Ford has explained why its new Bronco is highly unlikely to be offered with the brand’s familiar 5,0-litre V8 engine.

While Jeep looks set to give its Wrangler V8 power, Ford is seemingly not going down that road.

Eric Loefller, chief engineer on the Bronco project, told Muscle Cars and Trucks strict emissions regulations would likely mean no eight-cylinder option (from the factory, at least) for the reborn off-roader.

“We have to manage the CO2 implications of the product. The way the federal requirements are now it’s all shadow area [footprint] based. If you look at the shadow area of a small off-road vehicle, it has a pretty high target from a government perspective in terms of CO2,” Loefller explained.

He added the flagship 2,7-litre EcoBoost V6 used in the Bronco would satisfy customer desires in terms of output. At the reveal of the new model, the Blue Oval brand said this engine was “projected to produce” 231 kW and 542 N.m.

Jeff Seaman, Ford global programme manager, echoed these sentiments.

“If the customer experience was significantly enhanced with a Coyote engine, it would have been under serious consideration. In all honesty, that EcoBoost motor is damn good and when you get out of it you don’t say, ‘I wish I had a bigger engine’,” Seaman said.

As the publication points out, there’s likely a Raptor-badged Bronco on the horizon, with rumours pointing to Ford’s twin-turbo 3,0-litre V6 as the powerplant of choice.

As a reminder, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa earlier confirmed to CARmag.co.za there were no plans to build the Bronco in right-hand-drive form, effectively ruling out a local introduction any time soon.