Ford announces Bronco will be a brand, not just an SUV

We knew there would be a new Bronco. In fact, we knew it was even going to have a little brother. What we didn’t know was that “Bronco” would be its own comprehensive sub-brand.  

Obviously, it consists of the vehicles themselves, confirmed to be the 2021 Bronco two-door and four-door, plus the Bronco Sport compact crossover. You can get a taste of those in the teaser image above before they’re officially revealed July 13 at 8 p.m. Eastern. However, they will exist on their own island within the Ford sea and satisfy a specific ethos of “Built Wild,” a sort of mixture of Ford trucks‘ “Built Ford Tough” and Jeep’s Trail Rated designation.

Unlike Ford’s current crossovers and SUVs, the “Built Wild” Broncos will have undergone elevated torture tests in the lab, proving ground and real world; come standard with four-wheel drive and a terrain management system; and have the “confidence to go over any type of terrain.” Each will also share a common design language separate from other Fords and offer more opportunities for personalization.

Now, to clarify, they will officially be called the “Ford Bronco” and “Ford Bronco Sport,” but there will be a Bronco emblem on the front rather than a Blue Oval. Think Mustang rather than Lincoln. Or, within the off-roader realm, a Land Rover Range Rover rather than a Jeep or Ram.

However, there is more to creating a brand (or sub-brand, really), than introducing some new models. To that end, there will be four Bronco Off-Roadeos, described as “off-roading and outdoor adventure playgrounds” intended for drivers of all experience levels. Basically, they’re off-roading driving schools, not unlike the Land Rover Experience. Their locations are still to be announced, but the events are said to be starting next year.  

There will also be Bronco Nation, an online community devoted to the brand and new models. It will technically be independent of Ford, which seems like a sound legal decision given the inevitable reality of internet forums. And of course, there will be Bronco merchandise. Lots and lots of Bronco merchandise, which Ford has already made available for sale on Amazon.

In total, Ford seems to have borrowed a little from Jeep, a little from Land Rover and a little from itself to create something that’s new, distinctive and reasonably authentic. Of course, we still need to see that actual Bronco trio to really know how successful it is, but at least we only have a week now to wait.