Testing prototype vehicles is a serious business. A ridiculous array of settings need to be fine-tuned and flaws have to be ironed out, but in the process, the people behind the wheel are surely enjoying themselves thoroughly at times.
Just take a look at this Bronco prototype, casually hanging its front wheels in the air while undergoing cold-weather testing. We can’t see into the cabin particularly well, but we’d like to think the driver has a grin on his face.
Shots of this two-door version have emerged a few weeks on from the four-door Bronco being papped while being put through its own cold-weather test regime. It looks like it’ll be a handy beast, thanks to generous ground clearance and short front and rear overhangs. It doesn’t go quite as all-in on the mud plugging thing as the Jeep Wrangler, with independent front suspension, although the rear axle is solid, and like the FCA rival, it’s built in a body-on-frame style.
Specifically, it’s the Ford Ranger’s ladder frame which is expected to underpin the Bronco. This makes the engine line-up relatively easy to predict - it’ll likely carry over the Ranger’s options, which should include a 2.3-litre Ecoboost turbocharged inline-four.
The Bronco nameplate is returning after a 24-year hiatus, although it’ll take styling inspiration from the original, rather than the final version that went off sale in the late 1980s. Judging by the heavy camouflage seen on top of this and the four-door prototype, it looks like the roof will be removable.
Sales of the new one will kick off in 2021, with a reveal date anticipated to be in the latter half of 2020.