Ford Bronco Engine Performance
The introduction of the all-new 2021 Ford Bronco brings along a huge new lineup of model and trim options, including two engine options and two transmission options. But first, let’s take a look at where the Bronco started, and how it got to what it has become today.
History of Powertrain
Beginning in 1965, when the first Ford Bronco was launched, and started a revolution of new off-roaders, the powertrain was a bit lacking. Because the Bronco was Ford’s first attempt at creating a sport-utility vehicle, they needed to base the engine off of something that was already in production. They ended up building off of the 105 hp Ford Falcon engine, producing a 170 ci L6. By 1966, a new engine was introduced to the lineup, a 289 ci V8 producing 200 hp. For 1969, that V8 engine option was then replaced with a larger displacement engine, a 302. By ‘73, the standard engine option became a 200 ci L6, which was offered until the 1977 model year. As for its transmission, the first generation was only offered with a three-speed, column shifted manual transmission, mostly to cut costs. 1973 saw the first iteration of a three-speed automatic.
The second generation Bronco was definitely a bit heftier than its predecessor. It entered a new realm, the full-size segment, where it would compete with big names, such as the Cerokee and Blazer. Along with its bigger body, the Bronco also received a beefier powertrain. This generation came with two different options for a V8, each significantly bigger than the previous V8 versions. Available was a 5.8 L 251M, with a horsepower output of 156 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. The other option was a 6.6 L 400, producing 158 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque.
This iteration of the Bronco went back to its roots, and reintroduced an L6 engine to the lineup. This new L6 was a 4.9 L 300, and it solely came with a manual transmission. The 400 V8 was now a thing of the past, and the 351M would now be the more powerful of the V8 options, with the 302 making a return as the base option. In 1982, the 351 Windsor would replace the 351M.
Ford carried over the same engines from the previous generation for the models starting in 1987, while also adding fuel-injection to the L6 and 351 Windsor. Most of the changes for the fourth generation involved the transmission, as the four-speed manual had been replaced. Two different five-speed manuals were then introduced, along with the three-speed C6 automatic, four-speed AOD, and heavier-duty E4OD.
The last generation of the Bronco, before Ford’s discontinuation, carried much of the same equipment from the previous generation. The L6 would eventually be dropped, making 1994 the year where the Broncos were solely powered by V8s.
The 2021 Bronco brings along, as stated before, two new engine options, and two new transmission options. There was also a ton of hope that Ford would release a manual option for their newest generation of Broncos, and that is exactly what they did.
The standard powertrain for the Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, and Badlands models is a 2.3 L inline-four EcoBoost engine, paired with a 7-speed manual transmission with an integrated crawl gear. Four-wheel drive is available with part time selectable engagement. The Outer Banks model comes with the 2.3 L EcoBoost engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission with Trail Control, along with the four wheel drive part time selectable engagement. Both the Wildtrak and First Edition models are paired with the 2.7 L six-cylinder EcoBoost engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. To switch the car into four-wheel drive, it comes with Automatic On Demand Engagement.
If you need a little more power than the 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque the 2.3 L EcoBoost engine produces, the 2.7 L EcoBoost is available. Producing 310 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, the six-cylinder should be just enough of a jump in power to handle any situation. Also available over the 7-speed manual transmission with a crawler gear is the 10-speed automatic with Trail Control, also featuring the Advanced 4x4 with Automatic On Demand Engagement.