It took 20 years for the Ford Bronco to return to the market. So it’s not surprising Ford is putting in so much attention to the details of its final production version. This includes features and technology that are not available to its rivals such as the Jeep Wrangler.
The Wrangler, however capable it is, has a few problems Ford claims to have corrected in the new Bronco.
In an interview with Muscle Cars & Trucks, Ford Global Program Manager Jeff Seaman shared how the Blue Oval provides the solution to a problem that has been bogging down its rival, particularly in the removable roof department.
Removing the hard roof on a Wrangler, Seaman said, was “the most awkward, awful experience of my entire life. I cracked one the first time I did it. It’s awkward, it’s horrible, and you need two strong people to take it off.”
While his words may be slightly exaggerated, there is no denying that the 140-pound heft of the roof makes it difficult to remove. And the fact that it cracked, which Seaman attributes to the design’s tendency to fall over, can lead to a potential $2,000 bill for repairs and replacement.
Engineers of the 2021 Ford Bronco took advantage of this weakness to equip the Bronco with a lighter roof and add an intermediate panel so it’s possible to keep the rear panel short. This, according to Seaman, lessens the propensity of the panel to tip over.
He added that the Bronco’s side mirrors, unlike the Wrangler’s, are mounted to the cowl instead of the doors, allowing customers to do away with the removable doors without losing the mirrors at the same time.
All things considered, the new Ford Bronco is a tough competitor to the Jeep Wrangler, at least on paper. It still remains to be seen how the off-road-ready SUV will perform as it takes its sweet time before reaching dealerships.