The Resurgence of an Icon
In the realm of off-road adventure vehicles, the 2021 Ford Bronco first edition, making a thunderous comeback after a 15-year hiatus. Laird Noller Automotive proudly houses the coveted First Edition, marking my third encounter with this revamped legend. The first two—a 2-door base model with the Sasquatch package and a 4-door Outer Banks model—each had its charm, but the First Edition has carved a unique space in my heart.
Craving the Uncommon
As an ardent admirer of the Bronco, my desires lean towards the extraordinary. The Ford Performance Bronco Raptor, the Wildtrak, or the Everglades model could easily make it to my wish list. However, the pinnacle of exclusivity lies in the ultra-rare First Edition Bronco, a true gem in the automotive world.
A Nostalgic Return
Ford’s decision to discontinue the Bronco in 2006 left a void in the hearts of enthusiasts. Yet, in 2021, the Bronco roared back, challenging the dominance of the Jeep Wranglers in the off-road market. The rebooted Bronco has not only recaptured its iconic essence but has also earned accolades, with Hotcars dubbing it “one of the best SUVs on the market.”
In 2021, Ford managed to sell 116,227 Broncos, with a mere 7,000 claiming the coveted First Edition title. To put it in perspective, my most-viewed YouTube video on the 2022 Toyota Highlander doesn’t even come close to these numbers. The rarity of the First Edition, produced only in 2021, positions it as a collector’s dream.
From a design standpoint, Ford has hit the bullseye. Dressed in Lightning Blue Metallic, a color exclusive to the First Edition, this Bronco demands attention. The LED lighting, reminiscent of the original Bronco, coupled with the distinctive Sasquatch package, gives it a formidable presence. It’s like a life-sized Hot Wheels car that commands the road.
Sasquatch Package Unleashed
The Sasquatch package, a recurring theme in my admiration, adds a touch of wildness. Locking front and rear differentials, a shorter final-drive ratio, and imposing 35-inch all-terrain tires with 17-inch bead-lock rims transform the Bronco into a true off-road beast. The intentional omission of the word “Wrangler” from the tire sidewall adds a dash of humor, showcasing Ford’s playful side.
Step inside, and you’ll find a purpose-built, off-road-ready interior. While it may not boast luxury, it excels in functionality. The roof comes off effortlessly, and the seats, along with the heated steering wheel, ensure comfort in the rugged terrains. The user-friendly infotainment system, incorporating Ford’s Sync 4, adds a touch of modernity.
The center console hosts the GOAT (Goes Over Any Terrain) drive-mode dial, a testament to the Bronco’s off-road prowess. Buttons for electronically locking differentials, traction control, and even Trail Turn Assist adorn the dashboard, making off-road adventures a breeze.
Under the hood, the Bronco offers three engine choices. My preference, and a wise one at that, is the 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6, packing a punch with 330 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. It strikes the right balance, ensuring a robust performance without compromising the Bronco’s muscular identity.
Unveiling Easter Eggs
Ford has scattered subtle nods to the original Bronco throughout the vehicle. From the bucking bronco logo on the tailgate to the “Lift Me Baby” inscription on the fender liners, these Easter eggs pay homage to the Bronco’s heritage. The 12-inch infotainment touchscreen steals the show, featuring off-road trail navigation and an inclinometer, adding a nostalgic touch to this modern marvel.
The First Edition Phenomenon
The First Edition Bronco, being the most sought after, was sold through pre-orders to the most eager enthusiasts. Its exclusivity, marked by a unique plaque on the center console, sets it apart from other trim levels. Check out my YouTube review for an in-depth look at this extraordinary Bronco.
Bronco vs. Wrangler Showdown
How does the Bronco fare against its formidable rival, the Wrangler? Surprisingly well. As of the end of 2022, the Bronco is hot on the Wrangler’s heels, selling 30,670 units compared to the Wrangler’s 34,253. The momentum continues into 2023, with the Bronco witnessing a 25% increase in sales in January, while the Wrangler experiences a 30% drop. This resurgence, considering the challenges posed by the pandemic, exceeds Ford’s expectations.
Intriguingly, 60% of Bronco buyers are new to the Ford brand, marking a significant victory for the revived icon. As the Bronco continues to gain ground, it’s clear that the allure of this off-road legend is far from fading.
In conclusion, the 2021 Ford Bronco First Edition stands not just as an SUV but as a symbol of a glorious comeback, blending modernity with nostalgia. Whether you’re a seasoned off-road enthusiast or a newcomer to the world of adventure vehicles, the Bronco beckons, promising an unforgettable ride into the wild.