Ford unveils sweet Forestry Edition Bronco alongside Filson, but nixes donut doors
Ford announced today that it is teaming up with Filson, a storied outdoor outfitter, to create the ultimate wildfire-fighting concept based on the Bronco four-door. Dedicated Bronco fans may find that color scheme familiar, and for good reason—Broncos have historically been one of the preferred rides of the U.S. Forestry service.
More than just a marketing exercise, this new concept rig is part of an effort between Ford and Filson to collaborate and raise funds and awareness for the Nation Forest Foundation’s reforestation programs via limited-edition Bronco + Filson outdoor gear available on Filson’s website. The partnership comes during one of the gnarliest wildfire seasons on record, with north of 7.5 million acres devastated by raging flames. Ford hopes that this concept can serve as a model for developing future firefighting rigs, as well.
The modified Bronco began life as a four-door Badlands model equipped with the optional Sasquatch package. Ford then slathered on U.S. Forestry Service green paint and a heap of gear perfectly tailored to fighting fires in the remote woods. Up front, the modular steel bumper packs a Warn Zeon 10-S winch to lug downed trees out of the way or rescue the Bronco when it steps too far beyond its comfort zone.
Because this is perhaps one of the more utilitarian applications of the Bronco (definitely more so than the Bronco Overland concept revealed earlier this month), there’s a heavy-duty roof rack fitted with a Rigid LED light bar and smaller LED lights at the corners. The rack carries all manner of firefighting equipment, from a Pulaski fireman’s tool to shovels. The rack can double as a firefighter lookout, too. The roof and cargo divider are made of fireproof ripstop nylon and can be rolled back and secured quickly.
Out back, there’s a purpose-built skid from Kimtek with a Hannay Reels firehose reel, as well as a 50-gallon water tank and a Davey high-pressure water pump. Because firefighting in the forest involves more than simply dousing an area in water, there’s also a Stihl chainsaw, and two hard hats, should more trees need to come down or be cleared away.
Inside, Filson’s famous otter-green duck canvas can be found everywhere from the door bolsters and armrests to the seat trim surrounds. The rest of the seating surface is covered in quilted black leather. There’s also a CB radio for communicating with home base and forestry workers.
This concept comes on the heels of an announcement earlier this week about something called the Bronco Wild Fund, in which Ford pledges financial and physical support to both the National Forest Foundation and Outward Bound USA, two groups that Ford feels embody the outdoor spirit that it hopes the Bronco will come to represent.
Amidst this good news, there is a mild bummer, unrelated to the concept. According to this report from FordAuthority, it sounds like Ford is nixing the sweet donut doors that we saw on the Cyber Orange two-door Bronco at the unveiling. While we’re sad to see that the McLaren Senna-esque doors don’t appear to be on the production docket anymore, we think Ford going back to the Bronco’s roots and pledging support for our national forests is a pretty solid trade-off.