Ford Bronco R set for Baja return with eyes on success

In the SUV's first go, it didn't make it across the finish line. This time, Ford wants a different outcome.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
Ford Bronco R

It's back, y'all.


The Ford Bronco R, the off-road, race-ready version of the upcoming SUV, will return to the Baja 1000, the automaker announced Friday. It comes after a disappointing DNF result last year, due to aftermarket parts failing through the daunting race. It's not easy to race Baja, and Baja bested the Bronco last year.

Not only will the Bronco R return looking for glory, but will make a statement running a second, production Bronco model. The company will enter a 2021 Bronco Outer Banks variant in the race as well and it will be interesting to see how it handles the tough Mexican off-road race. It's not clear if it will have any performance modifications for the race, but both the standard Bronco and Bronco R will run the twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 and 10-speed automatic combination, Ford said. The production SUV will also sport the beloved Sasquatch Package.

The Bronco R returns with an upgraded version of the production SUV's High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension System and a redesigned rear suspension just for racing duties. Fox racing shocks with front and rear bypass dampers will help absorb the long-travel action required of the racing SUV.

While Ford obviously hopes for a better ending to the Baja story than last year, both SUVs serve a grander purpose in 2020. The automaker plans to perform final validation for the production SUV's Baja mode, part of the Management System. What better place to validate the drive function than the race the feature's named after?

Ford Bronco R takes on the Baja 1000

See all photos
Watch this: 2021 Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport first ride: Dirt kings