Published on November 9th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair


Ford Bronco DR Is A Baja 1000 Desert Racer

This Baja 1000 Ford Bronco DR will be available in limited quantities.

The Ford Bronco was one of the most surprising hits from the blue oval. It’s an off-road SUV that evokes the retro looks of the original Bronco and embraces off-roading as a lifestyle selling point of the vehicle.

Ford Bronco wheelie

Ford concurrently launched the Bronco Sport, a ‘softer’ and more livable vehicle. But now, they’ve gone in the opposite direction with the Ford Bronco DR.

The Ford Bronco DR is based on the full, off-road 4-door SUV but has taken it to the extreme. It’s a limited-production Baja 1000 desert race SUV that pays homage to the 1969 Baja 1000 win by Rod Hall and Larry Minor in a stock Ford Bronco.

The Ford Bronco DR will actually make its race debut next year in the 2022 SCORE Baja 1000 in Ford Performance colours. Only 50 units will be made for customers and it’s expected to go on sale in the late 2022 for around US$250,000.

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The Ford Bronco is powered by a Ford Coyote 5.0L V8 with more than 400hp on tap. The engine is mated to the 10R80 transmission from the Ford F-150 with an electronically locking front and rear differential.

Its upgrades include:

  • Multimatic Positional Selective DSSV Dampers with 80mm bodies with finned fluid cooling channels
  • billet aluminium lower control arms
  • Multimatic safety cage with OE ACCRA tubes
  • race seats
  • Motec C187 display
  • CAN data acquisition system
  • Optional cloud-based data access
  • High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension (H.O.S.S)
  • Retuned suspension for greater travel
  • BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 all-season tyres
  • beadlock wheels
  • 65 gallon (246 litre) fuel tank
  • upgraded brake pads
  • upgraded inner tie rod joints
  • resin transfer molded (RTM) fibreglass race body with same four-door Bronco frame and body structure
  • removal of a/c and glass
  • side panels replace standard doors
  • tubular metal front bumper
  • single-piece grille
  • race-focused cabin
Ford Bronco DR Prototype

About the Ford Bronco’s motorsport heritage

The Bronco desert racing portfolio that dates back to the Hall-Minor 1969 Baja win has grown over the years, as the first-generation Bronco went on to claim Baja 1000 class wins in 1967, 1969 (the only-ever 4×4 outright win ever), 1971 and 1972, plus two overall Baja 500 victories in 1970 and 1973.

Later model year Broncos, 1978 to 1995, continued the legendary winning streak with nine Baja 500 Class 3 wins from 2004 to 2015 and 15 Baja 1000 Class 3 wins between 2002 and 2019.

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The portfolio grew again last fall when Shelby Hall, Rod Hall’s granddaughter, and Penny Dale drove a Bronco Sport to win the 2020 Rebelle Rally X-Cross class, then again a month later when the Bronco R prototype competed at the 53rd SCORE-International Baja 1000.

Whereas the purpose of Bronco R was to prove out the 2021 Bronco powertrain, chassis and suspension design, Bronco DR arrives with a completely different mission – offering a turnkey racing solution for serious off-road competitors. Its entire purpose is to compete in world-class off-road competitions.

This latest Baja Bronco is a reminder of the winning classic version that won the notoriously difficult Baja 1000 two years in a row in 1971 and 1972.

It also clinched victories at the Baja 500 and Mint 400 the year after that too, with Indy 500 winner Parnelli Jones and Bill Stroppe behind the wheel on all the events entered.

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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