The Rubicon Trail has been Jeep territory for years now, at least as far as American off-roading enthusiasts are concerned. When it decided to take on the Jeep Wrangler with the all-new 2020 Ford Bronco, Ford knew this was a test it’d eventually have to pass—and it appears it just did.
If you’ve ever noticed a “Trail Rated” badge on a Jeep, the Rubicon is the trail it’s talking about. It’s over 20 miles of off-roading challenges in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California that’s become known as a proving ground for rock-crawling and low-and-slow off-roading.
The Bronco6G forum posted photos of the all-new 2020 Ford Bronco attempting the Rubicon earlier this week, and now a forum admin has posted more photos and information about the trek.
Three new Broncos set out on the journey, likely still considered pre-production prototypes given they still wore some camouflage, and here’s what the forum members were able to identify them as:
- 4 door with Sasquatch Package has Ford performance beadlock rings.
- 2 door has 33" BFG AT tires w/ standard wheels and Ford Performance steel modular front bumper.
- 4 door has manual transmission, optional 33" Goodyear MT with beadlock wheels and Ford Performance beadlock rings.
While it’s unclear exactly what the goals of the expedition were, one of them was most assuredly finishing. While the forum admin claims the three Broncos successfully finished the trail or at least survived their attempts, it’s not yet clear the extent of Ford’s testing on the trail.
There’s also an argument in the forum thread over a video showing one of the Broncos attempting a steep incline a few times without succeeding before the video ends.
At the end of the clip, you can see the Bronco slide down the rock and there’s an unfortunate-sounding “crunch.” There don’t appear to be any images of that side of that vehicle to assess the damage.
However, there are plenty of images of other angles of the trucks, showing plenty of dings, warped bumpers, scratches, and stressed plastic marks.
It’s pretty clear that the Bronco is more than capable of completing obstacles like this, which is necessary if it’s going to ever have a chance of taking the Wrangler down a peg. Just expect plenty of chewed up plastic, warped fenders, and a million sins against your paintwork. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
GM has also tested new vehicles on the Rubicon, showing Jeep what the Chevy Colorado ZR2 could do by completing the trail back in 2017. It also got pretty scuffed up but survived. I’m sure plenty of Jeeps suffer a far worse fate. It’s less about the tool itself and more about the tool behind the wheel.