With the debut of the 2021 Ford Bronco fast approaching, Ford is wasting no time drawing the battle lines in its plan to crush the Jeep Wrangler and usurp it from its off-road sales throne. The latest example of this is a tweet from Michael Wayland who released an alleged quote from Ford Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley which indicates that Ford is not backing down from its long term goals for the revived off-roader.
— Michael Wayland (@MikeWayland) June 10, 2020
According to Wayland’s tweet, Farley claimed that the Bronco is “a much superior product” though it does not reveal how the Bronco manages to indeed be superior to the Wrangler. While it’s no surprise that the Dearborn based automaker is touting the abilities of the Bronco (and the Bronco Sport to a much smaller extent) it is very rare to see such a bold and direct call out coming from a very high level of management. It’s certainly no secret that the Bronco will be adopting some moves from the Wrangler’s playbook, with prior patent filings suggesting that it will have removable roof panels and doors. Perhaps part of Farley’s statement could possibly be linked to these two features, especially if Ford engineers have managed to find a way to make removing the roof panels easier than it is on the Wrangler. But these gimmicks won;t mean much if the Bronco cannot outgun the Wrangler on the trail, and while the engines powering the Bronco are still a mystery, there are rumors that suggest the Bronco will have a complex active suspension system. This system would not only do the usual things like raise and lower ride height, but also disconnect the sway bars, and allow for a “dance mode” to help the Bronco wiggle its way out of tight jams.
But the key piece of the puzzle will be how the Bronco fares in dealer showrooms. It will certainly be a unique model for the company, and as a result, dealerships will have to make sure they market and promote the model correctly for it to fully bloom into a sales force. This will also require the Bronco to have pricing that is on par with the Wrangler’s. At the moment, the Wrangler can be had for just under $30,000 with that figure netting you a base two door model. Four door models have a slightly higher base price of $32,000. A range topping Rubicon variant can easily cross the $50,000 mark so that can give Ford number crunchers plenty of room to create a pricing ladder that is competitive and flexible. Higher tier Broncos will also have to face competition from the Land Rover Defender which brings yet another celebrated off-road icon back to our shores after a very long absence.
Look for more answers to emerge this summer when the 2021 Bronco will make its debut sometime in July.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.