Ford previewed the 2021 Bronco by entering a purpose-built, high-performance prototype in the 2019 edition of the Baja 1000. The super-SUV is scheduled to race in the 2020 event, again backed by the Blue Oval's official team, and one of the company's top executives revealed it could later end up in the hands of privateer racers.
"If there's interest, we'll look into it. We've done that with our Mustang, and even our GTs," explained Hau Thai-Tang, the company's chief product development and purchasing officer, in an interview with Muscle Car & Trucks.
Ford explained the Bronco R (pictured) is production-based, but it uses several Baja-specific parts. It was developed to compete in the Class 2 category, which gives manufacturers a high degree of freedom. We haven't seen the Bronco R variant that will race in the 2020 Baja 1000 yet. It might look a little bit different than 2019's racer, since there's no need to hide the design now that the production model has been unveiled, but most of the technology under the body (including the twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engine) is expected to carry over.
If the project receives the proverbial green light for production, the first privateer-bound examples of the Bronco R could be ready in time for the 2021 edition of the Baja 1000. Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but it will undoubtedly cost considerably more than the street-legal truck, which starts at $28,500. For context, the GT350R-C-based Mustang GT4 developed by Ford and Multimatic Motorsports costs approximately $225,000.
Alternatively, the Baja Boot built by New York-based Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (SCG) is also eligible to race in Baja's Class 2; it beat the Bronco in 2019. Thrill-seekers can tackle the desert in it for $287,500.
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