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Ford Bronco Off-Road Tease Reveals Nothing Concrete — and Certainly No Asphalt

2021 Ford Bronco

The long march toward the introduction of the Ford Bronco took more baby steps with the automaker releasing footage of the SUV performing some off-road testing in the California desert.

Related: 2020 Ford Bronco: 3 Things the Off-Road Race Prototype Tells Us About the SUV-to-Be

This is just the latest in a series of teases, including a sneak peek at the forthcoming Bronco in racing form, building up to the sixth-generation Bronco’s debut this coming spring. The video shows a Bronco prototype, wrapped in heavy camouflage to obscure its shape and grille, ripping through sand and crawling over rocks to put its off-road credentials to the test.

What’s there to glean from this video? Not a ton that’s concrete. The only interior glimpse faces backward, where we see a likely non-factory-installed roll cage, along with five-point harnesses and some testing equipment. And our best bet at what the exterior will end up looking like comes from the boxy Bronco R race version, with its long flat hood and large front windows. Wrapped up in the camo, the Bronco looks very much like an abbreviated pickup truck with a camper shell, so I’m hoping that when the wrapping comes off, it’ll look more cohesive.

The 42-second video shows the Bronco ripping through deep sand and doing some rock crawling — though crawling might be the wrong term because the Bronco moves up those rock piles rather quickly and shows some ample suspension flex. Those beefy off-road tires, however, also don’t look stock. It’ll be hard to say how the Bronco will measure up to the Jeep Wrangler — its primary (and perhaps only) direct competition — until we see an equipment list and, of course, get some time behind the wheel.

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a true contender emerge to challenge the Jeep’s throne, and this latest video only increases my excitement to see how the Bronco stacks up.

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