Now that know for sure that Ford is pretty serious about going after the Jeep Wrangler with is revived Bronco 4x4, we have some detailed suspension photos that confirm much of what we surmised based on early photos of road-going prototypes.
What we saw last week led us to believe that Ford was going with an independent front and solid axle rear suspension setup, which these photos confirm. We got more shots of the solid rear end than the front with this batch, so we'll dive in there.
The rear end sports a solid axle with coil springs and struts. There are no leafs here, which makes sense, given the departure angle needs of a short-wheelbase 4x4. What at first blush appeared to be leaf spring shackles are actually brackets for the Bronco's trailing arms, which mount to the axle just forward (and slightly inboard) of the lateral link (a Panhard rod in this instance).
While we're back here, we'll go ahead and point out the rear bumper cut-out to make room for the full-size spare, which isn't too remarkable by itself. This particular mule also has an integrated hitch receiver and built-in recovery loop.
The clear shot we have of the front suspension confirms the independent setup, which appears to sport aluminum lower control arms. Whatever trim this is, the front anti-roll bar appears to be fixed.
There are some interesting bits elsewhere, too. The roof, for example, appears to be an elaborate disguise rather than a cover for an actual body panel (or convertible top). In one (admittedly grainy) photo, there are supports visible above the Bronco's built-in cage structure that appear to be supporting the bulging camouflage where the prototype's roof should be — good news for those who want a removable roof; bad news for those who hoped the odd shape was disguising some sort of pop-top tent setup.
There are some other odds and ends too, including some strange camouflaging near the mirrors, which we can't definitively explain. We suspect that if the doors are removable, Ford will need a mechanism for owners to relocate the side mirrors, but we can't quite make that notion dovetail with what we're seeing here.