Jeep and Ford take the Wrangler and Bronco’s rivalry to the next levelby Sidd Dhimaan, on LISTEN 06:52
After dominating the off-roading niche for decades together, the Jeep Wrangler finally has a true-blue competitor in the form of the new 2021 Ford Bronco. The revived Bronco came out all guns blazing to step up to the apex predator of the segment. The companies have been trying to go one-up against their respective rival, but it still seems to be as close as ever.
Jeep has made a move once again by coming up with an Xtreme Recon package for the Wrangler. This takes the off-roading capabilities to the next level, just like the Sasquatch Package does for the Ford Bronco. To quote from George Villiers’ play from the 17th century - “Ay, now the Plot thickens very much upon us.” Indeed!
What Is The Wrangler Xtreme Recon Package?
Jeep has announced it will introduce a new Xtreme Recon Package for the Wrangler in July at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show. It will come with stuff like:
- 17-inch Beadlock-capable Wheels
- 315/70 section 35-inch BF Goodrich KO2 All-terrain Tires
- 4.56:1 Axle Ratio
- 1.5-inch Factory Suspension Lift with Uniquely Tuned Shocks
Jeep Wrangler Xtreme Recon Package vs Ford Bronco Sasquatch Package
Ford introduced a Sasquatch package for the Bronco when it introduced the off-roader. The Sasquatch Package includes:
- 1.2-inch Suspension Lift-Kit
- Higher-Mounted Fender Flares
- 17-inch Beadlock-Capable Wheels
- 315/70 section 35-inch BSW Mud-Terrain Tires
- Dana Front and Rear Locking Axles
- An Electromechanical Transfer Case
- Heavy-Duty Position-Sensitive Bilstein Shocks
- 4.7:1 Final Drive Ratio
- Two-inch Wider Track
Jeep noted that the off-roader will also be available with a new 4.88:1 axle ratio for the Rubicon starting later this year. When paired to the six-speed manual gearbox, it will offer a best-in-class 100:1 crawl ratio.
This could swerve the momentum in the Wrangler’s favor because it essentially kills the advantage the Bronco had over the Wrangler when equipped with the Sasquatch Package. The Bronco can be had with a seven-speed manual gearbox, six of which are the standard gears and one is a crawler gear. Despite this, it offers a 94.75:1 crawl ratio. The Wrangler Xtreme Recon’s 100:1 crawl ratio trumps it and will make maneuvering over rocks and boulders a little more effortless. The 4.88:1axle ratio, when it arrives, will also make it better than the Bronco’s 4.7:1 final drive ratio.
The only thing we still don’t know yet is the price of the Xtreme Recon package. The Sasquatch Package is priced at $4,995 for the Base model, but the price reduces as you move up the ladder ($4,200 for Outer Banks, for instance). It even comes as standard on the Wildtrak trim. Jeep could price the Wrangler’s Xtreme Recon package around the same price.
Xtreme Recon Package vs Sasquatch Package Angles and Dimensions
Both, the Wrangler Xtreme Recon Package and the Bronco Sasquatch Package come with 17-inch wheels and 35-inch tires from the factory. But, Jeep’s package features a 1.5-inch lift kit whereas the Bronco’s Sasquatch comes with a 1.2-inch lift kit. This slight increase has given Jeep an advantage over the Bronco as it boasts of better angles when compared to the Bronco.
The Wrangler Xtreme Recon Package comes with an approach angle of 47.4 degrees, a breakover angle of 26.7 degrees, and a departure angle of 40.4 degrees. The Bronco Sasquatch, on the other hand, boasts of an approach angle of 43.2 degrees, a breakover angle of 26.3 degrees, and a departure angle of 37 degrees.
The Wrangler Xtreme Recon Package sits 12.9 inches off the ground and has a water fording capability of 33.4 inches, whereas the Bronco Sasquatch Package has a ground clearance of 11.5 inches, 1.4 inches less than the Jeep, and 33.5 inches of water fording capability.
The Wrangler and The Bronco Have Been At Each Other’s Throats Since The Beginning
It all started with Ford announcing the Bronco’s revival and the off-roader being leaked all the way up until its launch. There was enough known about it by then to know that it will pose a threat to the Wrangler. Then, hours before the launch, Jeep did the unthinkable, something which enthusiasts have been craving for years now – introduce a V-8 Wrangler. This move worked wonders because the Bronco had everything going in its favor except for the fact that it didn’t come with a V-8. The automaker later confirmed it is not happening in the future either.
Initially, Ford introduced the Sasquatch package only with the 10-speed automatic gearbox, much to every purist’s dismay. Such was the outcry that a petition started doing rounds to offer the Sasquatch package on the seven-speed manual gearbox. Fortunately, Ford heard the pleas and decided to offer it with the three-pedal gearbox as well. Had Ford not rectified this then itself, it would be in trouble now as the Xtreme Recon is offered with the manual gearbox, too.
Jeep countered another one of Bronco’s moves recently. The Bronco comes with wing mirrors mounted at the edge of the hood and not the A-pillar or the doors so they don’t go off with the removable doors or roof.
The Wrangler's mirrors come out with the doors; so Mopar began selling a side-view mirror kit for it recently. Now there’s the Xtreme Recon Package. We wonder what’s next.
Will The Xtreme Recon Package Be Available On All The Wrangler Models?
Sadly, no. The Xtreme Recon Package will be available only on the Wrangler four-door Rubicon and the Wrangler 392.
The Wrangler Xtreme Recon Package will go into production in August at the company’s Toledo Assembly Plant in Ohio. The 4.88:1 axle ratio will be available for ordering later in 2021. We’ll be able to see the package in flesh on the Wrangler at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show on July 14, where it will be revealed alongside the new 2022 Jeep Compass. The auto show will be open to the public from July 15 to July 19. Timings are 0900 to 2200 hours every day, except for the last day when the show closes at 2000 hours.
If there isn’t much of a price difference between both the packages, which off-roader will you pick – the Wrangler Xtreme Recon Package or the Bronco Sasquatch Package? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.