Does the New Jeep Wrangler Xtreme Recon Compete With the Ford Bronco?
We’re so busy focusing on the muscle car wars that we’ve ignored something equally important – the off-road wars, and they’re here with full force. Ever since Ford announced the revival of its Ford Bronco, it has driven the automotive industry into overdrive. In fact, it’s so crazy out there that you won’t be able to purchase a Bronco for several years due to demand. So, you know a manufacturer like Jeep wouldn’t sit around idly and let the blue oval steal the market share.
Jeep released some news about a new variation of their Wrangler in an attempt to claim the best-in-class off-roading honor. The timing shouldn’t come as much of a shock with the Bronco debut looming around the corner, but you knew they weren’t going to come out with something weak. Newsflash: it’s not. It’s an over-the-top package that will have enthusiasts lined up to buy one and maybe steal some Bronco consumers who missed out on a reservation.
So what puts it in this category to compete with the Bronco? Well, the package includes 35-inch tires, a lift kit, and an absolutely insane 100:1 crawl ratio. It will be available on the four-door Wrangler Rubicon and the sweet Rubicon 392. The Wrangler from the factory is already an impressive machine with its 84.2:1 crawl ratio, so increasing it to 100:1 is certainly over-the-top. In comparison, the Bronco offers a 94.7:1 crawl ratio – which isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination – it’s just not 100:1.
Some of the other changes on the Jeep include its 47.4-degree approach angle, 40.4-degree departure angle, 26.7-degree breakover angle, and its 12.9 inches of ground clearance to trudge through 33.6 inches of water, a clear advantage over the Bronco with its 11.6 inches of ground clearance.
The Jeep will have an optional 4.88:1 axle ratio for its Wrangler Rubicon as well, combined with its six-speed manual transmission for its ridiculous 100:1 crawl ratio. It’ll maximize torque at the wheels for low-speed driving to enhance driving on rough terrain. While it may not seem like a lot, off-roaders know that inches matter and can be the difference between clearing the rugged terrain or getting stuck.
The marketing department at Jeep knew what they were doing by announcing the news of an even more capable off-roading beast than the Bronco to complement their already robust line of vehicles. Jeep did this last year as well when they announced their V8-powered 392 Rubicon at the same time Ford revealed their Bronco. Pettiness level 1,000, but who doesn’t love some honest competition?
Jeep has yet to announce pricing for the package but noted that order books are open for deliveries starting in August. With two off-road capable machines hitting the road this summer straight from the factory, which are you choosing?