Goodyear to Ford: I got you, boo.
Automakers are like politicians – they're loathe to acknowledge a rival. Instead, other brands and their products are “the competition,” or something similar. But in developing the 2021 Ford Bronco to beat the snot out of the Jeep Wrangler, the Blue Oval ran into an issue: one of the most popular off-road tires on the market is the Goodyear… Wrangler. Oh dear.
It just wouldn't do for Ford's most significant new product in years to feature its arch-rival's name five separate times on the exterior. After all, how silly would a Mustang look with “Camaro” all over it, or an F-150 with multiple “Ram” logos? Exactly. And that's why when the new Bronco arrives in Spring 2021, it will do so with special Goodyear tires that lack the typical Wrangler badging. But not entirely.
As we said, the Goodyear Wrangler is an extremely popular off-road tire, so while the name won't be outwardly visible on the Bronco, according to Ford, there still needs to be small Wrangler markings on the inside of the tire.
Ford confirmed this to Motor1.com, with spokesman Sam Schembari saying, “[The Wrangler name] will be removed from the Goodyear's side wall on the outboard side. Bronco Customers will not see it unless their tires are off the vehicle and the inboard side is visible.”
Why not strip the word off entirely? According to Schembari, it's because the Wrangler name is “still part of [Goodyear's] aftermarket branding.”
So while there will still be small instances of Jeep's long-lived off-roader on every Bronco, the tires won't constantly remind owners of it.
As for which versions of the Bronco will carry these special Goodyear tires, it's hard to say at the moment. Depending on trim, the Bronco will wear any of six different tire sizes ranging from 30-inchers on the Base to enormous 35s on the Wildtrak and vehicles with the optional Sasquatch pack. We've already seen Goodyear Wrangler-shod Broncos in press images, but the vehicles in certain shots also feature BFGoodrich rubber (below).
For more on the 2021 Ford Bronco, be sure to check out our main debut post on the long-awaited off-roader.