The latest generation Ford Bronco is a great vehicle. Combining classic lines with cutting-edge tech in a very desirable package. And while it looks and performs great out of the box, there are already some great mods out there to make it even better.
In this article, we take a look at some of the most popular upgrades you can do to improve your Bronco’s off-road ability and performance.
Why Did Ford Discontinue The Bronco?
Image Credit: Edmunds
The original Ford Bronco first saw the light of day back in 1966. Every model came standard with all-wheel-drive and not much else. Its primary role was to be a rugged and reliable off-road vehicle capable of tackling the toughest jobs with ease. Instead of the usual options like A/C and electric windows, the Bronco could be had with an even heavier-duty suspension, snowplow attachment, and power take-off.
The formula worked, and while each succeeding generation became slightly more refined, the basic three-door SUV-styling and go-anywhere ability was a big selling point throughout.
The Bronco lasted four more generations, with Ford pulling the plug in 1996, claiming that it needed a larger four-door model to compete with the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban. Apparently, sales had been in decline for years, so the Bronco was replaced with the Expedition.
And that was that, until 2021, when Ford reintroduced the Bronco nameplate on a new rugged off-roader. The sixth-gen Bronco shares more than styling cues with earlier models; it retains standard all-wheel-drive and is marketed as a serious and capable off-road vehicle. Albeit, with the latest engine and infotainment tech. This time, both a two- and four-door body style is available.
A four-door Bronco Sport is also available, although this is an entirely different vehicle based on the Escape SUV.
Can A Bronco Be A Daily Driver?
If you have driven an early Bronco, you may be forgiven for assuming that the latest model may be better suited for off-road duties rather than the school run. But thanks to some impressive advances in engine and suspension technology, the sixth-gen Bronco is as capable as a daily driver as any modern SUV.
And thanks to the serious off-roading hardware underneath, it also has the ability to tackle a challenging mountain trail on the weekends. It's important to note here that Thermal R&D exhausts are designed to be tucked up against the body for maximum ground clearance. Their corrosion resistant, ceramic coated muffler options also offer more protection off-road. Bronco enthusiasts are keen to make them even more capable off the beaten track - and Thermal exhausts can help do just that.
Best Mods For Your New Ford Bronco
Similar to the original Bronco, Ford offers a variety of models, from the mild ‘Big Bend’, to the fully-kitted out ‘Wildtrak’ and intense ‘Raptor’. You can also pick from some great standalone options to personalize your Bronco even further.
Then, there are the aftermarket specialists who have designed some great mods to take the Bronco to the next level. But which mods are worth picking? To help you decide, we break down some of the most popular Bronco mods into four sections below.
- Tires and lift kits
- Winches, bumpers and skid plates
- Lighting and roof racks
- Exhausts, remaps, and intakes
Tires And Lift Kits
Ground clearance and a tough suspension are two key ingredients in making a good off-roader into a great one.
While fitting your Bronco with a set of oversized wheels and a lift kit will give it serious street presence, it may not do wonders for the ride quality. Finding a suitably sized parking spot can also be tricky.
If you are more interested in off-road capability than daily driving, then consider Ford’s own Sasquatch Package. It offers 35-inch tires, Bilstein shocks, and electronic locking front and rear axles.
There are plenty of aftermarket suppliers, too. Some offer up to 3.5-inch lift kits that upgrade the shocks and control arms.
Winches, Bumpers, And Skid plates
Ask an off-road veteran, and they’ll tell you that a winch and upgraded bumpers are basic necessities for anyone wanting to tackle a trail.
Ford offers a winch kit and heavy-duty bumper on high-spec models like the Everglades trim, but you can also choose from several great aftermarket offerings with varying winch ratings and bumper designs.
Rock sliders and skid plates give your Bronco a tough look and protect the bodywork from rocks and other off-road hazards. Ford offers its own range of protective moldings, steel bash plates, and rock rails, but you may want to look to aftermarket suppliers for the more extreme off-roading kit. Thick metal skid plates and underbody protection can help prevent damage to the running gear and exhaust system.
Lighting And Roof Racks
A set of powerful LED light bars on your bumpers or roof rails is useful both on- and off-road. Being able to see obstacles on a poorly lit trail or back road is a vital safety feature.
Ford offers roof rails with crossbars on certain trims, but you will need to look at aftermarket suppliers for LED lighting solutions.
There are also custom aftermarket roof racks for the Bronco, with clever storage solutions that make a camping weekend far easier to pack for.
Exhausts, Remaps And Intakes
The Bronco is available with a variety of turbocharged gas engines, including a 300hp 2.3-liter four-cylinder, a 330hp 2.7-liter V6, and a range-topping 400hp 3.0-liter V6. Like most turbocharged vehicles, a remap can yield great results, but it often invalidates the manufacturer's warranty. Make sure to confirm whether this is the case with your aftermarket tuner.
An aftermarket cold air intake can also liberate a few extra horses and enhance the intake sound. The quality and performance of these systems vary, so make sure to do your homework beforehand.
A performance exhaust is another great mod that not only enhances your truck's exhaust sound but improves economy and performance. That’s why Thermal R&D has designed a catback exhaust system for the Bronco.
It's a bolt-on system that can be had with ceramic coating and different exhaust tip styles. Like all our products, every Bronco exhaust system is built using durable 304 stainless steel and backed by a lifetime warranty, mandrel tube bending, and, of course, our True Helmholtz Technology. So, it delivers an awesome sound under acceleration with none of the drone.
Thermal R&D Builds Drone-Free Performance Exhaust Systems
Looking for improved performance, better sound, or just a better exhaust system? Thermal R&D has you covered. We develop our systems using True Helmholtz Technology for drone-free cruising. And our mandrel bent tubing allows for great sound without compromising performance. Check out our offerings for the 2021-on Ford Bronco:
- 4-door Catback Exhaust
- 4-door Catback Exhaust + Ceramic Coated Muffler
- 2.7-liter Exhaust Tip – Ceramic Coated
- 2.7-liter Exhaust Tip - Polished
Our products are made from durable, premium-quality materials like T304 stainless steel. And we offer a lifetime warranty. Our team of talented fabricators and finishers build exhaust systems in the USA to fit a wide variety of cars and trucks, including popular enthusiast models like the Bronco and less common niche vehicles other companies won't touch.