Bronco launched this week to critical acclaim revives the nameplate of the popular offroader Ford sold between 1965 and 1996. It was effectively succeeded by the Explorer

Bronco launched this week to critical acclaim revives the nameplate of the popular offroader Ford sold between 1965 and 1996. It was effectively succeeded by the Explorer

All 3,500 initial reservation slots for the most expensive launch version of the 2021 Ford Bronco announced this week in the US have already been taken, the investor website SeekingAlpha.com reported.

The two-door model starts at US$59,305, nearly double the base Bronco's price, and the four-door at $63,500.

The report said the sales success was a good sign of demand for the retro SUV which is furthering Ford's push into the off-road adventure category.

The Bronco revives a nameplate Ford launched in 1965 and offered until 1996, and made (in)famous by the widely televised OJ Simpson freeway police chase in Los Angeles in June 1994.

Ford changed this week's 13 July Bronco announcement date to avoid a clash with Simpson's 9 July birthday after adverse publicity on social media.

The revived model would contribute nearly US$1bn to Ford's North American operations if sales reach 125,000 units, SeekingAlpha.com said, citing Credit Suisse.

Ford described the new line as "the flagship of a new all-4x4 family of rugged SUVs, with a classic two door and a first ever four-door".

The model has a claimed segment exclusive, seven speed manual transmission and available 35-inch tyres and Ford also claims best in class 94.75:1 crawl ratio, ground clearance, suspension travel and water fording capabilities, plus breakover and departure angles, depending on model and specification.

The Bronco also has quick-release stowable roof panels and doors on some versions and over 200 aftermarket accessories are already available.

Production of the all 4x4 range begins early in 2021 and first models reach US dealers next spring.

Up to seven driver selectable modes are offered: Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand, with Baja, Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl for off-road driving.

Two 4x4 systems are offered on all Bronco models, a base setup and advanced. The base system has a two speed electronic shift on the fly transfer case while the optional advanced system features a two-speed electromechanical transfer case that adds an auto mode for on demand engagement to select between 2H and 4H.

Power is distributed to a Dana 44 AdvanTEK solid rear axle and Dana AdvanTEK independent front differential unit – both with optional Spicer Performa-TraK electronic locking differentials for improved traction over rough terrain.

The optional, and claimed segment first, Trail Toolbox gives owners a suite of offroading technology including Trail Control – cruise control for low speed trail driving - while Trail Turn Assist tightens off road turning radiuses through torque vectoring, and the Trail One Pedal Drive acceleration/braking control - somewhat like Nissan's EV SmartPedal - allows more precise slow mode rock crawling.

Engine choices are a 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 with 310 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque or a 2.3-litre I4 EcoBoost targeted to deliver claimed class best four cylinder torque of 310 lb-ft with an 270 horsepower.

Two door models come with a standard, three section roof system – left and right front sections and a rear section – moulded in colour and an optional premium painted modular top with four sections that adds a removable panel over the rear seats and cargo area.

Four doors have four removable roof sections – left and right front panels, a full-width centre panel and a rear section.

A cloth soft top is standard on four door models and a hardtop is optional.