As the future looms larger and scarier each day, so the demand for retro design seems to increase exponentially. Porsche has now made two Heritage Design Edition 911s, Land Rover is still selling old V8 Defenders and even Ferrari has looked to the past with the 296 GTB and its 250 LM-inspired look. So it only seems right that the Ford Bronco, with its design absolutely intent on evoking the original, should further accentuate those cues with a nostalgic throwback spec.
These are the Bronco Heritage Editions and Heritage Limited Editions (they’re really going for it, clearly), available in every bodystyle Ford offers - two-door, four-door and Sport - for the 2023 model year. “With these new Heritage and Heritage Limited editions, we’re paying respect to Bronco’s roots with nods to some of the signature design cues from the first-generation vehicle, while continuing to build the Bronco Brand with more special editions that our customers want” said Mark Grueber, Bronco marketing manager. Which sounds like one of the more fun car jobs if you can come up with these.
Of course, the colour palette is tremendous, including Robin’s Egg Blue, Yellowstone Metallic, Race Red and Peak Blue. All colours come with an Oxford White roof, grilles and wheels, because nothing says retro like white accents against a sea of cars black packed to invisibility. Interestingly, too, all Heritage Broncos get the wider track and arch flares of a Sasquatch spec car for a bit of visual attitude; those white wheels are 17-inch diameter with ‘dog dish centres’ and a white lip ‘for more retro flare’. Ford hasn’t shown the interior yet, though more white accents are promised, along with plaid cloth seats and ‘exclusive front and rear floor liners.’ It really is like 1966!
It’s hard to talk about Bronco engines without getting bogged down in the minutiae of a range with a million derivatives, so bear with. The Heritage Edition is available with the 300hp Ecoboost 2.3, paired with either seven-speed manual or 10-speed auto gearboxes. The butch body of Sasquatch spec also means High Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension with long travel Bilsteins, 35-inch Goodyear mud tyres and Dana locking axles. Not just a retro paint job, then, which is nice.
The Heritage Limited Edition (keeping up?) gets all the bits of a Badlands Bronco, including the 330hp 2.7 turbo V6. The more junior Bronco Sport Heritage gets smaller wheels and less power from a 1.5 Ecoboost, and perhaps doesn’t carry off the retro overhaul quite so successfully, but is at least something different in a sea of very similar SUVs. “These Heritage Editions are every bit as important to Sport as they are for the rest of the Bronco Brand and we think the iconic themes from the ‘60’s work perfectly on this vehicle” is how Grueber puts it.
Ford will build 1,966 of each Heritage Edition, as 1966 was the original launch year, and means there will actually be quite a few of these made. Little surprise, really, given the insatiable demand for both Broncos and old-school styling. Officially, the Heritage Editions start at $34,245 for the Sport (its Heritage Limited is $44,655) then $44,305 and $66,895 respectively for the Bronco Heritage and Heritage Limited - whether Ford dealers in the US will sell them for that remains to be seen. Then we can all think about a Raptor Heritage, right?
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