Spied: possible Bronco mule seen testing in Detroit

JAG

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It’s been pretty much confirmed they don’t want an exact “wrangler” copy.

Would you like the rumored 7spd manual and rumored eco boost V6 swapped out for a 6 spd manual and naturally aspirated V6 to match the “wrangler”?
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Stampede.Offroad

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The problem is that we don't even know that Ford intends for the Bronco to compete with the Wrangler. They have only ever used subjective descriptions of it's intended capability.

No numbers, no goals, no "better than X", just vague marketing fluff.
 

OX1

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It’s been pretty much confirmed they don’t want an exact “wrangler” copy.

Would you like the rumored 7spd manual and rumored eco boost V6 swapped out for a 6 spd manual and naturally aspirated V6 to match the “wrangler”?
Manuals have their place these days, but it is mainly for driver involvement.
They really don't do anything better than today's auto's, excepting maybe
not creating a lot of heat during severe offroading.

But no, I wouldn't care if it had a 6 or 7 speed manual, unless that 7th gear
was going to be a 5:1 or better creeper, with 2nd gear still usable for taking off on the street.
Nice to have that much gear available sometimes, without going to low range and/or 4WD.

And the ECO's are great, I've owned 5 so far, but their throttle response, especially on
and off the throttle quickly, is dismal.

I'd highly prefer a small V-8, even something as small as a 4.0, OHV. It makes life offroad
so much easier not having to deal with FI heat and the mandatory high octane it requires.
(no intercoolers right out in front to get jammed full of mud either).

That engine, with possibly a PD blower option (since they don't suffer any throttle response loss, can
use remotely located air to water IC's, and don't only make top end power like centrifugals)
on very high end models (or offered as a kit), would be my top preference (and yes, I know
it is not going to happen).

What I don't understand is why Ford has not pressed harder for electric turbos (or anyone hasn't).
They could have their eco's, in all their glory, with zero lag and TR loss. I guess with full electrics
right around the corner, why bother.
 

Stampede.Offroad

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But no, I wouldn't care if it had a 6 or 7 speed manual, unless that 7th gear
was going to be a 5:1 or better creeper, with 2nd gear still usable for taking off on the street.
Nice to have that much gear available sometimes, without going to low range and/or 4WD.

And the ECO's are great, I've owned 5 so far, but their throttle response, especially on
and off the throttle quickly, is dismal.

I'd highly prefer a small V-8, even something as small as a 4.0, OHV. It makes life offroad
so much easier not having to deal with FI heat and the mandatory high octane it requires.
(no intercoolers right out in front to get jammed full of mud either).

...
We can only hope that Ford does actually intend the Bronco to compete with the Wrangler, and part of the delay has been to make sure it contains the physical components necessary to do that, and not get laughed at when they try to advertise it as such. That certainly seems to be what the public expects.

I agree with you completely on the usefulness of a manual -- to best serve the market segment the Bronco is presumably aimed at, one of those ought to be a "granny" gear that gives you plenty of grunt without going into low range, and lets second gear handle the normal street take-off. On the practicality of a 'small' V8 over any typical Ecoboost for heat management and throttle response off road too.
 

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I would prefer the manual transmission and naturally aspirated V6 options, for the reasons stated. I'm worried about eco-boost engines and the turbo-lag.

Has anyone wheeled a GM in 4low? Everyone of them (save maybe the Hummer H2, but I've on wheeled it for a short time) has horrible throttle response. With Chevy, it's not a matter of forced induction but rather the engineers wanting "peppy" throttle response. In other words, you give it a little throttle and the torque is right there...NOW.

That's really cool for the street and jumping at the green light on stoplights, but horrible in a 4wd where you want maximum control for crawling over the boulders. Because of this, GM has a nasty 1-2 shift in 4-Low and when asking the forums about it, pretty much the only response I get is "Just shift in 4-low for the obstacles than shift out. Don't stay in 4-low".

That's horrible advice when you are wheeling in Moab or trying to ascend/descend switchbacks in the Colorado San Juans. You should be in 4-low almost all day.

So I'd hope if we are forced to have a Bronco with forced induction, they've figured out a way to make the torque application slow, relative to your pressing the throttle. I want control on the rocks. With a manual, I can just ride the clutch if the throttle response sucks (and 3-pedaling is more fun), but I'd hope the automatic is capable also.
 

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I would prefer the manual transmission and naturally aspirated V6 options, for the reasons stated. I'm worried about eco-boost engines and the turbo-lag.

Has anyone wheeled a GM in 4low? Everyone of them (save maybe the Hummer H2, but I've on wheeled it for a short time) has horrible throttle response. With Chevy, it's not a matter of forced induction but rather the engineers wanting "peppy" throttle response. In other words, you give it a little throttle and the torque is right there...NOW.

That's really cool for the street and jumping at the green light on stoplights, but horrible in a 4wd where you want maximum control for crawling over the boulders. Because of this, GM has a nasty 1-2 shift in 4-Low and when asking the forums about it, pretty much the only response I get is "Just shift in 4-low for the obstacles than shift out. Don't stay in 4-low".

That's horrible advice when you are wheeling in Moab or trying to ascend/descend switchbacks in the Colorado San Juans. You should be in 4-low almost all day.

So I'd hope if we are forced to have a Bronco with forced induction, they've figured out a way to make the torque application slow, relative to your pressing the throttle. I want control on the rocks. With a manual, I can just ride the clutch if the throttle response sucks (and 3-pedaling is more fun), but I'd hope the automatic is capable also.
I see what you are saying, also good points. Really shows how different terrain needs different wheeling styles.
Only wheeled in Co. once, but seemed much drier than Pa, no moss on the rocks, etc...

I was looking at it just the opposite, sometimes you are crawling right until the point you need an instant HARD bump
and not getting it either hangs you up or in extreme cases you roll or slide back severely. At that point, turbos don't
work and slow TR doesn't either.

My coworker is tuning his Avalanche right now, tons of stuff to tune TR and trans (auto), so
I don't see overactive TR being as large an issue, as it can be tamped down/tuned out.
It's much harder to get lazy TR due to an engine combo, that will never have crisp TR.
 

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Ox1, I think we agree, I just explained myself poorly. With a properly tuned accelerator, you can get that hard bump just by giving it more throttle instantly. Naturally aspirated Jeeps wheel this way, so does a Land Rover, and Toyota (Land Cruiser is all I've really wheeled). I agree, I'm not sure you can get that "bump" you are looking for waiting for turbos to spool up. Maybe I'm wrong and Ford has some magic-sauce? But it seems like it would be a tough challenge to give you the play required in your accelerator pedal for total control on the rocks, snow, mud, sand, etc, and at the same time deal with turbo lag.
 

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I use roads in my wrangler that have technical sections that require 4lo and crawling for maybe a couple hundred feet, and then the next 5 miles is 15-25mph rock and dirt forest road. I shift from 2hi to 4lo often in that scenario. The wranglers still have a manual transfer case which makes it quick and easy. My transfer case is 4:1, and I have 4.10:1 gears in my axles. The 1st gear in my transmission is 4.46:1. That's 73 rotations of the transmission input shaft to get one revolution of the wheels. It's great for crawling. Most jeeps never crawl, so the standard 2.72:1 transfer case in non-rubicons is great for them. They also usually have 3.23 or 3.73 gears in the axles.
 

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Maybe I'm wrong and Ford has some magic-sauce?
I'd say it's even worse. Now that "turbos" have massive low RPM torque spikes, right after the lag, means you have a huge bump
in power, about a second after you wanted it.
 

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Looks multi-link and no noticeable camber and/or camber changes in different pics.
Hope it's 3 link and trac bar with 3rd link nice and long, IE torque arm.
 

Stampede.Offroad

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What I'm seeing is a pair of short trailing links, probably paired with a Watt's. Tucked between the link and the wheel is the shock.

Thinking about the shock and its angle, does this picture show a blacked out shock with an external piggyback resevoir (or just wishful thinking)? Cocked forward of the rear axle by ~15 degrees? There don't appear to be any shocks mounted where the Ranger's would be.
 
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Toyhoarder

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I hate to further the speculation, but I’m not convinced there’s a solid axle out back. Seems like an awfully small pumpkin and if you closely at the left side from the rear it looks like a cv axle shaft not a solid axle tube.

Surely Ford wouldn’t build us a trailing arm/radius rod irs setup like a Polaris rzr xp would they?
 

Stampede.Offroad

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I hate to further the speculation, but I’m not convinced there’s a solid axle out back. Seems like an awfully small pumpkin and if you closely at the left side from the rear it looks like a cv axle shaft not a solid axle tube.

Surely Ford wouldn’t build us a trailing arm/radius rod irs setup like a Polaris rzr xp would they?
The axle in this might be the Ranger's. The diff is pretty small, and has a very smooth lower profile. There were some other close ups of the skirted axle that show it better.

If it were like a high performance side by side that would be pretty awesome, but it would be quite expensive to implement for a 2-ton vehicle and require some compromises I don't think the average consumer would be interested in.
 

LordVokk

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NMBronco,

Sorry haven't visited the site in a few days.

2 clarifications:

1) I said "95% of Wranglers sold will see" in my post, and you are correct, I flubbed the typing, "Wranglers" should have been "SUVs".

2) As far as lost sales, what I meant was that if you look at alternate sites (for example Consumer Reports) people that test drove a Jeep Wrangler and didn't end up buying one stated 2 main reason, safety and right quality. I don't know what SUVs you have driven lately, but if you compare a Wrangler to say most all other SUVs, the only one that is similar in ride (for the same reason) is the Toyota 4Runner.
I drive a lot of different vehicles, currently a Grand Cherokee, and there is no comparison on ride quality between it and a Wrangler. Wrangler also suffers ride quality issues in a the weird way: Perception. The top of the line Wrangler, actually is the 'worst' ride because it is the most off-road capable. Most vehicles are the opposite, the higher the trim-level/cost the better the ride.

You are talking out your rear. Do you have any citations on evidence to support these claims?

Jeep is not at a loss for Wrangler sales by any measure. Wrangler sales are limited by production capacity at the Toledo plant. In fact, Jeep was looking to move Wrangler production to another plant, but somehow the toledo plant/city of toledo convinced Jeep to keep wrangler production there (although Gladiator production will be at the same plant as the new Dakota.

As far as 95% of Wranglers only seeing "potholes" that is untrue. Maybe for you urbanites living in suburbia, but out west people wheel the tar out of their Jeeps. Literally the third JL I ever saw was already modified and running decent trails at Sand Hollow in Utah. Go to any offroad event (Jeep Safari, All 4 Fun, Chile Challenge, Jeep Jamboree, etc.) and you will see literally hundreds, and in the case of the Jeep Safari, thousands, of new Jeeps out running some serious trails. Even outside these venues, JKs, and soon to be JLs, dominate the trails. Yes, they are great offroad vehicles, but the simple fact is that Jeep hasn't had a serious competitor since the Samurai and FJ80s were last produced.

As for your claim about ride quality, Jeeps ride as nice as any other midsize SUV, and are more than adequately comfortable for daily use. They certainly ride better than the 3/4+ ton trucks that many people daily drive and are sold by the hundreds of thousands.
 
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