Define dead. Thanks to the spammers, I get to read and re-read the threads in here on a daily basis.
I was excited about the Bronco myself.
I think Ford did a great job looking at a lot of the trends in what people do to/with Jeeps and build a compelling offer. It also seemed like they put great care into a vehicle with solid fundamentals - they were claiming some great numbers for important off road clearances for those who really were looking to take it off road instead of just give the illusion of being able to go offroad. What I found most interesting was that it originally seemed like you'd be able to get a killer alternative to a Rubicon as it looked like you could take the base model and then slap the Sasquatch package on it.
I said "was" because for me the luster started wearing off as details emerged. No MT unless you get the base engine, and then no Sasquatch with MT. So the idea of a lower priced factory trail monster is off teh table. On top of that I still prefer a SFA as well, so with the Jeep still having solid axles all around and a MT it still keeps my attention over the Bronco. Only my opinion, but it seems more like a vehicle targeted at the people who buy a Jeep, load it up with an entire catalogs worth of parts, RTT, etc, then go out on Instagram to take some pictures on like a dirt road out west and call it "offroading" rather than something I was going to have a good time with offroad here in New England. Specifically I cite the engineering article where Ford themselves point out they chose the IFS for comfort and high speed performance, which is fine but to me illustrates that this is for image first and serious off road chops as a secondary consideration. Given that Ford can bolt a SFA to their pickups just fine without ride/control issues, given that there are plenty of Jeeps running around with those Ford axles swapped on to prove that Ford's knowledge of how to set up an axle can translate to off road use cases without trouble, and given that people still buy Jeeps with solid axles and don't cry much about the ride (they know what they're getting in to...) I think this was a total cop out on their part to not figure out a SFA option to go head to head with Jeep on even ground.
It's really just preference/opinion though. They'll sell a ton of them and just like with Jeeps very few of them will ever leave pavement and thus by all practical measure it will be a success.
One thing I'm optimistic about is that Ford said they're listening to feedback and the whole MT thing sounds like it's still in flux. Fingers crossed they open up more options there over time. Another thing I'm optimistic about about is that it will provide much needed competition for Jeep in general and maybe that will open up some options (maybe a base Jeep with JUST the off-road focused add ons for those of us who want that to compete with the Sasquatch package being available across the lineup for the most part on the Ford... a man can dream).
And who knows, they put a ton of work into this thing so maybe that they made it easy to swap Ford 1-Tons in place of the existing running gear and they're just letting people banter about the suspension situation a bit before dropping some factory/dealer add-on package or for the aftermarket to figure it out and make it happen. It's certainly not impossible, every day they have F-Series running off the line and IFS and SFA co-exist in that production scenario. Probably not going to happen on the bronco, but I can dream, can't I?
So there, maybe that post gets some activity going for you.
I'm excited about the new Bronco and my wife is onboard with the idea of buying one as well. I work in a different sector of the auto industry but know the development cycle so I'm going to wait for the second year in hopes that any early production issues will get worked out and that there will be the option of a Raptor version (warthog?) above the Wildtrack. All of the rumors point to that being likely. I've also heard that Ford is taking the Jeep V8 very seriously and that they might be willing to change their plans on the 'Squatch package with the manual transmission.
I don't have any intentions of rock crawling with a $60k SUV but I do want to be able to drive quickly on rough forest service roads so the IFS works very well for me. I get why someone would want SFS, it's just not needed for me. It also seems like Ford is more in touch with the prerunner/desert racing version of offroading than they are the rock crawling aspect.
The new bronco will never compete with a Wrangler off road...the Wrangler owners that ford will steal with the new bronco are the soccer mom's and the extreme lightweight wheelers...and by extreme lightweight I mean those that think a gravel road or a dirt path is wheeling....let me say I'm ford man thru and thru...my gli is the first foreign car I've ever bought and and my Wrangler is the first non ford I've ever bought...now that I've disclosed that the Wrangler is king of off road...not to mention the aftermarket will take awhile to start spewing out stuff to make the bronco better off road....the whole door and top removal is kind of a funny thing for me because so many Wrangler owners never take their tops off....
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