It’s been a bad year for wild fires as many parts of the West Coast and Colorado have suffered devastating destruction. So it only makes sense for Ford and their recently established Bronco Wild Fund to step up and help out these areas affected.
Ford has worked hard, as part of the re-launch of the iconic Bronco to make the Bronco name into a brand. So much so, that Ford now refers to it as Bronco Brand. Ford announced that the Bronco Brand and outdoor rigging company Filson were teaming up to celebrate wildland firefighters and support the National Forest Foundation, unveiling the Bronco + Filson Wildland Fire Rig concept and limited-edition outdoor gear to help fund reforestation and forest preservation.
“Ford and Filson share a unique history of helping protect our nation’s wildfire crews for more than a century and helping them access rugged areas of forests,” said Dave Rivers, Bronco marketing manager. “Today, we’re combining those strengths to support those who protect our natural resources as well as helping preserve our nation’s forests for future generations.”
The two companies will collaborate to raise funds in support of the National Forest Foundation’s reforestation programs and promote fire prevention awareness through limited-edition Bronco + Filson outdoor gear at Filson.com and via a custom Bronco Wildland Fire Rig concept vehicle inspired by vintage U.S. Forest Service Broncos and Filson’s iconic materials. The Fire Rig concept serves as a model of future firefighting rigs based on the all-new Bronco four-door.
The Bronco Wild Fund, which I wrote about recently here, will donate two Bronco four-door SUVs modeled after the Wildland Fire Rig concept to support forest firefighting crews who protect communities and defend vital natural resources.
The collaboration news comes during one of the most devastating U.S. fire seasons in history, with more than 7.5 million acres already ravaged. The Ford and Filson efforts honor the work of wildland firefighters – from federal, state, local and private teams.
Bronco + Filson Wildland Fire Rig concept
Based on an all-new Bronco Badlands four-door SUV with available Sasquatch Package, the Bronco + Filson Wildland Fire Rig concept blends rugged off-road capability and durable Filson materials to pay tribute to classic Bronco SUVs and the outdoor gear of the U.S. Forest Service.
“The Filson and Bronco collaboration was a natural fit, given the deep histories both brands have with the U.S. Forest Service dating back to the midcentury, when crews relied on the Filson Cruiser jackets and first-generation Broncos to reach remote terrain and protect them in harsh conditions,” said Doug Thielen, director of marketing at Filson. “Our resilient materials and innovative product designs are the perfect complement for the rugged Bronco SUV, and honor wildland firefighters who risk it all to protect our forests and natural resources.”
Featuring iconic Forest Service Green paint similar to the first-generation U.S. Forest Service Bronco, the concept includes a full fire skid with water tank in back and interior design elements made from classic Filson fabrics and accessories.
Up front, a modular steel bumper from Ford Performance is installed with a WARN Zeon 10s winch, while overhead, a heavy-duty custom fabricated roof rack with a RIGID LED light bar is mounted to the Bronco SUV accessory-ready points on the side mirror arms and rear J-plate. It carries firefighting equipment including a Pulaski, shovel, water tanks and axes, and is strong enough to double as a firefighter lookout. The Kimtek FIRELITE Fire/Rescue Transport skid, with Hannay Reels fire hose reel, Davey high-pressure water pump and 50-gallon water tank, is mounted in back, while a STIHL chainsaw, two hard hats, a high lift jack and Sure Seal® drip torch are latched to the skid.
Inside, signature Filson materials include tough otter green duck canvas door bolsters, armrests and seat trim surrounds, plus seating surfaces in quilted black leather inspired by Filson’s jacket lining, with embossed Bronco logo. Grab handles on the instrument panel and center console are painted in matching Filson otter green. Leveraging the utility of the Bronco bring-your-own device rack on the instrument panel, a CB radio is neatly mounted and takes advantage of the vehicle’s convenient power connection.
Fireproof ripstop nylon similar to that on Filson backpacks and briefcases is used for the bimini-style top and rear cargo area divider. The top can be opened, rolled back and secured by Filson bridle leather straps. Other materials providing long-term durability from the elements include Cerakote ceramic coating on the wheels, custom fabricated roof rack and grille, as well as inside for the center console and instrument panel trim.
The steering wheel features a Bronco horse logo plated in Filson brass, while an embroidered Filson logo is mounted to the interior top and a similar logo is applied to the center console trim tag.
There’s been so much news breaking regarding the Bronco, especially now that the build and price configurator is active. According to the website bronco6g.com, more than 500,000 builds have been done. That does not mean that’s how many will be ordered, but it shows that a lot of potential buyers are playing around with the configurator and coming up with their ideal build.
My colleague Marc Stern did an excellent story on how complex the Bronco Configurator is.
Of all the six trims (seven if you count the Limited Edition), we’ve now learned that the higher trims are more popular with consumers as Wildtrak trim (pictured above) leads the way in reservations followed by the Badlands. These are the two most-expensive trims offered for the Bronco.
And it’s not shocking to learn that consumers are adding the Sasquatch Package to their Bronco. One report indicates that nearly half of the reservations added in the Sasquatch Package.
The one thing I was most curious about was whether the four-door or two-door Bronco would be more popular. Well it seems that the four-door Bronco is preferred by nearly two-thirds of all reservations. That’s not really shocking to me, but I knew there was such excitement over the two-door version that I thought there might be more reservations for it.
The last little Bronco bite is of interest to all the enthusiasts out there, according to Ford’s U.S. Marketing Manager Mark Grueber, Ford is actually watching forums and social media to see what consumers like and still want. That’s why they added the manual transmission to the Sasquatch Package after the initial outcry. I wrote this week on how some enthusiasts were wanting a white roof, or a soft-top option and more interior color options. So will Ford add those to appease more potential consumers? The fact that Ford admits they’re watching and listening is huge.
Power to the people. Have your voice heard. I’m here to report on things related to the Bronco, so let me know what you still want to see. Leave me a comment below.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.