Ford Bronco coming to NZ? Chief designer hints at RHD model
Unveiled to an excited mob of off-road enthusiasts in July, the Ford Bronco has been well received thus far. A rival to the Jeep Wrangler with an equally storied past, the model does well to balance old-school design cues with contemporary mod cons.
Naturally, our first question when the model dropped was whether it would become available to Kiwi customers. Ford New Zealand’s position has always been of the ‘we love it, but it’s left-hand drive only so we won’t be seeing it here’ variety. But, what if the model were produced in right-hand drive? Surely that would make it an Australasian shoe-in, right?
In a recent chat with Ford Authority, Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport chief designer Paul Wraith has confirmed that the gravel-bashing model is capable of being produced in right-hand drive.
“Underneath the Bronco is its closest cousin – if you will – the Ranger [...] so the platform is capable of right hand drive,” he said.
It’s been long known of course that the Bronco is based on the same T6 platform as the ever popular Ranger. But, this is the first time someone from Ford has openly acknowledged that the model can be produced as a right-hooker. Wraith added that the platform has been “optimised” for left-hand drive, but added that right-hand drive is somewhat on the table for the future.
“We did look at right hand drive, and Bronco is intensely famous here in the U.S. But it’s pretty famous, or at least it was famous, elsewhere in the world. We’re always open to do all sorts of things in the future, but right now, we’re left hand drive focused,” he added.
As previously reported, Ford will be producing two strings of Bronco models; the Ranger-based halo variant with traditional body-on-frame underpinnings, and the more mild unibody-construction Bronco Sport for mainstream buyers.
The Bronco comes with either an EcoBoost 2.3-litre or a 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6, the latter making 231kW and 542Nm of torque. Ford boasts that the model comes with best-in-class ground clearance, water-wading depth, suspension travel rates, and more.
The Bronco Sport, meanwhile, is equipped with a 1.5-litre EcoBoost three-cylinder making 135kW and 257Nm, or a more powerful 2.0-litre EcoBoost four producing 183kW/372Nm. It too boasts segment-best ground clearance, with its approach, departure, and break-over angles all benchmarked against the Jeep Compass Trailhawk.