The Bronco is going through some production issues, specifically, with its hard top. It looks like there’s no time like the present for Ford to show drivers that with or without a roof, the Bronco is still cool, so Ford is showing off a concept it calls the Riptide. Ford may be right about the Bronco being cool even without a roof, but it’s still funny that the release of this concept coincides with its production snafu.
To be fair, Ford is already taking steps to fix its roof problem. This latest concept just happens to show us a model that expertly sidesteps the issue.
The Riptide is not a special edition and the “project,” as Ford refers to it, is probably more like a conceptual model that drivers can look at and say, “I want my Bronco to look like that.” It’s a modification of the Bronco that’s not a standard configuration but not quite aftermarket, either.
It’s a custom build, but drivers could easily pick out the accessories and build their Broncos up in a similar way. Hell, Ford says drivers can even roll the cost of the build into their financing and bundle it into their monthly car note.
The Riptide is based on the Bronco Sasquatch, which means it does have some off-road goodies that would make it a competent dune runner. It’s got beefy 35-inch Goodyear tires, locking Dana front and rear axles, a Bilstein suspension and the Bronco’s off-road assist system with the highest number of modes available: seven. That’s two more than you get on the base model.
But the Riptide is all about the mods to the exterior. It’s leaning into the tube doors and topless look that is so popular among Wrangler fans. It does have a mesh top, a “Bimini” from Bestop, which might stop sand from the surfboards getting on your shoulders. Those surfboards are on “two prototype crossbars that are bolted to the sport bars to show how overhead racks can be easily mounted without interfering with the soft tops,” according to Ford.
Oh, and you also get marine-grade vinyl-trimmed seats, which could be handy regardless of your penchant for beach trips. I’m all for hard-wearing seat materials!
Overall, this is mostly just a beach Bronco with stuff bolted on. But the summer almost over, and it looks like some Bronco owners are gonna have to wait for delivery of their new Fords. Oh, well. There’s always next summer!