Powersliding A Ford Bronco On A Rally Stage Looks Like All Kinds Of Fun


Ford has a solid rally car history. Cars like the Escort, Sierra Cosworth and Focus reinforce Ford’s legacy of international rallying. In fact, Puma has just continued on the company’s winning streak by winning in its competitive debut.

But Ford’s rally success isn’t just in Europe. Keep in mind that the first generation Bronco bagged wins in desert racing from the mid 60’s to early 70’s. The Bronco returned to the competition a few years ago with some success. So does that mean the production model has what it takes to handle the rally stage? The folks at Team O’Neil Rally School answered that question recently.

Tim O’Neil’s series, Will It Drift, has seen various cars follow the school rally track. From minivans, old Corollas, and even a Charger patrol car, Team O’Neil manages to glide across the ground. And this time, they put the Bronco Badlands to the test.

First impressions are good, but the lack of a mechanical handbrake makes it a touch challenging. The Bronco also defaults to understeer when the setting is left untouched. They also noted the difficulty of finding the tachometer in the vehicle sub-menu.

Turning off stability control and traction control helps somewhat. They also lower tire pressure to “remove the lead” and widen the contact patch. That said, activating the rear locking differential makes it even worse.

After a few more adjustments in vehicle settings, they’re running the timed stages for Bronco Badlands. The Bronco appears to be well behaved at high speed snow driving despite its size and weight. It also responds well (for trucks) in trail braking. The Bronco finally finished the track in 2:17.12, about three seconds slower than the Subaru WRX. Overall, it’s impressive considering its disproportionate size and weight to a rally-breed Subaru.

So yes, the Bronco Badlands will unite. Tim O’Neil also notes that the SUV is fun and safe if you decide to run it on an amateur rally track. It won’t win any speed records, but it’s competent enough to do the job.


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