Ford Bronco Riptide Showcases West-Coast Surfing Lifestyle
As the iconic Ford Bronco begins making its return to dealer lots as well as to customers who have impatiently been waiting decades, all the talk has been about the delays due to the roofs. My colleague Marc Stern wrote about problems with the molded roofs and how that would delay deliveries.
With orders for the Bronco (in both two-door and four-door variants) expected to exceed 100,000, the interest and anticipation is palpable. Ford has done a good job of rebranding Bronco into a lifestyle, not just a vehicle.
The Bronco brand’s outdoor lifestyle brand is called Built Wild and there’s a healthy aftermarket growing around it. Last year, Ford partnered with Filson to create a Wildland Fire Rig Concept Bronco.
Today, Ford announced a new concept Bronco, aimed at the West Coast surfing lifestyle.
Bronco Riptide Vehicle
The Bronco Riptide project vehicle is designed for spontaneous outdoor adventures. With the roof off, doors removed and replaced with tubular doors, and surfboard rack and boards above, there is plenty of open air for the fun and sun to shine in.
The Velocity Blue exterior is meant to evoke tropical ocean hues. With durable marine-grade vinyl-trimmed seats in Black Onyx and Dark Space Gray and rubberized washout flooring, the Bronco Riptide custom vehicle never shies away from a carefree day at the ocean shore.
“For this Bronco Riptide project, we imagined a customer who enjoys the open air and a free-spirited West Coast lifestyle,” said Missy Coolsaet, Bronco color and materials designer. “We wanted the vehicle to demonstrate how Bronco customers can personalize their vehicle, letting different types of customers visualize what they might want to do with their future Bronco.”
Based on the 2021 Bronco four-door with Sasquatch Package for even more Built Wild capability, the Bronco Riptide vehicle features 35-inch mud-terrain tires mounted to 17-inch factory wheels with optional Ford Performance beadlock rings, Dana AdvanTEK electronic-locking front and rear axles, a high-clearance suspension system with Bilstein position-sensitive long-travel shock absorbers, plus exclusive Bronco Terrain Management System with seven G.O.A.T. Modes designed to help ensure Bronco goes over any type of terrain.
The vehicle showcases many Ford accessories available to retail customers at their dealer at time of purchase. Bronco customers can add the cost of factory- and dealer-installed accessories to their financing and roll it into their monthly payment. Accessories used on Bronco Riptide include a Bestop mesh Bimini top, a Yakima bike rack with Santa Cruz mountain bikes, and a RIGID LED lightbar and mirror-mounted off-road lights. In addition, a unique prototype front steel bumper gives the Bronco Riptide project vehicle added Built Wild durability and capability.
Like the two Almond surfboards inspired by surfers and craftsmen of all varieties, the Bronco design team came up with two prototype crossbars that are bolted to the sport bars to show how overhead racks can be easily mounted without interfering with the soft tops.
Bronco Modular Design Conducive For Customization
The aftermarket companies will love the almost infinite ways customers can customize the Ford Bronco. This is intentionally designed by Ford’s engineers. This is the vision Ford had with the new Bronco Brand of vehicles.
And the Riptide Vehicle is just the next in line for such customization. It’s all thanks in part to the Bronco’s modular design.
“Thanks to the Bronco modular design, we were able to outfit the vehicle with adventure gear that allows for freedom and versatility,” said Coolsaet. “Whether heading off to the mountains or along the California coast, the Bronco Riptide custom vehicle is ready for adventure.”
Related story: Aftermarket supplier debuts Bronco HQ.
We've covered a lot about the aftermarket companies that are offering customized options for the highly-anticipated Ford Bronco here at our Torque News Bronco exclusive page. How will you customize your Bronco? What mods will you make? Leave me your 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.