The war between the Jeep Wrangler and the Ford Bronco is heating up, especially as the Bronco finally makes its way to dealerships. The Bronco made waves with its optional Sasquatch package, which equipped the off-roader with 35-inch off-road tires as well as a slight suspension lift. Naturally, that put the Wrangler at a disadvantage with such a combination only being offered in the aftermarket. Jeep aims to fix that and has unveiled its entry in the tire wars, the Wrangler Xtreme Recon Package.
Xtreme Recon Package Targets Sasquatch With Massive Tires
Look at the Xtreme Recon Package, and at first glance, it might make you think you have seen this before. Like the Bronco, Wrangler’s equipped with this package are equipped with 35-inch tires. But unlike the Goodyear Wrangler tires that Ford uses, Jeep engineers opted to use BF Goodrich K02 all-terrain tires with the massive rubber being complimented by a 1.5-inch lift in the suspension. The 17×8-inch Beadlock wheels also mirror the Bronco, with Jeep engineers claiming that the whole setup benefits from custom tuning to help the Wrangler navigate tough obstacles.
All of this and more is the result of Jeep listening to the needs of Wrangler owners, which is very important since these loyalists form a very key backbone for the brand. Some undoubtedly were bothered by the Bronco offering factory sourced 35-inch tires but for many of them, not having the option to get a similar package straight out of the box was a big disadvantage when the Wrangler and Bronco were pitted head to head.
Xtreme Recon Package Delivers The Goods On Numbers
With the package boldly targeting the Bronco, the next question many people might ask is just what kind of numbers a setup like this can deliver to consumers? Jeep claims that the figures are the best in the off-road segment and beat the Bronco Sasquatch out on the trail.
- Approach angle – 47.4 degrees
- Breakover angle – 26.7 degrees
- Departure angle – 40.4 degrees
- Ground clearance – 12.9 inches
- Water fording – 33.6 inches
When viewed against the Sasquatch’s measurements, the Jeep manages to outshine the Bronco in most categories, with only break over and water fording being the two key areas where the two are very close to each other. As a bonus, the Xtreme Recon Package also comes equipped with a 4.56:1 axle ratio that further enhances the Wrangler’s ability to crawl over rocks and abrupt drops. Speaking of crawling around, Jeep also revealed that the Wrangler Rubicon can now be equipped with a 4.88:1 axle ratio, and the setup can deliver a best in class 100:1 crawl ratio when paired with the base six-speed manual gearbox.
When Can I Go All In On All These Wrangler Items?
Jeep revealed in its press release that the brand is currently taking orders for the Xtreme Recon Package as of this writing but did not reveal final pricing. A key catch that buyers should be aware of is that, unlike the Bronco’s Sasquatch package, which can be equipped to both two and four-door models, Jeep is limiting its package to only four-door Wrangler Unlimited models and the high-performance Wrangler 392. Rubicon buyers looking to add the enhanced axle ratio to their rides will get to wait a bit, with Jeep not releasing those models until later this year.
Production of the Xtreme Recon Package is slated to kick off in August at Jeep’s Toledo, Ohio plant, but the model will be making its public debut at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show on July 14th. While it appears that things are at a stalemate for the moment, it will not be that way for long with Ford engineers working on a hot variant of the Bronco. Rumors have flipped flopped on the name with Warthog and Raptor being tossed around. Ford has stayed relatively quiet on the matter, but sightings of testers out in the wild reveal that they will be equipped with bigger 37-inch off-road tires. The battle lines are hardening, and it appears that Ford and Jeep are targeting multiple fronts, including who has the best shoes in the room?
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.