The Ford Bronco is still experiencing delays, but that doesn’t keep us from dreaming about when it finally does release. If you were one of the first in line to reserve a Ford Bronco Sport, you probably snagged a First Edition. Those who really have faith in its rugged, off-road personality might have gotten a Badlands model.
However, Motor Trend says that both these trims have one potential annoyance: engine noise. Surprisingly, these noises aren’t coming from the Bronco’s actual motor, but the audio system. Was this really such a highly-requested feature?
Faux-V8 growls coming from the Ford Bronco
The two most powerful Ford Bronco Sport models come standard with a premium Bang & Olufsen speaker system. Most drivers would probably appreciate this to play music, but Ford had other plans.
The stereo system constantly emits a V8 engine noise in time with the actual engine, even when audio isn’t playing.
It’s not unheard of for automakers to install artificial V8 noises on a car, most notably EVs. However, Motor Trend warns that there’s no way to easily disable the noise. However, considering how rowdy the actual 1.5-liter engine sounds, some drivers might appreciate the distraction.
The real performance specs of the Ford Bronco Sport
The Ford Bronco Sport Badlands is powered by a 1.5-liter turbo-three that makes 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. The Motor Trend staff thought it provided decent acceleration, but only when it was constantly in Sport mode. Staff also noted that this acceleration is also accompanied by an unrefined howling sound from the engine.
Thankfully, the Badlands has another powertrain option that’s considerably faster. It’s a 2.0-liter turbo-four that makes 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The aesthetically pleasing fake V8 noises from the sound system are a welcome change from the other engine’s groaning.
The Ford Bronco Sport Badlands also has a handy collection of off-roading features. It has huge 33-inch tires, a torque-vectoring rear differential, and reinforced bumpers at both ends of the vehicle. Its special suspension provides more wheel travel distance and high ground clearance, almost nine inches.
It also has two extra settings on the drive mode select, one for mud and the other for rock crawling. The Badlands can also ford through bodies of water up to two feet high and has vinyl floors for easy cleaning. According to Car and Driver, the Badlands provides quick steering and timely shifts in an off-road setting.
The luxe Ford Bronco Sport First Edition comes with the best powertrain of them all. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost provides 310 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission. It has all the same off-roading accompaniments from the Badlands model, plus some extra features from the Sasquatch package.
This bundle comes with position-sensitive shocks, locking differentials for the front and rear, and Beadlock wheels. The First Edition also has a special leather interior, wireless charging, an exclusive black roof, and the special V8-emulating sound system.
A surprisingly practical purpose
Motor Trend speculates that Ford added this feature to make off-roading easier for the Ford Bronco Sport’s drivers. If the engine noise was amplified, drivers would have a better idea of how fast they were going. While the Ford Bronco already has plenty of features for safe off-roading, it can still be hazardous for inexperienced adventurers.
Ford was also no doubt encouraged to include the feature since they managed to emulate the V8 sound so accurately. Plus, there are definitely many drivers out there that appreciate the pleasing rumble of a V8. Even if you think it’s uncharacteristic for the Ford Bronco Sport, you have to admit it’s a creative piece of engineering.