“Innovating the off-road landscape and competing with Bronco’s higher-speed off-road abilities have always been at the core of Bronco brand’s heritage,” said Dave Rivers, Ford SUV marketing manager. “Our new Bronco 4600 racers underscore our motorsports heritage and how the all-new 2021 Bronco can be tuned from the showroom floor to compete in the grueling ULTRA4 stock class series.”
Like the first-generation Bronco that took the 1969 Baja 1000 outright, the new Bronco 4600 starts with a 2021 Bronco two-door SUV with stock powertrain running on a competition-tuned High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension (HOSS) System.
“Bronco 4600 underscores how ready the all-new Bronco is for competition and how Ford Performance is committed to driving the brand’s success across multiple off-road series,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “We look forward to off-road racing teams coming to this platform and to Ford Performance stepping up to continuously enhance the state of the art in off-road racing for them.”
Testing of Bronco 4600 begins later this month, with the race vehicles going on to run this year in ULTRA4 alongside factory-backed Bronco 4400 series race vehicles also revealed at King of the Hammers in Johnson Valley, California.
Built on a 2021 Bronco two-door with Sasquatch Package, Bronco 4600 utilizes a production 2.7-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6, SelectShift 10-speed automatic and second-generation T-6 chassis. It will serve as a testbed for a growing list of Ford Licensed Accessories and Ford Performance parts alongside the independent performance aftermarket, the company said.
Taking queues from the Bronco R Race Prototype that ran the 2019 and 2020 Baja 1000, the Bronco 4600’s competition-tuned high-performance off-road stability suspension features Fox coilover shocks with remote reservoirs and Fox pneumatic bump stops at all four corners. It also features Wilwood Engineering brakes and 35-inch BFGoodrich mud-terrain T/A KM3 tires mounted to Method Race Wheels 202 Forged Beadlock wheels.
Heavy-duty front portal hubs from 74 Weld are mounted to Triton Engineering control arms with heavy-duty Howe hydraulic steering rack with cooler. A factory Dana AdvanTEK e-locking differential with RCV custom halfshafts deliver front-wheel torque. In back, Triton Engineering rear links support a Dynatrac ProRock XD60 axle with an ARB 35-spline Air Locker and Spidertrax Spider 9 axle shafts and hubs. Ford Performance supplies modified front and rear modular steel bumpers and a Warn ZEON winch, while RIGID LED off-road lights improve night vision. A custom roll cage by Geiser Brothers and first-ever FIA off-road-certified race shells from Recaro are added inside.
Bronco 4600 series teams feature a lineup of off-road racing veterans, including Fun-Haver teammates Vaughn Gittin Jr. and two-time King of the Hammers champion Loren Healy. In addition, a Bronco 4600 will be driven by teammates Jason Scherer, a three-time King of the Hammers champion and Bailey Cole, seasoned racer in ULTRA4 and Score Baja 1000 winner in class. A third Bronco 4600 race team includes Brad Lovell, who has won championships in ULTRA4, and his brother Roger Lovell, a professional engineer who has used his talents in off-road design and also has multiple off-road racing wins and championships.
Bronco 4600 race vehicles feature a new livery leveraging factory 2021 Bronco colors – Race Red, Oxford White and Velocity Blue. The front design takes inspiration from the 1969 Baja 1000-winning Bronco, with matte black hood, plus white upper and red lower body lines that transitions into a more modern Bronco design scheme extending rearward.
“Our new ‘war paint’ scheme tells the Bronco race story. Up front is chapter one that traces back to the victorious 1969 Bronco, then, as you travel along the side, the lines get more diagonal, more futuristic, signaling the future of the brand,” said Scott Guan, Bronco designer.
The hood sports a white Bronco logo. Like Bronco R Race Prototype and Bronco Sport Rebelle Rally SUVs, Bronco 4600’s “R” in the grille is distinctly red.