Ford is taking its iconic Bronco to the Chinese market as the carmaker applies for a sales license, with production set to commence in China by 2024 at the latest. However, there will be some intriguing differences between the Chinese version of the Bronco and the one currently available in the United States and Europe.
Manufactured through the Jiangling Ford joint venture, the Chinese Bronco will feature some unique design elements, setting it apart from its Western counterparts. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in China has unveiled photos of two four-door Broncos, suggesting that a two-door variant may not be offered in the Chinese market. Additionally, these vehicles exhibit variations in wheels, bumpers, and fender extensions, which could indicate distinct trim levels.
One of the most notable distinctions in the Chinese Bronco is the ‘Ford’ lettering on the radiator grille, positioned just above the ‘Bronco’ lettering but rendered in a different font. Furthermore, the Chinese version displays Chinese characters on the tailgate.
According to MIIT, the Chinese Bronco measures 189-190 inches (4,800-4,825 millimeters) in length, 81.5 inches (2,070 millimeters) in width, and 78.3 inches (1,990 millimeters) in height, boasting a wheelbase of 116.1 inches (2,950 millimeters). While these dimensions slightly differ from the US-spec 2023 Bronco, keep in mind that proportions may vary based on equipment such as wheels and fenders.
Reports from local media suggest that the cabin of the Chinese Bronco will remain consistent with the US version. However, any potential changes in trims and display sizes will only become clear when the SUV becomes available for sale.
Under the hood, Chinese customers will find a turbocharged 2.3-liter engine produced in China by the Changan Ford joint venture. This powerplant is capable of delivering 271 horsepower (275 PS) and 336 lb-ft (455 Nm) of torque, deviating from the output and torque figures of the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine available in the American market, rated at 300 horsepower (304 PS) and 325 lb-ft (441 Nm). Moreover, the Chinese Bronco is expected to be paired with a locally manufactured eight-speed automatic transmission instead of the ten-speed gearbox.
The Ford Bronco is slated to begin production in China in 2024 and is anticipated to hit the market with a starting price of 300,000 yuan ($41,222), as reported by Car News China. This strategic move will help Ford circumvent local taxes, which currently place the Bronco at more than double that price in the Chinese market, ranging from 700,000 to 1.2 million yuan ($96,187 – $164,892).
Despite its relatively prohibitive pricing, Ford has managed to sell 80,000 Broncos in China during the first six months of 2023, highlighting the strong demand for this rugged SUV. Additionally, Ford plans to expand its production in China by adding the Ranger pickup truck to its portfolio, with production expected to commence by the end of the year.