You can't see it, but it sees you.
Designing a car isn’t easy. We aren’t just talking about exterior proportions here – there’s never been more technology packed into vehicles as we have today. Sensors, cameras, and radar systems are all a fact of life, and it can be a tremendous challenge to package everything in a manner that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
For something like the new Ford Bronco, that’s an even greater challenge since a majority of its body panels are easily removed. Stowing items such as cameras can be tricky, but Ford designers took a page from Jeep by placing its rearview camera in the hub mount for the spare tire mounted on the back. It’s a clever solution, as the positioning offers a clear view of what’s behind the Bronco without interfering with the removable top. It should also be well-protected as opposed to a mounting position under the bumper.
Of course, this means Bronco owners will have to run without a full spare tire cover over the rear wheel. The camera could also be obscured by an aftermarket bike rack that uses the receiver hitch for a mounting point. We know Ford has a plethora of accessories in the works for its off-roader, but bikes could be especially problematic for the camera as rear-mounted racks seem to be the only viable solution.
Gallery: 2021 Ford Bronco
Ultimately, it’s a very small problem in the grand scheme of Bronco. This reborn off-roader has generated no small amount of excitement not just for Ford fans, but a wider swath of off-road enthusiasts. With its tight proportions – even in four-door trim – and a wide range of driving modes for conquering terrain, it’s certainly poised to be a stout rival for the Jeep Wrangler. In fact, the Bronco’s arrival could well be the reason Jeep developed its Wrangler 392 V8 concept, a vehicle that at this point seems likely to enter production despite Jeep saying a V8 engine couldn’t work in the Wrangler.
Either way you slice it, the future of off-roading looks pretty darned good right now.