2-Door Bronco Previewed to Dealers with Retro Styling, Removable Top and Doors

  1. NMBronco

    NMBronco Well-Known Member

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    People keep talking about solid front axles as if vehicles with them are somehow low-volume, niche vehicles. Here's some food for thought: Although the number of new vehicle models that come with solid front axles is small, every vehicle with a solid front axle sells well over 100,000 units per year, which is certainly high volume in the auto industry and mainstream by any measure. The Wrangler quite literally is in a class of its own. It has no direct competitors. Their sales are also literally limited by the production capacity of the plant they are built in. The Wrangler (as well as the Grand Cherokee and more recently the Renegade) is a big part of why Jeep has been one of the most successful brands of the last several years.

    The market is already saturated with crossovers and "soft-roaders," but the Wrangler is the only game in town for anyone that wants to run serious trails with a vehicle made in the last decade without ripping out the entire factory drivetrain and suspension setup out.

    I can guarantee that any "Raptor" model will never have a solid front axle. Both the existing Ranger and F150 Raptor models are marketed towards high speed desert running. If you look at the vehicles custom built for this purpose, pretty much all of them are independent front and many of them are only rear wheel drive.

    If you consider roads to campgrounds and picnic areas "offroad" then perhaps you might be correct. I kid you not, I can count the number of FJ Cruisers, 4Runners (current gen models), Tacomas, Raptors, and H3s I have ever seen on actual offroad trails on my two hands, and I run trails multiple times a month and attend some large offroad events. The H3 and FJ Cruiser were probably the closest competitors to the Wrangler in decades (especially the adventure package H3 which included front & rear lockers as well as a 4:1 tranfercase), but they frankly still weren't in the same league of offroad capability as the Wrangler and were both sales failures compared to the Wrangler.

    I have yet to see a Raptor offroad, and I live in the desert. They are too big and expensive to really be practical on trails. I guess if you just want to drive really fast on power line roads through the desert that you could navigate in a Camry at more prudent speeds, then the Raptor is the perfect vehicle for you. I have seen a lot of Raptors commuting around town though, so I suppose it is the image that sells. I am not necessarily knocking the capability of the Raptor, because it too is an offroad vehicle that is completely in a class of its own, but few people have the desire, skill, or location to use a Raptor as it was designed to be used.

    If they make it with a IFS and it has decent styling, I think they will sell well for a few years then peter out. If Ford wants an enduring success, they need to produce a no compromise hard-core offroad vehicle that competes directly with the Jeep. The 2&4 door configurations, as well as the removable top and doors make me believe the latter is the case. Jeep has had full reign of the offroad market for too long and is starting to rest on its laurels if you ask me. The current JL, while very capable, is the largest Wrangler yet in every dimension and is starting to get a bit fat for serious trail work. I think the time is perfect for Ford to release something that truly outperforms the Wrangler and really shake up the hard-core offroad market.

    Good, now go buy a Renegade or some other cute-ute and leave the Bronco for those of us who want a serious machine and not just another "me-too" grocery-getter, life-style vehicle.

    A large portion of Wrangler owners use their vehicles offroad to some extent at some point in their ownership, while there are many (possibly a majority) that just use them as daily drivers and mall crawlers. Somehow, the Wrangler appeals to, and sells well with people who do not use or necessarily want the unmatched offroad capabilities of the Wrangler as well as the compromises that go with it.
     
  2. NMBronco

    NMBronco Well-Known Member

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    And what "mistakes" would these be exactly? Twin Traction beam axles had a production span of 17 years and over 1 million vehicles, and the Twin I-Beam (the two wheel drive suspension counterpart) has been produced for over 50 years and is still available in two wheel drive F250 and F350s.

    Yes, twin beam suspensions have their quirks, but are definitely viable. They are the kings of cheap and easy wheel travel and are still popular today in the desert running/racing community. The TTB also provides trail performance very similar to a solid axle and is very simple and easy to modify.

    It seems to me that most people who talk down TTB/TIB are people who drove a vehicle with worn out/crappy parts and/or poor geometry (usually due to modifications) and were too dumb/lazy/or cheap to fix their problems. A properly maintained/setup twin beam suspension is not going to handle like a Ferrari or necessarily ride like an old school Caddy, but they certainly aren't the ill-handling widow-makers or tire destroyers people like to make them out to be.
     
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  3. Husker

    Husker Active Member

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    We visit our kids serval times a year that live up in the mountains of Colorado...I happen to have a couple vehicles that do just fine off the beaten path, including side-by-sides for fun in the snow or whenever, Great family fun for the kids and the grandkids!
    Even one of my Wife’s Subaru’s does remarkably well off the beaten path. Please don’t preach to me or suggest what I should or should not do with my money. Thank-U!
     
  4. BroncoMike

    BroncoMike Well-Known Member

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    Well, you DID say you were "out" if it had a solid axle - so by your own statement, that covers what you should not do with your money. NM is probably just trying to be helpful with suggestions on what to do with all the money you save... well, that, and move up in line when the order banks open.

    Having driven solid-axle vehicles a good portion of my life - daily commuters and cross-country vacation wagons - there isn't a single thing that intimidates me about buying a new one if the opportunity presents itself. The problem with ride quality is that it is so subjective - each person has his or her preferences. A friend of mine traded in her '18 Rubicon for a '19 JL Moab - she can't stand how soft and plush the ride is on the new machine. Jeep made substantial changes to things under the JL, and it works impeccably. No, it doesn't ride like an Explorer, but holy crap - it's good, worlds better than the JK. My guess is IF Ford decides to do a solid axle, the JL ride will be their metric to beat. And the causal buyer - the type you describe in your other post - most won't know the difference between a solid axle and independent, nor care unless it drives remarkably poorly on their test ride.

    If you haven't yet, take a moment to stop by a Jeep dealership and drive a JL. I think you'll be pretty much amazed at the ride quality, it may change your mind on what to think of a Bronco *if* they decide to equip it with solid axles. Better yet, we could all stop speculating (myself included) and wait until the Bronco comes out and judge based on how it actually rides on whatever they bolt underneath it!
     
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  5. Stampede.Offroad

    Stampede.Offroad Well-Known Member

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    There are advantages and disadvantages to each, but I think Ford already picked the mechanical architecture out long ago; as well as what engines and transmissions will be available for the first couple years of production.

    Most Anticipated Bronco Info You Need To Know

    If we took OCT 2020 as a theoretical production/delivery start, that puts us just over 18 months away -- maybe they could change what colors of paint will be available, some interior finish materials, tire models, or something else small and interchangeable -- but whether the axles will be straight or independent ... too late. Even the little stuff needs specifications fixed and orders placed months in advance. Most of Ford's suppliers aren't just sitting around twiddling their thumbs with production lines idle and waiting for Bronco parts orders.

    At this point the delay and secrecy isn't helping Ford build hype/anticipation, it's just souring the mood among people who are very eager for some version of the Bronco to arrive. I would bet that they're eager now to dose out the info in ways that are strategically advantageous to future sales.
     
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  6. BroncoMike

    BroncoMike Well-Known Member

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    Apologies, I incorrectly used the future tense as if they hadn't made that decision yet. Clearly such isn't the case; there were technical drawings and RFPs sent out quite some time ago, contracts negotiated and awarded, deliverables agreed upon, tranches and schedules printed, third-tier suppliers consulted, etc. Absent a second (more likely third) year production change, what's going underneath is largely a done deal at this point.

    I trust their marketing people have an ideal curve for announcement, teasers, release, and on-sale schedules, but certain variables change the math - witness the begining of the publicity, when UAW spilled the beans before marketing would have liked.

    Since too many of us have the attention span of a seven-year old, when the shiny new car hits the dealerships, all will be fogotten or forgiven if the product meets or exceeds individual expectations.
     
  7. JAG

    JAG Well-Known Member

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    #37 Mar 29, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
    I just hope Ford has some surprise options like user controlled MagneRide or limited slips with an e-locker.
     
  8. Jimmy

    Jimmy Member

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    Considering the electronic rear axle lockers are common options for the F-150 (3.55/3.73) and the new Ranger I do not believe the new Bronco will be without.
     
  9. OX1

    OX1 Well-Known Member

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    How many brand new coil spring TTB's have you owned. I had 2, and they were horrible from the get go.
    Alignment is a disaster and many times changes, just from backing up. Forget getting down the road
    with a lot of weight in the rear. Massive toe changes.

    The only one that seemed decent was a 95 4WD F250 I had, but that was D50
    (D60 hubs and brakes) with leaf, so susp couldn't travel enough to cause all the normal problems. It
    did ride substantially better than comparable F350. Since it was my tow rig at the time,
    I didn't care much how it was offroad.
     
  10. JAG

    JAG Well-Known Member

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    #40 Mar 29, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
    I have an F-150 with the e-locks, problem is, it’s not limited slip when the locks aren’t engaged, in winter weather conditions, this is a bitch 9 times out of 10.
     
  11. BroncoRevital

    BroncoRevital Well-Known Member

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    Your first statement is all I'm referring to. I never said they were bad or not viable. I had three Bronco's with them and they were fine for how I used them. My one complaint was how often I had to make alignment adjustments. Maybe I was cheap and call me lazy if you want but a solid axle would have made that issue easier and cheaper to deal with.
    It was a great idea and worked great as daily driver but for a trail rig ( not desert racing ) I feel the consensus was it would have been better to just have a solid axles.
    I feel like they tried too hard to make a compromising system that just would have worked better for off-road tails with the old tried and true. I guess "mistakes" was the wrong word to use. Didn't mean to trigger anyone.
     
  12. JAG

    JAG Well-Known Member

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    I think all NM is trying to say is a dialed in TTB was a pretty nice thing.

    You had three Broncos with TTB that were lackluster, that’s all that really needs to be said. The last Bronco was produced 20+ years ago, if you think they can’t improve the technology over 20+ years, then you shouldn’t have any interest in what’s being produced.

    I think some are getting to spun around the axle :p
     
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  13. Jimmy

    Jimmy Member

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    I Understand... Unless a 4wd is IN 4wd it is not doing much unless there is a mechanical locker like GM or Dodge/Jeep. Former NEO guy, 3x there in my existence. Plenty of icy driving on 480-271...
     
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  14. JAG

    JAG Well-Known Member

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    Preach! I grew up in Grand Lake area on an 83 Cutlass without Posi, didn’t know what traction was until I was already a man, by then it was confusing. ;)
     
  15. 007-FJC

    007-FJC Member

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    LOL I've owned 4Runners and still do and I own a FJ. Don't kid yourself, Toyotas have earned their hardcore offroad creds. You really have no idea what you're talking about. The FJ Cruiser and 5th gen 4Runner debuted crossing the Rubicon trail! Youtube is literally flooded with brand new 4Runners doing awesome hard core trails! You really should keep your opinions to yourself since you really have no idea what you're talking about. Just because you personally haven't seen it doesn't mean they're not popular offroad. Come to California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and you'll see these in full force doing what they're designed to do. Look at Australia where 4x4 is life and necessary driving plenty of Land Cruisers, Prados, Hilux's, Rangers and other IFS trucks predominantly off-road. Now allow me to school you with some footage of IFS Toyotas laughing at your statement. SFA isn't Necessary at all.

    Heres a 4th gen 4Runner and a 3rd gen Taco running "picnic" rubicon trail


    Lightly modded 5th gen 4Runner on the Rubicon


    A FJ, 2 3rd gen 4Runners picnicing on boulders


    Heres a couple of FJs boulder bashing in the rubicon


    A bunch of FJs and a 5th gen 4Runner in Moab


    Heres an unmodified suspension Land Cruiser Prado which we get in the USA as a Lexus GX doing some picnic trails
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltYbEg-bryw

    Heres a big 8 seater Land Cruiser 100 back to back with a solid axle swapped taco with tons of tractions not giving an F
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hORPtI9C12g

    The big daddy Land Cruiser 200 yanking a trailer offroad through an intercontinental trip
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIgeMcCDLzU

    If you need more proof, Youtube it yourself.
     
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