The 2021 Ford Bronco is here at last, and the Blue Oval brand knows that if it wants to mount a real challenge to Jeep’s iconic Wrangler, it’s going to take some doing. To that end, Ford appears to be borrowing a play straight from the FCA playbook – one that’s helped make Jeep such a dominant force in the rugged utility vehicle market – by offering a dizzying array of unique trim levels. Here, we take a look at the first-ever 2021 Ford Bronco Black Diamond.
Stationed somewhere toward the middle of the 2021 Ford Bronco’s complicated trim hierarchy, the Bronco Black Diamond effectively splits the difference between the pared-down base model and the out-and-out rugged Badlands and Wildtrak. The standard tires are 32- inch-diameter General Grabber all-terrains – more fit for overlanding duty than the 32-inch Bridgestone Dueler A/Ts on the Big Bend and Outer Banks models, but much less hardcore and uncompromising than the bigger BF Goodrich T/A KO2s fitted to the Badlands model, let alone the Wildtrak’s 35-inch Goodyear Territory all-terrain shoes. Those tires, measuring 265 mm across (lesser models come with 255-section rubber) are mounted on 17-inch black gloss-painted steel wheels.
That the standard Black Diamond wheels are steel – not alloy – is proof enough that Ford is serious about catering to actual off-road enthusiasts; the Bronco is no gimmick. Steel wheels are generally more durable and easier to repair than aluminum alloy ones, as they tend to deform much more before cracking. Granted, gloss black aluminum wheels are available as an option.
Looking at the final drive ratios for the 2021 Bronco also provides a glimpse into how the Black Diamond is positioned within the lineup. Select the available 10-speed automatic transmission, and the Black Diamond ships with a nice, short 4.46:1 final drive – the same as on the more hardcore Badlands model. Other trim levels come with a 3.73:1 or 4.27:1 final drive.
The ratio gets even shorter – down to 4.70:1 – when you opt for the available Sasquatch package. Aimed at serious off-road enthusiasts, the Black Diamond Sasquatch package comes with an alternative 17-inch high-gloss black alloy wheel design, with bead-locking capability for more security off-road. It also features an advanced 4×4 transfer case with automatic on-demand 4H engagement.
As for the powertrain, the options are the same as on the base, Big Bend, and Badlands models: a standard 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder with 7-speed manual, or an optional 10-speed automatic with 2.3L and 2.7L EcoBoost options. Ford is anticipating output of 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft from the 2.3L, and 310 horsepower/400 lb-ft from the 2.7L, but those ratings aren’t yet final.
Reservations for the Bronco Black Diamond – along with the rest of the 2021 Ford Bronco lineup – are now open, and while we don’t know pricing for the full range just yet, the base model will start at $29,995 MSRP including a $1,495 destination fee.