Illinois-based Gateway Bronco is bringing the first generation of Ford’s emblematic off-roader into the 21st century. The company unveiled a resto-modded Bronco called Luxe-GT that looks just like the original model but features a long list of comprehensive mechanical updates.
Developed and tested in Australia, the Luxe-GT looks almost exactly like the Jeep CJ rival that Ford released for the 1966 model year when viewed from the outside. Eagle-eyed car-spotters will notice that it wears modern LED headlights, a new-look front bumper, and flares on the wheel arches. It’s a completely different story beneath the body, where nearly every component has been redesigned to 2023 standards.
While the modern-day Bronco isn’t available with a V8, the Luxe-GT is exclusively offered with eight cylinders. Power comes from a 5.0-liter V8 sourced from the Ford parts bin and bolted to a 10-speed automatic transmission. That’s the same engine you’ll find in the F-150, among other vehicles. It spins the four wheels via a full-time all-wheel-drive system, and Gateway Bronco notes that it designed the Luxe-GT with performance it mind. “We consider it to be equivalent to the Porsche  GT3 for sport SUVs,” the company boldly claimed in a statement.
Hitting 60 mph from a stop takes 5.3 seconds, a figure which puts the Luxe-GT in the same league as modern hot hatches like Volkswagen’s Golf GTI. For context, the straight-six-powered 1966 Bronco accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 21.2 seconds, according to Motor Trend.
Handling wasn’t one of the original Bronco’s main selling points, and it sounds like a tremendous amount of work went into the Luxe-GT. It’s built on a new chassis that’s stiffer than the original truck’s, its body has been structurally reinforced, and it offers crumple zones on both ends. Gateway Bronco notes that it also lowered the SUV’s center of gravity. Driving aids such as electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and electronic traction control should ensure that the Luxe-GT drives like a current-day SUV rather than like a vintage off-roader.
It should feel like a modern car from the driver’s seat, too. The list of available features includes a push-button ignition, an Apple CarPlay-compatible touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, and a rear-view camera. Soft-close doors and a soft-close tailgate are offered as well.
The catch? Pricing starts at $400,000 excluding options, so the Luxe-GT lands in the same price bracket as many supercars. Production is limited to 25 units a year, and Gateway Bronco notes that it has already taken 12 orders since unveiling the Luxe-GT in Monterey, California.