One of the most exciting aspects of the 2021 Ford Bronco was that the Blue Oval would allow customers to build their ideal off-roader their way. On a high level, that meant offering the Sasquatch package on every trim, developing a huge catalog of gear, and adding certain accessories as factory-installed options. But on a more granular level, the Bronco is customizable in a way few vehicles are.
Yes, you can easily take the doors and roof off, but we expected that much of a vehicle aimed at the king of doorless, roofless off-roading, the Jeep Wrangler. With with a little time, knowhow, and a basic socket set, though, you can properly strip the Bronco down. That means yanking the wheel arches, bumper endplates, rock rails, fenders, the grille, and the grille surround.
Some of these tweaks are easy to execute. For example, pulling the wheel arches is a procedure that takes minutes – it’s almost worryingly easy, to the point we suggested Ford add some sort of anti-theft measure. The rock rails and bumper endplates are quickies, too, while the grille and grille surround take a bit of doing. The toughest task is removing the fenders, which requires working numerous bolts and, in the case of the rear section, disconnecting some electrical elements like the module for the blind-spot monitoring system.
The usefulness of all this is obvious in some cases and less so in others. Removing the wheel arches and bumper endplates will help the Bronco negotiate narrow trails, for example. And for very tight sections, replacing the painted fenders with unpainted units will add an extra dose of durability.
On the aesthetic front, Ford’s modular approach should appeal to owners that want to tweak the look of their vehicle – an enterprising owner could even riff on the Volkswagen Golf Harlequin, adding different colors for the fenders and painted or unpainted wheel arches. Or perhaps an owner wants a flashier, aftermarket fender option. The bottom line is that owners can complete these tweaks on their own, at home.
So what does that all look like? Well, check out the above video, where we dismantle a Bronco Badlands with the Sasquatch package. A Bronco engineer is on hand to walk us through, and in the interest of full disclosure, we should note that Ford loosened or removed the trickier bolts to save time. Check out the full video above, and keep an eye open for a proper first drive of the new Bronco in the coming months.