The second coming of the legendary Bronco nameplate returns to do battle with the mighty Jeep Wrangler. In honor of journalists getting seat time with the new Bronco Jeep unveils the Xtreme Recon with 35-inch tires, 4.88 gear ratio option, and better specifications than the new Bronco’s Sasquatch package.
It’s an interesting time to be alive. Progress is everywhere and yet nostalgia is also rampant throughout our industry. The Bronco and all its modern technology, various packages, and burly powertrain options is riding on that wave of nostalgia to a probable sales success.
Jeep has been very busy as well. In a game of one-up-manship Jeep unveiled the 392 Rubicon during the Bronco’s reveal while Ford unveiled the Sasquatch package at that time that gave the Bronco some serious off-road capability. Fitted with lockers, better gear ratio, and 35-inch tires it was just a little more than a Rubicon offered.
So what does Jeep do?
Jeep announces the Xtreme Recon package for the Rubicon. Factory 35-inch KO2 tires, 4.56 gears, and 1.5-inches of extra lift with specially tuned shocks give the Xtreme Recon the best-in-class approach, departure, and break our angle. With an optional 4.88 gear ratio, it also sports the lowest crawl ratio at 100:1 with a manual. Ford will not let you order the sasquatch package with a manual so their lowest crawl ratio isn’t available with the 35-inch tires.
I mentioned the approach, departure, and break over numbers above. Here are the numbers along with crawl ratio as advertised.
|Breakover||29 (26.3)||27.8 (22.6)||(26.7)|
|Crawl Ratio||95.1 *||84.1 (Manual) 77.2:1 (Auto)||100:1 ** 92:1 (Auto)|
With anything there are compromises.
You can’t get a manual with the Sasquatch package so while the Bronco could have an excellent crawl ratio you have to get the lower specification. Seems like a missed opportunity for Ford.
Conversely, you can only get the Xtreme Recon option on the Unlimited Wrangler. No word on if you can get the optional gear ratios on the 2- door. Since you can run 35’s box stock on a Rubicon being able to order a numerically higher ring and pinion would be ideal.
One thing that all of this does is make me very happy. Two major manufacturers one-upping each other. It benefits all of us. Maybe it will start a price war?