Along with the new model, Ford also debuted a whole new naming scheme for the Bronco’s trim packages. Ditching the nomenclature used by other Ford products, the Bronco lineup features trims with names such as Big Bend, Badlands, and Wildtrak. While this new structure slightly blurs the hierarchy of the Ford Bronco lineup, many of the names actually have historical meaning. Thanks to some reporting from Car and Driver, we now have a clearer look at why Ford chose these names.
There is no denying that Ford is a company that loves its history. When it came time to design the returning off-roader, the company looked back to the original SUV for inspiration. Well as it turns out, the oldest surviving original Bronco was the inspiration for the Big Bend trim package. In 1967, Ford sent Carroll Shelby one of their new off-roaders, which would later serve time on his ranch in Texas. That ranch was located just 30 miles away from Big Bend National Park, and is said to have been serviced at the local Big Bend Ford dealership. If only Ford had also fitted the Bronco Big Bend with a 289 cubic-inch V8 engine like Shelby did with the trim’s namesake.
The Bronco Wildtrak also gets its name from an older Ford model, though certainly not an antique one. The Ford Ranger Wildtrak has been sold in other markets since 2009, though it isn’t much of an off-roader. In fact, the truck is actually marketed to those living in congested urban areas. Featuring the beefed-up equipment from the Sasquatch Package as standard, this American Wildtrak model should provide the dune-smashing prowess of a pseudo Bronco Raptor.
Speaking of the Sasquatch Package, this new addition may be Ford’s most creative slight at Jeep yet. As the quintessential go anywhere vehicle company, the name Jeep has become uniquely ingrained with the outdoors. For years now we have seen a litany of items relating the off-roading icon to the Bigfoot itself, ranging stickers to entire upgrade packages carrying the creature’s name. This relationship between the Jeep fandom and Sasquatch was never recognized in any official capacity however, and as such Ford decided that they’d go ahead and take name for themselves. Perhaps a petty move, but exactly the type of thing that you imagine ruffling some feathers in Auburn Hills.