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2021 Ford Bronco Frame, suspension and clearances


Frame, suspension and clearances

The new Bronco rides on a fully boxed, high-strength steel frame that will be shared with and adapted for the next-generation Ford Ranger. It has an independent front suspension with twin alloy A-arms and coil-over springs, while the rear is a solid axle with five links and coil-overs. This is the key mechanical difference between the Bronco and Wrangler, as the Jeep has a live axle in the front and rear.
Despite the independent front end, Ford insists the Bronco can have 17% more suspension travel than the Wrangler (sorry, its "closest competitor") and the top Badlands trim has a hydraulically controlled stabilizer bar that can distinctively be disconnected when on an angle and under load. There are also Bilstein position-sensitive dampers, intended for higher-speed, desert-running use, available with the "High Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension" or HOSS.
Clearances depend on trim level, number of doors and, crucially, whether you outfit the Bronco in question with the segment-exclusive 35-inch tire option. There's at least 8.3 inches (Four-Door) or 8.4 inches (Two-Door) to start, but the big wheels bump it up to 11.5 and 11.6, respectively. The Jeep Wrangler starts off higher at 9.7, but tops out at 10.8 for the Rubicon.
The approach angle is 35.5 degrees for both body styles (43.2 with the big tires). The breakover angles are 21.1 degrees (29.0 with big tires) for the Two-Door and 20.0 (26.3) for the Four-Door. The departure angles are 29.8 degrees (37.2) for the Two-Door and 29.7 (37.0) for the Four-Door. In short, the base numbers are broadly less than what a base Wrangler can accomplish, but with the big tires, the Bronco can not only surpass a base Wrangler but effectively match the most capable Wrangler Rubicon



There are two available engines, both of which put up impressive numbers. The standard 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-four, shared with the Ford Ranger, produces a stout 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Then there's the heavy artillery: a 2.7-liter turbo V6 good for 310 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, which betters the 2.7 offered in the Ford F-150 and just about blows away every Wrangler engine. The only exception is the Wrangler's diesel V6 that makes 442 pound-feet of torque, but its 260 horsepower is shy of both Ford engines.
Standard on the 2.3-liter is technically a seven-speed manual transmission, but it's not like the one you'd find in a Porsche 911 or C7 Corvette. Instead, it's effectively a six-speed manual with a crawler gear that, when equipped with the upgrade 4x4 system and its electromechanical transfer case, can achieve a crawl ratio of 94.75:1. For some comparison, the base 4x4 system with the automatic can best achieve a ratio of 57.19:1. 
Speaking of the automatic, its Ford's now-familiar 10-speed that's optional on the 2.3-liter and standard with the 2.7 liter. So no, you can't get the big motor with the manual. Commence complaints. The automatic's best crawl ratio is 67.8:1.
Four-wheel drive is standard on every Bronco, but there are two systems. The standard system features a two-speed, electronic, shift-on-the-fly transfer case with a 2.71:1 low ratio, while the optional system has a a 3:06:1 low ratio and adds a 4A mode that automatically goes between 2H and 4H when needed. This has been seen previously on other Ford trucks and SUVs.
The differentials are produced by Dana, with the rear being a Dana 44, with standard AdvanTEK units and available Spicer Performa-TraK electronic locking units.

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