2021 Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport to offer three grille designs

Jonathon Ramsey

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Ford Authority credits "sources familiar with the project" for new tidings about the 2021 Ford Bronco. It's said that at launch, Ford will offer three grille designs to alter the personality of the SUV, which FA refers to as "Modern," "Classic" and "Custom." The default option will be Modern, which we saw in leaked shots of the four-door Bronco from March. This has the perforated metal or plastic plate with Bronco in illuminated letters across the front, the light graphic extending on both sides into the middle of the headlights.

The Classic grille casts its hook down memory lane, FA describing it as "a nod to the Bronco's past." We'll assume this means the first-gen Bronco, since that's what this entire project is fundamentally about. That first-gen grille looked like it had more holes than metal and often came in white, contrasting with the body color. If this is the template for a modern interpretation, we'll look to see if the updated version replaces the word "Bronco" with the word "Ford" in between the headlights, and whether designers put turn signals on the grille. It's possible the Classic could pull from the second-gen Bronco, which lasted all of two years and was fronted by an unadorned, straight-up grid pattern that veered into an egg crate design, but that feels like a wasted opportunity. That grille picked up a Blue Oval badge in its center for the third generation.

The Custom is said to be a fancy option with a "more shiny and upscale look when compared to the other two." That sounds like code for "chrome" to us, but who knows. The Bronco has a history with the word "Custom," though, the base trim of the second-gen truck called the Bronco Custom, fitted with round headlights, the upper trim being the Bronco Ranger XLT, fitted with square headlights.  

Ford Authority says the Escape-based Bronco Sport crossover will also get three grille choices, with Modern the default, as seen in leaked images. The Bronco II lasted but one generation, giving us little to work with for guesses about Classic and Custom options.

It's not clear if grilles will be tied to certain trims, but that would be our assumption. Even with the choice, the front end we're really looking for is the modular grille shown in a Ford patent from 2019, with a mount for different faceplates wired to be able to run "a plurality of electric devices" such as an integrated light bar, a power point, a spotlight, a heater, a winch, turn signals, an active grille shutter, a brush bar with integral lighting, a lighted integrated step, or an emergency vehicle communication sensor for traffic light control.

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