The Ford Bronco returns, with an Outer Banks edition

2021 Bronco Outer Banks Edition. [Photo courtesy Ford]

Ford this week unveiled the 2021 Bronco in seven editions, including one with a familiar name: the Outer Banks model.

The all-4×4 Bronco brand returns with heritage-inspired style, engineering and smart off-road technology, “plus innovative features to help outdoor enthusiasts create adventures in the most remote corners of the world,” Ford said in a news release.

“We created the Bronco family to elevate every aspect of off-road adventure and equipped them with class-leading chassis hardware and exclusive technologies to raise the bar in the rugged 4×4 segment and take people further into the wild,” said Jim Farley, Ford chief operating officer. “They’re built with the toughness of an F-Series truck and performance spirit of Mustang – and come wrapped in one of the most stunning and functional off-road designs that’s true to the original Bronco design DNA.”

The first models will arrive at Ford dealerships in the spring of 2021, but you can reserve yours now with a $100 deposit. The new Broncos, in two-door and four-door models, start at just under $30,000.

Like the first-generation Bronco, nicknamed G.O.A.T., the mission of the all-new 2021 Bronco is to deliver maximum 4×4 go-anywhere, anytime capability. Bronco incorporates off-road mapping and drive technologies to give novice adventurers as much fun as hard-core off-road experts, Ford says.

Up to seven driver-selectable modes are offered including Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand, with Baja, Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl for off-road driving. Two 4×4 systems are offered on all Bronco models, a base setup and advanced 4×4.

The Bronco Outer Banks edition is considered the luxury model, with trim comparable to the Jeep Wrangler Sahara, according to Car & Driver. It features LED lighting, heated front-row bucket seats, and in the mid-package, dual-zone climate control, remote start, and Ford’s Co-Pilot360 active-safety features.

“The Outer Banks will be recognizable by body-color door handles, mirrors, fender flares, and powder-coated tube steps, and it sits on 18-inch wheels wrapped in 255/70 all-terrain tires,” Car & Driver writes.

Ford first introduced the Bronco in 1965 as a 1966 model. The original Bronco features included a CB radio, an auxiliary gas tank, a power take-off, a winch and a post-hole digger.

The Bronco continued production for the next 30 years, growing from a compact SUV to “eventually share height and width specs with the Ford F-150,” the company said.

The new Bronco will be a mid-size SUV manufactured at the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, which is the same plant where the 1966 through 1996 models were built.

“Similar to the first-generation model, Bronco’s square proportions, short overhangs and wide stance are optimized for off-road adventure,” said Paul Wraith, Bronco chief designer. “The side profile features a flat, no-nonsense surface with clear-cut edges and robustly flared fenders. Large, open wheel wells are a modular design with a quick-release attachment for simple customization.”

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Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at [email protected]