Ford continues to perfectly execute the Bronco launch (or is it a relaunch?). When the two-door, four-door and Bronco Sport were unveiled earlier this summer it was met with so much universal praise.
Enthusiasm for the first edition versions of these three different Broncos was so high it shut down the order bank temporarily. And really, Ford has not lost momentum yet when it comes to the Bronco. Their marketing and publicity for this icon has been on point.
One of the underlying promotions for the Bronco has been what Ford calls “Built Wild”. This clever slogan might be the next “Built Ford Tough” type of moniker. And now Ford announced several concept versions of the two and four-door Bronco and even the Bronco Sport to showcase the hundreds of variants of accessories available for the Bronco.
In honor of Bronco’s 55th birthday, Ford celebrates the unprecedented response to the all-new Bronco and Bronco Sport rugged SUV models with the reveal of five new adventure concepts showcasing factory-backed accessories that make personalization easier and more affordable. Bronco, Ford’s new outdoor brand, also announces the first Bronco Off-Roadeo location and a return to Baja 1000.
“Our dream for Bronco was not just to design a family of vehicles people would love, but to build a community around people who love to go off-road and get into the wild, who want to customize and personize their Broncos, and share experiences with each other,” said Jim Hackett, Ford president and chief executive officer.
Bronco adventure-inspired concepts
Expanding on the Bronco family’s Built Wild innovative design and capability pillars, these five adventure-inspired concepts further highlight the brand’s readiness for customization at launch. Beyond the standard options, there are more than 200 available factory-backed accessories for Bronco two- and four-door models, and more than 100 accessories for Bronco Sport models. Special concept prototypes include:
• Bronco Four-Door Outer Banks Fishing Guide: Purpose-built to support a professional fishing guide along Cape Hatteras National Seashore, this lifestyle concept is based off the regionally inspired four-door Bronco Outer Banks™ series. On top is a Bestop Sunrider first-row soft top, factory-style concept roof rails and crossbars, and a Yakima LockNLoad Platform roof rack. The SUV makes use of fender-mounted trail sights to fit a custom-made fishing pole and seat perch to wait for the perfect catch. A Ford Performance modular front bumper and safari bar help push through rugged terrain, while a slide-out tailgate provides a great work surface when repairing fishing rods or stringing up new lures. All-weather floor mats and splash guards round out the package.
• Bronco Two-Door Trail Rig: Designed to be the ultimate hardcore trail rider, this custom build is based on the two-door Badlands series. It begins with a Ford Performance modular front bumper, tube doors, beadlock-capable wheels and 40-inch RIGID LED lightbar. A Ford Performance by WARN winch helps rescue your lesser-equipped 4x4 friends. On top, factory roof rails are augmented with a Yakima Platform roof rack system with mounts for a shovel, and Ford Performance by WARN recovery kit and recovery boards. Inside are rugged floor mats and a rear swing-gate-mounted table.
• Bronco Sport Trail Rig: For adventurers looking to elevate their off-road trekking in a small, rugged 4x4, the Bronco Sport Trail Rig amps up the Badlands series model by adding 31-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 tires, a one-inch lift kit, plus Ford Performance by RIGID LED off-road lights mounted to a front nudge bar. On top, a Yakima LockNLoad Platform roof rack and off-road gear mounts are designed to carry gear like a high-lift jack kit, Ford Performance recovery boards and jerry cans.
• Bronco Sport TOW RZR: TOW RZR matches the added passenger comfort and technology features of the Badlands series with towing and cargo accessories to help adventurers haul more outdoor gear. The custom build adds Yakima HD Bar crossbars and OffGrid medium cargo basket and Class II Trailer Tow Package with 2,200 pounds of capacity to tow off-road runners like the all-new Polaris RZR XP Turbo 1000™, unveiled today as part of the Bronco birthday celebration.
• Bronco Sport Off-Roadeo Adventure Patrol: Designed for the upcoming Bronco Off-Roadeo customer adventure playgrounds, this Bronco Sport Badlands build is equipped to assist in the wild with its Yakima LockNLoad Cargo Platform to hold recovery gear like a high-lift jack, recovery boards and jerry cans. A Ford Performance by RIGID off-road LED lightbar also mounts to the rack system. To support one of many Off-Roadeo excursions available, this Bronco Sport is equipped with the interior bike rack from Yakima to hold two mountain bikes. And to record customers’ adventures, it integrates a target to land the drone that will be used on-trail at Off-Roadeo locations.
Austin, Texas, is Bronco’s first Off-Roadeo location
The first of four Bronco Off-Roadeo locations will be in the hill country of Austin, Texas. Opening next summer, the Bronco Off-Roadeo is available to Bronco two- and four-door and Bronco Sport Badlands series owners to get the most adventure out of their rugged SUVs and to build connections to the greater Bronco community. The off-roading and outdoor adventure playgrounds are designed for all skill levels, with experiences that aim to build confidence and inspire Bronco owners to get out in the wild for years to come.
“Getting into the wild is at the core of Bronco brand, and our first Bronco Off-Roadeo location in Austin, Texas, will help fuel Bronco fans’ quests for outdoor adventure,” said Mark Grueber, Bronco brand marketing manager. “At each of our four Bronco Off-Roadeo locations, we want owners and enthusiasts – even those who are off-road novices – to have as much fun as off-road pros and we want to provide them with knowledge and experience to make their future Bronco adventures even greater.”
Bronco R returns to Baja 1000 this fall
Bronco R’s attitude, reflecting the most extreme flavor of Built Wild DNA, is set to return to the SCORE Baja 1000 this year. The race prototype build by Ford Performance and Geiser Performance continues to serve as test bed for the brand’s innovative design, capability and extreme durability testing.
Bronco R leverages the all-new Bronco four-door’s chassis, twin-turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine, 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission and electronic shift-on-the-fly 4x4 transfer case. It features an extreme race version of the high-performance off-road stability suspension with independent front, position-sensitive shocks, end-stop control plus ultra-high-speed desert race tuning. Participation in the brutal off-road competition is part of the Built Wild Extreme Durability testing – a series of demanding tests to ensure all Broncos deliver the highest levels of performance, durability and capability to every owner.
Ford is the Official Truck and SUV of SCORE-International Off-Road Racing and lead sponsor of the SCORE World Desert Challenge Series, which includes the 2019-22 SCORE Baja 1000 races. Ford is also official vehicle of the King of the Hammers ULTRA4 series. Together, they underscore Ford’s commitment to off-road motorsports and serve as a platform to develop the Bronco brand and connect with off-road enthusiasts.
An unprecedented reveal
Customer response to the reveal of the all-new Bronco rugged SUVs has been unprecedented in Ford history, with more than 165,000 people placing $100 deposits for orders online in the first three weeks and more than 13 million tuning in on television or watching on social media platforms to catch a glimpse of the highly anticipated new models.
Within hours of the July 13 reveal, #FordBronco dominated social media platforms, trending to the top conversation on Twitter in the U.S. As the top Google search request, it helped drive more than 5.4 million visitors in the first 48 hours to the Ford.com website to learn more and place reservations. There have been more than 19.5 million total visitors to date.
By the following day, all of the 2,000 limited-run Bronco Sport First Edition models were spoken for. By the following day, all of the 2,000 limited-run Bronco Sport First Edition models were spoken for. Same for the Bronco two- and four-door First Edition models, which increased production to 7,000 units.
What say you? On a scale of 1-10 where is your excitement and enthusiasm for the Bronco? Some of my fellow auto journalists already got to drive the Bronco and I am totally jealous of them. I wrote recently about how the Bronco Sport, but not the bigger Bronco was a Utility of the Year finalist. It’s still a shame the bigger Bronco missed the deadline for consideration as it might’ve won the coveted North American Utility of the Year. Maybe next year it will be considered and win!
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.