If you like your off-roading with a side of swamp, Ford has created a Bronco variant just for you. Called the Everglades (presumably, Bronco Bog and Bayou didn’t track too well in focus groups), it comes standard with a snorkel to help with water crossings and integrated Warn winch to haul you out of the mire.
Or, to simply show off at the trailhead. Your call.
The new Everglades is apparently the first Ford vehicle ever equipped with a snorkel right from the factory. Mounted on the A-pillar and plumbed right into the Bronco’s breather, it has a pair of reversible plates to direct air intake forward or rearward. The latter is important when driving headlong into heavy rain or snow and is a creative solution compared to the sad-sack Tacoma unit which must be publicly and embarrassingly swiveled rearward lest it suck in all kinds of water in inclement weather. And – note that Ford, unlike Toyota, did not succumb to bedwetting lawyers and actually called this thing a snorkel instead of a ‘desert air intake’.
Water fording jumps to 36.4 inches, about six inches higher than the desk at which you’re sitting reading this article instead of working. Anyone who’s modified a side-by-side UTV or other off-road rig knows other air intakes also need to be moved northward to avoid damaging critical drivetrain parts when driving through water – Ford has raised vents for both axles, transfer case, and transmission.
Speaking of power teams, the Everglades will be available with the 2.3L EcoBoost engine, good for 300 horses and 325 lb-ft of twist, mated to a 10-speed automatic. Those clamoring for a stick should recall the auto permits Bronco to execute the trick Rear Dig (Trail Turn Assist) which locks up one rear wheel at very low speeds to help the brute pivot itself around a corner.
Those are 35-inch Goodyears at each corner as part of the Sasquatch package, plus steel bash plates from the Badlands. A set of rock rails line the SUV’s edges, while a unique-look grille peeps out from behind that burly safari bar. Anyone blessed with the gift of sight will have noticed the Warn winch by now, one which is rated for 10,000 pounds and has 100 feet worth of synthetic line. Ford offers an integrated winch as part of an off-road package on some of its Super Duty pickups, so they surely used some lessons learned from that project.
And if you noted the square-ish wheel arches, go ahead and give yourself a gold star. For apparently wanted to give the Everglades an immediately recognizable look and this is a smart way to do it. The black fender graphics are unique to the Everglades and are meant to pay homage to this SUV’s namesake. As for the interior, look for marine-grade vinyl seats and rubberized washout flooring for easy swamp management. Still, don’t splash around too much bog water since a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen is also part of the deal.
Bronco Everglades will join the Bronco lineup this summer. Ordering begins in March, exclusively for existing Bronco reservation holders, and pricing will start at $54,495 including destination and delivery charges.
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