Ford Bronco's Off-Road Race Debut Didn't Go Well

Nov 29, 2019 by Martin Bigg

The Ford Bronco has already been defeated.

Next spring, Ford will finally unveil the long-awaited reborn Bronco that will battle the Jeep Wrangler. To give us an early preview of the rugged off-roader, Ford revealed the Bronco R Prototype off-road racer earlier this month, which shares the same platform as the road-going version. Built as a tribute to the Bronco that Rod Hall and Larry Minor drove to victory in the 1969 Baja 1000, the Ford Bronco R Prototype was entered in the 2019 Baja 1000 last weekend. Unfortunately, the Ford Bronco's off-road racing debut didn't go too well as it failed to finish.

The next Bronco is expected to offer class-leading capability, but the brutal conditions of the Baja 1000 proved too much for the off-roader. To be fair, more than 100 out of the 264 vehicles that entered the event failed to finish this year's Baja 1000. Just keeping your vehicle in one piece during the 1,000-mile off-road race is an achievement.

"The @SCOREintl #Baja1000 is one of the most grueling off-road races in the world - why we consistently test our latest off-road trucks in its conditions," Ford Performance wrote on Twitter. "We're disappointed to not finish this year, but will continue to test & improve the #FordBroncoR. See you next year!"

It isn't clear what forced Ford to retire from the race, but the team had to fix a broken skid plate and control arm according to Tweets posted by Ford's Mike Levine. The Bronco R Prototype was one of two entries in the Class 2 competition along with the Glickenhaus Scuderia Cameron Boot. Unlike the Bronco, the Baja Boot successfully conquered the grueling off-road race in 33 hours, 59 minutes, and 13.9 seconds. Ford must be fuming.

Inspired by the 1960s Baja Boot of the 1960s, the Glickenhaus Boot packs a General Motors LT4 V8 that produces 650 horsepower. Best of all, there's also going to be a road-legal version with 460 hp on tap as well as a four-wheel independent suspension with 19 inches of travel and 37-inch all-terrain tires. Initially, the Glickenhaus Boot will be sold as a two-door model, but a larger four-door version is also coming. The two-door version will cost around $250,000 while the four-door will cost $275,000.