ford

What Ford is saying is that there will be some production components on the trophy truck from the upcoming production version. Putting up with the rigors of cranking through the desert swiftly will give the components real-world testing. We know that the chassis is a modified production item. Speculation is that the Bronco R is powered by a stock-block V6, but highly modified. It will run in the Class 2 race category.

Ford Bronco R race prototype
Ford Bronco R race prototype | Ford

Class 2 is for 3.6-liter turbocharged engines, which Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 fits into perfectly. And just to add a bit more weight to the EcoBoost V6 idea there are a pair of turbos peeking out of the open-wheel wells. The chassis looks to be independent up front and a solid axle in the rear. 

We don’t know how much tech transfers from the GT V6 program to racing in the desert. Still, there have got to be some really trick engine pieces to modify an Ecoboost. So, everything would seem to be in place for the V6 to be front-and-center come race day.

Secret Project Began in July

Ford Bronco R race prototype
Ford Bronco R race prototype | Ford

Work began on the Bronco R project back in July. Just as it did with the GT racing program development was kept to a few team members. It was also relegated to a small basement studio away from the normal goings-on. This, too, was similar to the Ford GT’s development program. 

So feast your eyes, squint, and imagine some windows, smaller tires, and solid paint instead of the graphics, and behold the production version of the new Bronco. Once images do hit the internet we expect it to blow up. Fun times!


Ford Bronco R race prototype
Ford Bronco R race prototype | Ford