Ford Takes a Page Out of Jeep’s Playbook; Will Launch the 2020 Bronco With Tons of Accessories Available
The Jeep Wrangler should start looking over its shoulder real soonby Kirby Garlitos, on LISTEN 06:58
The return of the Ford Bronco is a big deal to everyone who has fond memories of the nameplate. Turns out, eager-beaver customers aren’t the only ones gearing up for the Bronco’s arrival in 2021. Aftermarket company and longtime Ford running mate Yakima is already hard at work developing post-production bits and accessories for the returning off-roader.
It may seem strange that a company existing outside of the Blue Oval umbrella already has access to something as important as the Bronco’s developmental plans, but for those who are unfamiliar, Yakima and Ford have a shared history that includes the tuner building accessories for several Ford models, including the Ranger pickup. So with the Bronco’s arrival on the horizon, Yakima’s already in its own lab creating all the aftermarket goodness future owners of the off-road SUV would possibly want in their rides.
Ford’s involvement in the aftermarket world is well-documented.
The Blue Oval has many partnerships with several tuning companies that it’s hard to keep track of how many of them there are.
We know about Roush Performance based on all the kitted-out Mustangs we’ve seen over the years. We know about Mountune, too, and all the work it’s done with Ford and the automaker’s performance and racing divisions. German tuner Yakima admittedly doesn’t get as much shine as Roush Performance and Mountune, but rest assured, the tuner is a household name in its home soil, at least as Ford owners in Germany are concerned.
Perhaps it’s a lot more than that, too, when you take into account the news that Yakima, which specializes in cargo accessories, is already building numerous add-on parts and equipment for the upcoming Ford Bronco. We don’t know the full extent of Yakima’s aftermarket parts menu for the 2021 Bronco — that’ll be revealed next year when the off-road SUV makes its own world debut — but perusing through some of the two companies’ previous collaborations reveals a great deal of what we can expect from Yakima when the Bronco makes its highly anticipated debut in 2020.
Specifically, let’s talk about the all-new 2020 Ford Explorer SUV. As one of the world’s most popular SUVs, it’s only right that a company like Yakima has an aftermarket parts and equipment portfolio that’s dedicated to the three-row SUV. That’s exactly where we are in that regard.
The tuner has a range of options available, including roof-mounted bike racks, cargo trays, and perhaps a foldable awning that will also be mounted on the roof.
Scattered bits and pieces like panel guards and crossbars should also be available once Yakima unveiled its full lineup of parts and accessories for the upcoming Bronco. Heck, don’t be surprised if the Bronco is also available with season-centric equipment, specifically the type that can be used during the wintertime. Without knowing the full scope of information, we’re confident that future owners of the Bronco will have plenty of aftermarket equipment to choose from. Yakima will be one of those tuners and, if you look at it from a historical perspective, the German tuner has so far lived up to its name and reputation.
All of this is important, too, at least in the context of the upcoming 2021 Ford Bronco.
The nameplate, which hasn’t been around since 1996, is set to make its grand return to the off-road SUV scene sometime next year, ahead of its actual market release in 2021.
The SUV’s two-decade absence has given rise to a cult following of sorts as more and more fans have become attached to the “Bronco” name. While part of that attachment may be tied to the infamy that comes with the Bronco nameplate, an even bigger part of that attachment revolves around the significance of the Bronco name to Ford’s past, and now, future.
Take the nameplate out of the equation and the new sixth-generation Bronco is a mid-size SUV that will sit below the aforementioned Explorer in Ford’s SUV lineup. The full spec of details surrounding the new Bronco hasn’t been revealed, but important information has come out that paints an intriguing picture of the new Bronco. Numerous reports, for example, have said that the new Bronco will be based on the Ford Ranger.
That could include the pickup’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline-four cylinder engine that produces 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.
The engine is parked with a 10-speed automatic transmission, which, in turn, sends power to all four wheels of the SUV. Since the new Bronco and the equally new Ranger will reportedly share a platform, it’s not unreasonable to believe that the two models will also share the same engine and transmission.
It’s no secret, too, that part of Ford’s motivation in bringing back the Bronco has a lot to do with the success Jeep has had in the market with the Wrangler off-road SUV. It’s not hard to connect the dots here. The Wrangler is one of Jeep’s best-selling models in a market that continues to thrive throughout the years. Ford, on the other hand, hasn’t gotten as much traction in that niche segment, partly because it doesn’t have a dedicated model that competes directly against the Wrangler.
But Ford’s making up for lost time because that’s where the Bronco comes into the picture. And as you might expect, Ford’s not bashful when it comes to mimicking all the appealing elements of the Wrangler, including the possible availability of a two-door Bronco to complement the bigger four-door Bronco. Granted, this isn’t a slam dunk model, at least not yet. But there have been discussions, and when it comes to discussions involving the Bronco, they usually lead to something.
The other interesting bit — or bits, I should say — about the upcoming Bronco are the removable doors and roof. Raise your hands if you’ve seen this feature before? Yep, the Jeep Wrangler has this feature. It’s one of the off-road SUV’s most appealing features. You can remove the hardtop roof and the doors, and then store them in the trunk as you go about your off-road adventures.
Ford hasn’t shared details on what kind of setup it’s working on for the Bronco, but patents submitted by the automaker earlier this year revealed that the Bronco could use something along the lines of a roll-out mesh roof or soft top to substitute for the hardtop once it's removed.
A mesh piece would allow air to come into the cabin while blocking out sunlight. The same patent images also show a cloth top that could be deployed behind the vehicle, creating something of a makeshift tent in the back.
Ok, so none of these rumors and reports are final. A lot of things can still change between today and the Bronco’s expected debut in 2020. But for what it’s worth, a lot of companies are already working on setting the table for the off-road SUV’s eventual arrival. That includes German tuner Yakima. It’s already hard at work developing and building aftermarket parts and accessories for the Bronco so that when the model is ready for primetime, Yakima’s right there with all of its aftermarket goodies in tow.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Ford Bronco.
Read our full review on the 2005 Ford Bronco.
Source: Muscle Cars and Trucks