- By now we've all seen the new 2021 Ford Bronco.
And you know what?
It looks pretty freaking cool.
I don't go camping very often.
I don't own a single piece of Patagonia clothing.
Hell I hate hiking, but man,
do I wanna get out in nature in this thing?
The Bronco is an icon,
an OG in the sport utility vehicle game.
And, it had a rival.
One that was also recently rebooted.
But unlike the Bronco,
nobody really cared about this remake.
Why does the Broncos slap, but not the pleaser.
Today we're gonna look at a few things
Chevy might've done wrong,
but also why those mistakes might not matter.
Be nice, I'll see you next time.
Big, thank you to Raycon for sponsoring
this episode of wheelhouse.
I'm pretty busy guy,
that's why I can only talk to you while I'm on set.
But after I pop in my Raycon every day E25 ear buds,
I drift into automotive bliss.
Raycon's coming up lots of cool colors
so I can coordinate them to my shorts sort of.
And the best part is they cost half as much
as other premium earbuds, but sound just as good.
Which is why my celebrity friends like Snoop Dogg
and Melissa Etheridge also rock Raycons.
When I pop these Raycon E25 in,
people know not to bother me on set.
- Hey Nolan, Nolan!
You can't just say, be nice and see you next time.
We gotta run the rest of the episode.
- If you wanna rock your own Raycon everyday E25's,
head on over buyraycon.com/donut for 15% off.
That's buyraycon.com/donut, or hit the link
in the description for 15% off your Raycons.
Get some today.
The crossover SUV has taken over the market here in the US.
So it could be hard to remember, what SUV stood for
in the first place,
Sport Utility Vehicle, keyword being sport.
While the SUV of today are based on either truck platforms
or their own unibody bodies.
The original SUV's we're a little more sporty.
I'm talking off roaders.
The ancestor of the entire segment is the Jeep,
specifically the CJ5.
The Kaiser corporation released the Jeep CJ5 in 1955.
It was designed to be more comfortable
for the growing number of people who are gaining interest
in a growing scene called off-roading.
The CJ5 was just as capable off-road
as its militarized counterpart,
but more usable in the day to day.
This was great because people could drive their Jeep
to work during the week, and go hit the trails
on the weekend with the same vehicle.
- Bringing fun and recreation to many,
it is used by hunters, fishermen, and campers
to reach places inaccessible to the ordinary car.
- This practicality paved the way for off-roading
to become America's latest automotive craze
in the mid fifties.
Events like the Jeep Jamboree showed manufacturers
that there was a demand for off-road capable vehicles,
not just the Jeep.
One car maker answered the call in 1961.
And it wasn't one of the big three.
International was known more for their tractors,
than any sort of passenger vehicle.
But in 1960, they dropped what could be considered
the first sport utility vehicle, the scout 80.
It was meant to be extremely practical and reliable,
a true workhorse that international said
would quotes "replace the horse."
International it's 1960, okay.
I'm pretty sure the horse has already been replaced.
Get a clue.
With a bunch of roof types available
and a pickup style bed, the scout lived up to expectations.
And international built
over a hundred thousand of them, in five years.
With the tractor making selling that many road cars,
it was official, the trend was real, or at least would be.
Ford was kinda caught with their pants down
and needed an SUV of their own to fill the gap.
Believe it or not, Ford actually had their own off roader
before the Bronco was a twinkle in anyone's eyes.
Like Kaiser and international, Ford was deeply involved
in military manufacturing, and as a result,
had their own version of the Jeep
called the military utility tactical truck or M.U.T.T.
Like Kaiser and international, Ford figured,
the people would want a capable off roader
in the spirit of a military vehicle
that was comfortable enough to drive to the grocery store.
But Ford wanted to go even further than international
and would target their competitors flaws.
In 1962, Ford pulled a gangster move
and surveyed Jeep and scout owners
asking them what they didn't like about their cars.
What they found out was that,
contemporary off roaders had crap ride quality,
were down on power and had horrible road noise.
Ford saw a real need to be filled
and got to work on their own SUV.
In October of 1963,
They must have really been leaning into naming cars
after horses like the Mustang,
because the new project was given the code name Bronco.
Apparently there's a real barn yard vibe
going on over there in Dearborn.
The first Bronco sketches
were done by designer McKinley Thompson.
The first African American auto designer at Ford,
The engineering team spent about a year after that
honing the Bronco into a practical off-road superstar.
A car that Ford would have to coin an all new term for,
sports utility vehicle.
We talked about earlier SUV's,
but this was the first one to actually be called that.
Upon release In 1965,
the Bronco came in three distinct versions
for every buyer's wants and needs.
There was the convertible style Bronco Roadster,
the sport utility with a bed like the scout
and the wagon with a tailgate and full roof.
The variety really makes me think about the state
of the market today.
Can you imagine, if someone came out
with a convertible SUV right now!
It'd sell like 200 of them, I was gonna make a joke
about the Nissan Murano crap, class crap, (beeps).
I was going to make a joke
about the Nissan Murano cross Cabriolet sales figures,
but it looks like Nissan actually includes those
with the regular Murano numbers.
So there's not a liable way
to tell how many of those things they actually sold.
Very sneaky Nissan.
Anyway, to help market the Bronco Ford lean into marketing,
the lifestyle, offering accessories like snowplows
and winches, the addition of a V8 engine option 1966
Meant the Bronco now had a lot more kick,
which meant it was great for off road racing.
The Bronco wins that legendary events
like the mini 400 and the Baja 1000
along with adventure racing prowess
was now a huge part of the Bronco mythos.
And it had only been around for a few years.
The truth is, the Bronco could have been around
for only one generation,
and it would have been remembered by Ford fans forever.
But lucky for the blue oval,
the idea of the SUV had a lot of staying power.
The Bronco wouldn't be the last sport utility vehicle
to come out of Detroit.
After watching Ford get caught with their pants down
and develop their own for the masses,
Chevy realized their shorts were on the floor as well.
And scrambled to make their own fashionable four Wheeler.
Because Chevy was chasing Ford,
they didn't have the luxury of starting
from the ground up like the Bronco team did.
Instead, Chevy adapted their existing CK truck platform
for fun having Duty's.
Chevy's SUV went by the name blazer.
And since it was basically a smaller truck,
it was bigger than the Bronco in nearly every metric.
which isn't exactly what you want off-road
but, since it came standard with four wheel drive
and was visually impressive,
Chevy fans were stoked regardless.
The Bronco and blazer duked it out in epic combat for years
with Ford actually mirroring Chevy by moving the Bronco
onto the F 100 truck platform, in 1978.
It was probably a lot cheaper to manufacture
than the standalone platform or the first jet.
So the Bronco was becoming
less of what made it so revolutionary,
but that didn't really matter because
people were buying them.
Bronco sales reached their peak
in 1979 with more than 104,000 sold.
But with the fallout of the second gas crisis
that same year,
the American public started demanding
more fuel efficient options.
In a strange example of parallel thinking,
both Ford and Chevy released a smaller fuel sipping variant
of their full size SUV's.
Chevy debuted the S 10 blazer based on the S 10 truck
in 1982 and four followed suit introducing the Bronco II,
based on the ranger small truck in 1983.
The rivalry had gone from full size to ini mini
but both of these mini versions were much smaller
than the full size offering.
And in some way,
helped recapture the original SUV spirit.
They were still four wheel drive, they had two doors,
but they're smaller stature
made them more maneuverable off-road.
Unfortunately for Ford though,
the Bronco too was not long for this world.
From the beginning, the Bronco was doomed to fail.
Engineers working on the SUV found that the Bronco II
had an unusually low stability index,
which is calculated using the car center of gravity
in the track width of the tires.
Long story short, the Bronco tee was prone to rollovers,
but instead of fixing the problems,
Ford leadership rushed the car into production
planning on fixing the issues later.
But the cat was out of the bag when the car went to market
and according to Ford,
they faced over a hundred lawsuits
related to the Bronco II and they settled in 50 of them.
Time magazine reported in 2001,
that ford had spent $2.4 billion in damages,
to all these lawsuits,
and was apparently paying out settlements as late as 2012.
These lawsuits are why the Bronco II
only lasted for six years and was replaced by the Explorer,
which had its own rollover issues.
At this time, SUV sales were exploding
throughout the industry.
But the Bronco was having an increasingly difficult time
justifying its existence within the Ford lineup.
Larger four-door models, like the Explorer and expedition
gave buyers a lot more room
without compromising on a top living exterior.
A lot of people say the whole OJ Simpson chase
killed the Bronco, but it was simple economics.
It wasn't making money.
So in 1996, the Bronco was killed
and presumably rendered into glue.
The blazer lived on living a somewhat confusing life.
It got bigger and Chevy renamed it to the Tahoe.
They redesigned the S 10 blazer
and drop the S 10 part of the name in 95.
Then in 99, they added the trailblazer tram,
which became its own model In 2002,
the blazer proper was killed in 2005.
And the trailblazer followed in 2009,
thus ending a 40 year rivalry.
I have to think that without the Bronco around
which was the sole reason of the blazers creation,
that it had a hard time staying focused
and thus had a harder time fitting in the Chevy lineup.
Pretty much as soon as Ford killed the Bronco back in 96,
Bronco fans were clamoring for a new one and surprisingly,
they didn't have to wait very long.
At the 2004 North American international auto show,
Ford showed off a brand new Bronco concept.
They were on a major retro kick around that time.
The S197 Mustang looked like the first gen Mustang.
The Thunderbird looked like this and the SVT team
was cooking up a new GT supercar
to celebrate the 40 year anniversary of their Lamar victory.
It made sense for a Bronco to be in that lineup.
I never really thought about it
until researching this episode, but man,
the Bronco was a huge part of the blue ovals
cultural domination of the sixties.
If we think of Ford cause like Mario party, for example,
the Mustang is Mario, the GT 40 is Toby
cause he's small and fast.
The Bronco is Bowzer and the Thunderbird is legi.
Cause he looks weird.
It looked like the gang was getting back together,
and better than ever.
The Bronco concept had a two liter turbo diesel
and a nitrous system to boost power.
What the hell?
It also had a few key throw back features
like an open roof and circular headlights
and of course four wheel drive.
Unfortunately for Bronco heads,
it wasn't to be, gas would get more expensive.
Smaller crossover SEBS were about to take over,
and a recession was gonna hit.
So, the 2004 Bronco concept never worked out,
but it did give people hope that new one
would happen eventually.
And it did, on July 13th of this year,
Ford took to the airwaves on three separate TV networks
to play three separate mini docs on the Bronco.
And then finally unveiled it for 2021 model year.
I didn't watch all the documentaries
except for that 11 minute reveal video.
And I wasn't the only one either.
A lot of you probably saw it too.
It hit number one on the trending page.
And as of right now, it's got more than 3 million views
or about six times as many as our 50th episode dot,
which I don't understand.
It had original music, I wore a wig, It should have killed.
Anyway, for the next couple of days,
you couldn't escape the Bronco height machine.
There wasn't collective stoke like this
for new car since the CA Corvette and honestly,
I don't think there will be for a while, but why?
Well let's look at the dang thing.
It's clear that Ford is trying to capture the spirit
of the original Bronco.
The 2021 has a removable roof and doors
and will be available with either two or four doors,
a first for the Bronco.
In that reveal, Ford says that the original Bronco
quote reshaped the four by four landscape forever.
And that the new one is gonna do it again.
That's some very big talk.
If you're a bit cynical like me,
you might expect all the glorification of the outdoors
present in the reveal video to be just talk,
but it doesn't look like that's the case.
Lots of companies like to employ lifestyle branding.
For example, I don't know, knives.
Here's a seven inch combat knife by Ontario.
If you go on their website,
you'll see their combat knives staged on some cammo netting
with an American flag.
I saw that and was like, hell yeah,
that lifestyle is bad ass.
I live a badass lifestyle, I'm gonna buy a knife.
In reality, I'm not a badass.
I've never been in combat with my knife.
It just sits next to my bed.
And I'm in the worst shape of my life.
If I kill anyone,
it's going to be by smothering my girlfriend
after I eat a big meal and I fall asleep on her.
The point is, the branding worked .
Quick note Joe, snuck that line in on me.
And I'm not happy about it.
And if I actually do kill someone, (beeps).
People like to feel like they're part of a lifestyle,
even if they really aren't, and that's okay.
I have no problem with that.
As long as the product that is marketed in that way,
can back it up.
And the Bronco, I think it can.
I won't dive too deep into the marketing materials,
If you wanna know all the specs and features,
you can look those up on your own.
But what I will say, is that this thing has crazy,
ground clearance crazy approach and departure angles,
and crazy good torque off in the factory.
I mean, I haven't driven it yet,
but from what I've read from people who have,
the Bronco is the real deal.
But besides the numbers and figures,
what really trips me out about this machine
is how closely the reveal and rollout matches the original.
When the first one dropped, America was in the beginning
of the first off-road creates.
I would argue, that we're in the beginning
of another one right now.
I don't know about you,
but I've been feeling pretty damn cooped up.
I don't even like camping that much,
but after watching that reveal,
I could definitely go for that right now.
I think we're seeing a resurgence
in enjoying the great outdoors,
not to mention the huge trend that is overlanding,
which has a lot to do with putting a tent on top of your rig
and getting sick shots for the gram.
The Bronco seems prime for that sort of thing.
In 65, the Bronco had three distinct versions
depending on what you needed.
And guess what, they did that again.
They've got the two door, four door and the sport,
a smaller vehicle which does not shared
the same platform as a two door and four door,
but still it's very interesting.
My buddy Jason lives on Tahoe, he just got a mountain bike.
He rock climbs and drives a Subaru Outback.
The Bronco sport was aimed squarely at people like Jason.
What up Jason?
Another interesting parallel
is the appeal to motor sports credibility.
Just like how Ford gave factory support
to off-road races Back in the sixties,
a skunk works division within Ford built their own Bronco
Baja 1000 racer called the Bronco r,
And it actually competed in the 2019 running last November.
Ford wanted to commemorate the 50th anniversary
of their first Baja win, but it didn't go exactly to plan.
There was a huge rainstorm the day before the race,
which turned the entire course into mud.
which caused a lot of issues and a competing vehicle
actually landed on the Bronco during the run,
after spending hours in the pits to fix their issues.
The Bronco r finished second to last,
37 seconds before the official cutoff time.
It's a bummer, but I think they'll do better next time.
Something that didn't parallel the original Broncos rollout
is worth mentioning.
Ford was late to the game.
Chevy already had a contender waiting for their old rival.
Actually Chevy had two,
the blazer and trailblazer were already back.
At the very end of 2018 Chevy began selling the new blazer.
And in April of last year, it's little brother,
the trailblazer followed.
So Chevy beat Ford to market this time.
But did they hit the same nostalgia Mark,
I'm wanna put a picture of the Chevy cars,
next to some pics of the Broncos.
Do you see a difference?
Look, I'm sure they're great cars,
but when that Bronco video dropped,
Chevy must have (beeps) their paints.
The blazers just don't have it.
The blazer proper looks like a Camaro
and the trailblazers little small boy.
I won't make any bones about it.
The new blazer and trailblazer were not designed
with the same philosophy as the new Bronco.
Chevy might lead you to believe that
with the trailblazer active and the outdoorsy vibe,
the web page puts off,
but there's really nothing Off-road centric about this car
besides the all wheel drive, some Hancock sport train tires
and revised suspension tuned for gravel roads.
It's not a serious off-roader.
The same goes for the blazer.
The sportiest version is the RS.
It's got a V6 and looks like a Camaro.
I've read that this thing was basically supposed to drive
like a V6 Camaro SUV, and it's succeeds at doing that.
It's unfortunate that the blazer name
is being used for something other than off-road prowess
like the Bronco, but I think there's a good reason,
Chevy is fine with doing that.
These cars are selling.
In the first quarter of this year,
Chevy's sold over 22,000 blazers,
just a little less than in the last quarter of last year.
And on top of that,
the trailblazer is doing really well too.
According to iseecar.com,
new trailblazers spend an average of 19 days
on dealership lots before being sold,
making them the fastest selling cars in America.
Why is that?
Well, at least Chevy's might not be off-road beasts
like the Bronco,
but I've read that there are of very good value
and with the crazy demand for crossovers
like the blazer and trail blazers,
that's what gets people to the dealership.
What I want to see ,Chevy turn the blazer
into something that could take on the Bronco, yes!
Do I also understand why they didn't, also yes.
So that's the episode.
If you like this video,
we put out videos almost every day here on donuts.
So please consider subscribing, if you haven't already,
if you're watching us on Facebook,
go to YouTube and subscribe to our channel.
It really helps us out.
We just hit 4 million subscribers, which is crazy,
but we wanna get more.
Follow donut on all social media, @donutmedia ,
follow me on nolajsykes,
if you wanna see cool pictures that I post
and read dumped (beeps) that I think of.
Be kind, (mumbles)