In order to whet the appetite of future Bronco customers, Ford Performance has just introduced a Bronco R prototype that will take part in the Baja 1000 off-road endurance race in the Mexican desert from Nov. 19-24.
This is the automaker’s way of celebrating the 50th anniversary of Rod Hall’s historic Baja 1000 win while further building anticipation for the production model, to be unveiled in a world premiere next spring.
Ford Performance says the Bronco R prototype rides on the same T6 platform, but it’s pretty clear at first glance that this machine has little in common with a street-legal vehicle.
In addition to a minimalist body and tubular chassis, it features an independent front suspension with 14 inches of travel and a production-based five-link rear chassis design with up to 18 inches of travel, plus custom Fox shocks, 17-inch beadlock-capable aluminum wheels and 37-inch BFGoodrich tires—a combination not unlike Ken Block’s Gymkhana cars such as the 1965 Mustang “Hoonicorn” RTR or the monstrous 1977 F-150 “Hoonitruck”.
The exterior is inspired by the winning 1969 Baja 1000 Bronco livery (see photo gallery). No. “2069” stretches across the Bronco R’s rear quarter-panel and wing: “20” to signal the class in which it will race and “69” in honour of the year in which Hall roared to an overall victory in the Mexican 1000 (now Baja 1000).