Hey, Ford! Cool New Bronco! But Where’s The EV?

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Ford recently announced two new special edition packages for its Bronco and Bronco Sport vehicles that give the vehicle a more retro look. There will be Heritage Editions for both vehicles, as well as a Limited Heritage Edition, but only 1966 lucky customers of each vehicle will get those in their driveways. The idea, ultimately, was to give customers the classic look they crave, with today’s modern technology and safety. But, as you’d imagine, the CleanTechnica team has one big question: why can’t modern technology include an electric or even plug-in hybrid version?

About The Heritage & Heritage Limited Editions

For those unfamiliar, the Bronco and Bronco Sport are two separate vehicles. The Bronco is a 2-door or 4-door SUV built on a truck chassis, while the Sport is a 4-door longitudinal crossover built on the same platform as the Maverick pickup truck and Escape crossover. Both offer power to all four wheels, but that’s about where the similarities end, as the Bronco Sport is more of an all-wheel-drive system. The Heritage Edition and Heritage Limited Edition are both special packages that can be added to either vehicle.

If you’re one of those “Tesla is the best, and all others suck royally” types, I’m not sure why you’re even reading this. But, the rest of us, who can appreciate retro styling and keeping cool things from the past around with a new twist can probably appreciate something really cool Ford is doing with these vehicles.

The Bronco Heritage Limited Editions will be available in both off-road and on-road variants, covering the Bronco 2-door, 4-door, and SUV models. Each of the Heritage Limited Edition versions will be produced in only 1,966 examples to commemorate the year the original Bronco was introduced.

“Bronco captivated America in the mid-’60s with its rugged style and uncompromising off-road agility, a legacy that is still prevalent today,” said Mark Grueber, Bronco marketing manager. “With these new Heritage and Heritage Limited editions, we’re paying respect to Bronco’s roots with nods to some of the signature design cues from the first-generation vehicle, while continuing to build the Bronco Brand with more special editions that our customers want.”

All Bronco customers may purchase the 2023 Bronco Sport Heritage and Heritage Limited edition models right now. Later this year, the 2- and 4-door variants of the Bronco will go on sale, with current Bronco order recipients receiving priority placement. Orders to all consumers will become available next year, regardless of existing reservation status.

What makes these packages special is that they go beyond the already retro-inspired styling of the Bronco and Bronco Sport to give customers looks that are even closer to the original Broncos of the late 1960s to mid 1970s. The 2- and 4-door Bronco Heritage models, which are available in Oxford White, have a two-toned paint job with distinctive Oxford White highlights including the detachable hardtop roof. The grille is a striking Oxford White color, with Race Red “FORD” lettering and 17-inch aluminum heritage wheels painted in Oxford White for a classic touch that you might have to look twice at to know if it’s a classic Bronco.

The 1960s-inspired squared fenders with Sasquatch-width fender flares recall the era, and they protect the almost two-inch wider track. The standard front bumper is powder coated steel with built-in recovery points and integrated fog lights. Gloss black heritage wheels with classic “dog dish” centers, as well as a gloss white lip to add more vintage flare, are available on Heritage Limited trims.

The inside of the Bronco Heritage Edition features plaid cloth seats, as well as unique elements including an Oxford White instrument panel, center console badging, and distinctive front and rear floor liners.

The non-Limited Heritage Edition is available in five colors, while the Heritage Limited Edition is only available at launch in Robin’s Egg Blue, which is similar to Arcadian Blue, which was available on the original Bronco in 1966. The color Yellowstone Metallic, which is inspired by the Prairie Yellow hue from the 1971 Ford model year, will be available in 2023. Peak Blue will come out for the 2024 model year.

The non-Limited Heritage Edition models come standard with Big Bend series equipment and features, such as a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine with 7-speed manual or optional 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. The powerplant produces up to 300 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque. The Off-Road Suspension Package with a High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension (H.O.S.S.) 2.0 system, including long-travel Bilstein position-sensitive dampers with end-stop control valves and increased ride height, is included in the Raptor 75, as is 35″ Goodyear mud-terrain tires and Dana front and rear electronic locking axles with a 4.7:1 final drive ratio.

Heritage Limited Edition models get upgraded to Badlands series equipment and features, with a more potent 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine with up to 330 horsepower and 415 lb.-ft. torque pushed through the 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. They are visually set apart from the less exclusive Heritage Edition with metal “Bronco” script fender badging, leather-trimmed/vinyl plaid seats with white and Race Red accent stitching, and unique Heritage Limited console badges.

What Real Modern Takes Would Look Like

Like many other readers, the retro styling with modern features, comfort, and safety is deeply appreciated, but if we’re going to truly go modern, where’s the electrification? In 2022, a truly modern vehicle should at least have a hybrid option, and preferably a plug-in hybrid. Ideally, though, there should be a BEV non-hybrid version available. And, the kick ass torque that would be possible would be awesome in a Bronco.

For the Bronco Sport, which is on the same platform as the Escape PHEV, that shouldn’t be much of a problem. Yeah, I know it’s not a real Bronco, but the Bronco styling, Bronco Sport capability (which is pretty good with the right tires), and PHEV efficiency would be a smash hit. BEV would be better, but I know that would be a completely different platform.

For the full-size Bronco, it’s on the same platform as the Ranger, which will probably come in a Lightning version if Ford is smart at all. There’s no reason to not create some electric Bronco options whenever that happens.

A Heritage Edition Bronco Lightning would sell like hotcakes, even if it was expensive. Come one, Ford. Let’s do it!

Featured image provided by Ford.

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

Jennifer Sensiba has 1780 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Sensiba