It may look like the legendary Ford Bronco that won’t the 1969 Baja 1000 driven by Rod Hall and Larry Minor from 50 years ago is back. Well, it is not. But not going to lie. I thought it was, that was until the two pulled up next to each other. OK. I admit I am no super fan.
The Ford Bronco R Race Prototype, as it is known as, may not be the legend itself, but it is no less impressive in the looks department.
It was developed by Ford Performance in collaboration with builder Geiser Bros Design and Development and Baja 1000 Trophy Truck champion Cameron Steele to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic moment.
Sporting a race livery inspired by the original winning vehicle, Bronco R will be driven by Rod’s granddaughter, off-road racer Shelby Rod, for portions of this year’s prestigious race in honor of her late grandfather.
The 1,000-mile journey happening at Baja Peninsula later this month will also be a test for the production Bronco’s powertrain and architecture, and the design of Bronco R is also a peek into the future Bronco that will be making its world premiere next Spring.
As far as this one-off unit is concern, what’s driving it is not clear, save for the fact that it is a twin turbo EcoBoost engine.
However, we learned that it features an independent front suspension with 14 inches of travel, a production-based five-link rear chassis design with up to 18 inches of travel, custom Fox shocks, and 17-inch beadlock-capable aluminum wheels wrapped in 37-inch BFGoodrich tires.
It also gets a roll cage on a production-style frame, a five-piece lightweight body and some race-focused parts.
So, will the Ford Bronco R Race Prototype live up to the high bar set by its forebear? Well, I guess only time will tell. But I know I am digging the look and also, loving how it sound in the video too.
All images courtesy of Ford Motor Company.