Trucks & SUVs

The Ford Bronco Couldn’t Finish An Off-Roading Race

The Ford Bronco Prototype R has been spotted around the desert, playing in the sand. It has been able to provide spectators with an idea of what the 2021 Ford Bronco will look like, but hopefully, it’s had a few updates since then, because the Prototype R was unable to finish the Baja 1000 race.

The Ford Bronco lost the Baja 1000

The Baja 1000 is one of the toughest off-roading races globally, as drivers compete on an 800-mile course among the grueling conditions of Ensenada, Mexico.

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

This infamous race involves a variety of different trucks from million-dollar options with over 600 horsepower and three feet of suspension travel to heavily modded Volkswagen Bugs from the ’60s.

RELATED READ: The Hyundai Palisade Just Outranked the Kia Telluride

With the moderate goal of merely finishing the race, Ford submitted the Bronco Prototype R to tackle the challenge. It incorporates the heart, looks, and a few stock parts of the new 2021 Ford Bronco, which will make its debut tonight.

The Ford Bronco Prototype R was fitted with race-ready suspension components, stock engine, transmission, and four-wheel-drive system to put it to the test.

But with the race requiring drivers to make hasty decisions for themselves and their vehicles, they often involve taking risks. Decisions are made while hoping that their crews can make repairs to keep moving forward, accidents can happen.

Ford Bronco problems

Ford took some extra precautions and had seven drivers prepared to race. Usually, teams only have two or three drivers. The Bronco Prototype R has a 70-mile fuel tank, allowing it to go 310 miles before needing more fuel.

Ford Bronco R race prototype parked in the desert
Ford Bronco R race prototype | Ford

Intending only to finish the race, Ford had more time for fresh eyes to evaluate the truck for potential problems before racing on. Ford also made an interesting engine choice.

Instead of going with the Ford Raptor’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine with 450 horsepower, they picked an engine representing what the new Ford Bronco will have.

Ford Bronco R race prototype racing through sand
Ford Bronco R race prototype | Ford

While Ford didn’t mention what type of engine they used in the racing Bronco, we can speculate that it has the 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with 270 horsepower. This makes sense, as the Bronco was spotted going 100 mph on a dry lake bed.

Because the Bronco Prototype R has a lighter weight, it was able to go into 4X4 low and make it out of the mud, where heavier trucks got stuck. But by mile 495, the passenger-side lower control arm, spindle, and CV joint broke.

2021 Bronco R Prototype Baja 1000 racing through desert sand
2021 Bronco R Prototype Baja 1000 | Ford

Then the cooling system went down. The Bronco R had an aftermarket radiator and fans from another system that didn’t work well in this build. One of the fans seized and had a temperature of 280 degrees, making it unsafe to continue racing. This was when the Ford Bronco called it quits and was towed away.

Will the new Ford Bronco be better?

This race occurred in 2019, so Ford has had plenty of time to update the 2021 Ford Bronco. While it won’t be built to race through 800 miles of harsh desert conditions, it should have the proper cooling system.

Ford Bronco moaoun_moaoun render
Ford Bronco moaoun_moaoun render | Mo Aoun via Instagram

The Baja 1000 race will occur in November 2020, later this year, if the Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) doesn’t cause any delays. We hope that the Ford Bronco tries the race again and can’t wait to see its reveal tonight.