Ford Bronco 2021 compared to the original first generation: Oh, how far we are


Fifty years separate these two parents from Ford Bronco. Nick Miotke / Roadshow

In case you can’t tell, we are very excited about the 2021 Ford Bronco (and his little brother, the Bronco Sport). We have already watched how it compares with the Jeep Wrangler, but we also wondered how it compared to the original?

The first Bronco came off the assembly line as a 1966 model and remained fairly stable until the second generation model arrived in 1977. This article talks about the 1971 Bronco pickup truck that we saw recently during a program sponsored by Ford, and compares the new Badlands model to two doors.

Reading in progress:
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The 2021 Ford Bronco is armed and ready to go on a Jeep chase


External dimensions

When you look at the overall size, it’s a bit silly how much the Bronco has grown. While the old two-door was 152.1 inches in total length and had a wheelbase of only 92 inches, the 2021 Bronco Badlands trim is 174.8 inches long with a wheelbase of 100.4 inches. The new Bronco is also wider and taller.

Outside dimensions

1971 Bronco Pickup 2021 Bronco 2 sizes

152.1 inch

174.8 in


92.0 in

100.4 inch


68.8 in

76.3 inch


68.9 inch

73.8 in

Track (front / rear)

57.4 inch

65.0 in

All-terrain geometry

The angles of approach, crossing and departure are crucial for the off-road capability of a vehicle. The larger the angle, the more obstacles the vehicle can overcome. These figures assume the largest tires you can get from the factory for both models. Not surprisingly, with its smaller proportions, the 1971 Bronco had great geometry and probably resembled driving a mountain goat. The older Bronco had a bit of rear overhang which hampered its departure angle, but it was still turning in good numbers.

Off road specifications

1971 Bronco Pickup 2021 Bronco 2 sizes
Ground clearance

13.3 inch

11.6 inch

Approach angle

45.0 degrees

43.2 degrees

Break angle

31.2 degrees

29.0 degrees

Departure angle

34.0 deg

37.2 degrees


It is safe to say that manufacturers have come a long way in the past 50 years. The 1971 Bronco had a standard 2.8-liter, 170-cubic-inch inline six-cylinder engine that developed a miserable 105 horsepower. An optional 4.9-liter, 302-cubic-inch V8 was new that year, developing just over 200 horsepower. The two were mated to a three-shaft manual transmission.

Meanwhile, the Bronco 2021 has a standard 2.3-liter 270-hp EcoBoost I4 engine with 270 hp with a 7-speed manual transmission or a 10-speed automatic transmission. The optional 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost with 310 hp is only available with the 10-speed automatic transmission.

Base engine specification

1971 Bronco Pickup 2021 Bronco 2 sizes

2.8 liters I6

2.3-liter Turbo I4


105 ch

270 ch


158 lb-ft

310 lb-ft

Transmission (s)

3-speed manual

7-speed manual

10-speed automatic

Optional engine specification

1971 Bronco Pickup 2021 Bronco 2 sizes

4.9-liter V8

2.7-liter twin-turbo V6


210 ch (max)

310 ch


300 lb-ft

400 lb-ft


3-speed manual

10-speed automatic

Want more new Ford Bronco 2021s? We have what you need:


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