The 2021 Ford Bronco is one of the most anticipated vehicles as of late, a fact that is only spurred on by continued production delays. Fans of the iconic off-roading nameplate have waited nearly three decades to get their hands on a new Bronco, but that wait might just be worth it. Ford has been open about how capable this new 4×4 truly is, but now we have some tangible evidence of these capabilities by way of the NORRA Mexican 1000 rally. The Blue Oval campaigned a stock Bronco Badlands in the race, which traverses 1,141 miles across the brutal Baja peninsula. Not only did the stock SUV finish the race, but it managed to take home a podium finish in class for the automaker. Unfortunately for Ford however, a familiar rival managed to beat them in this effort: Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus and their SCG Boot.
The 2021 Ford Bronco Badlands managed to take home third place in its class at the Mexican 1000 rally, coming in behind the SCG Boot and a Ford Ranger racer. The SUV was wheeled by three-time event winner Brad Lovell, as well as Ford Bronco engineers Jamie Groves and Seth Goslawski. Aside from the safety equipment mandated by race organizers, this 4×4 was entirely stock. The truck was powered by the 2.7L EcoBoost V6, which mated up to a 10-speed automatic gearbox. As a Badlands model, the SUV did come with some beefed up suspension components, including long-travel Bilstein coilovers, position-sensitive dampers, Dana 44 AdvanTEK axles, and Spicer Performa-Trak electronic lockers front and rear. These components were put to the ground via an off-the-shelf set of 33-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain tires, which is mighty impressive.
“Bronco has a long, successful history racing down here, so we wanted to put the new one to the test as our final Built Wild Extreme Testing validation – and it exceeded our every expectation for performance across this treacherous environment,” said Bronco engineering manager Jamie Groves. “This race is a key final pre-launch check box for what the Bronco can do.”
While the Ford Bronco Badlands showed out at the NORRA Mexican 1000 rally, the team had to watch once again as the SCG Boot managed a better finish. This is the third time that the Bronco has failed to beat Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, after the Bronco R took back to back losses to the boutique off-roader at the Baja 1000. As we’ve all come to expect from SCG, this accomplishment was not left unannounced on social media.
With this latest finish at the NORRA Mexican 1000 rally, the 2021 Ford Bronco only continues to add to its motorsports background. While we all would have loved to have seen some of these SUVs reach buyers by this point, it is exciting to see that Ford is dedicated to off-road racing. Considering the stock SUV was able to podium at one of the toughest races out there, there is still a lot to be excited about.