There's One Thing The Ford Bronco Will Never Get
At least from the factory.by Jay Traugott
We love everything about the all-new 2021 Ford Bronco. It's everything we hoped it'd be and much more. Well, almost everything. There is one thing we'd still like to see offered, a V8 engine. It's not like Ford is lacking them. What's stopping the Blue Oval from stuffing the Mustang's Coyote 5.0-liter V8 under the Bronco's hood? An engineering problem? Lack of consumer demand? Neither. Muscle Cars & Trucks recently spoke to Ford Global Program Manager Jeff Seaman and Bronco Chief Engineer Eric Loeffler about the V8's status and, well, the answer is not ideal, though not entirely unexpected.
"We have to manage the CO2 implications of the product. The way the federal requirements are now it's all shadow area (footprint) based. If you look at the shadow area of a small off-road vehicle, it has a pretty high target from a government perspective in terms of CO2," said Loeffler.
He also emphasized that customers, regardless of the number of engine cylinders, simply want outright horsepower and torque, as well as good fuel economy figures and overall capability. This can all be accomplished with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 with 310 hp and 400 lb-ft of twist.
"If the customer experience was significantly enhanced with a Coyote engine, it would have been under serious consideration," said Seaman. "In all honesty, that EcoBoost motor is damn good and when you get out of it you don't say, 'I wish I had a bigger engine.'"
A V8 option would also see Ford hit with unwanted emissions fines.
Looking ahead, the all but officially confirmed Bronco Raptor will boast even more power than the current V6 model as it's expected to get the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 where, in the Explorer ST, produces a solid 400 hp and 415 lb-ft. A Bronco hybrid is also in the works and is likely to be even more powerful than the Raptor variant thanks to having the same engine along with an electric motor.
Those who still truly desire a V8, and we're sure there are many, will be left with one option: the aftermarket. And chances are, someone somewhere will unveil a Coyote V8-powered Bronco conversion package.