Accessories

Ford Performance, ARB 4x4 Accessories team up to create off-roading accessories

Ford Performance has joined forces with ARB 4x4 Accessories to make off-roading accessories for the automaker's trucks and SUVs.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford is earnestly working to catch up with Chevrolet and Mopar's truck and SUV accessories game. A new partnership between Ford Performance and ARB 4x4 Accessories is a big step in that direction. The two will work to create off road accessories and vehicle recovery parts.

"For Ranger customers who want the ultimate adventure gear, a Ford Performance collaboration with ARB is a dream come true," said Eric Cin, global director, Ford Vehicle Personalization and Accessories. "With 45 years of design and engineering experience in the overlanding and rock-crawling world, ARB is bringing additional options for Ranger customers looking to make their truck even more capable."

Ford Performance and ARB 4x4 Accessories will be creating more accessories for the automaker's trucks and SUVs.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The first fruit of the partnership was announced, a winch-capable front bumper for the Ford Ranger. The bumper is welded sheet steel that is coated in an Integrit powder coat. The steel is 3/16ths of an inch thick and attaches to the trunk via existing chassis mounting points. It fits every North American Ranger configuration.

Compatible accessories for the winch-capable bumper include:

  • WARN® Industries M8000, XD9000, 9.5XP, 9.5XDC and VR EVO 10-S winches
  • RIGID® SR-Series LED lightbars, both 6-inch and 30-inch lengths
  • Antenna and sand flag mounts
  • Jacking points for off-road jacks

Installing the new bumper does not disable any Ford Co-Pilot 360 functionality. All of the truck's sensors and safety systems remain intact, including those for the available adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning.The new accessory is the only aftermarket steel bumper available for Ranger that meets regulatory crash test standards.

"The goal of the relationship between ARB and Ford Performance is to provide Ford customers premium and functional off-road accessories that inspire personalized vehicle customization, improve off-road capability, and empower customers to feel comfortable using their vehicles – even in remote areas," said Lachlan McCann, ARB chief operating officer.

Buyers can get the winch-capable front bumper in 2020 through Ford dealerships and Ford Performance Parts distributors. It costs $1,495 before any installation fees. It comes with a Ford Performance Parts limited warranty.

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Ford dealerships will be adding Bronco showrooms to their portfolio in the coming year.

Photo courtesy of Ford via Automotive News

Reporting by Automotive News reveals that Ford is enabling its dealership network to opt-in to build Bronco-specific showrooms. The stores are designed to be near or connected to existing Ford dealer locations, but will feature the Bronco horse logo rather than the traditional Ford Blue Oval.

Ford currently has two Bronco models: Bronco and Bronco Sport. All this for two models? Not quite. Ford is reportedly working on a Bronco-based pickup truck. Could it be Ranger Raptor-like? We'll have to wait and see.

Renderings of Bronco storefronts feature those models and vintage versions of the beloved off-roader alongside 3,800 square feet of building space that includes an outdoor fire pit and room to display three vehicles. There's also a wall that showcases Bronco merchandise including some of the over 200 accessories Ford is promising will be available for Bronco models.

Ford Bronco standalone showroom renderings

Photo courtesy of Ford via Automotive News

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The overall aesthetic is very much in line with what you'll see at your local REI. There's back-painted ceiling lining, exposed concrete, a gray stone entryway, and wood accents throughout the modern structure as well as plenty of windows that show it all off.

Dealers are able to modify the design that Ford has come up with. One dealer, in Arizona, told Automotive News that he is planning to build out a 12,000-square-foot space but hasn't included a fire pit in the plans because of the location's desert climate.

If dealerships don't opt for a separate showroom, dealerships can choose from other Ford-backed options to display the Bronco that are more traditional in nature. Andrew Frick, the head of Ford sales in the U.S. said that there are three options: a standalone showroom, an expansion of existing showrooms or displays that can be added to a showroom. All the options are available and recommended, but not required, kind of like the Sasquatch Package on the Bronco itself.

"It's an announcement to the world we're back; the Bronco is back," Tim Hovik, owner of San Tan Ford in Gilbert, Ariz., and chairman of Ford's national dealer council, told Automotive News. "It's such an iconic product that in an absolute way, we feel a Ford dealer is really adding almost an additional franchise."

Last month, Ford revealed that of its 190,000 reservations for either the two- or four-door Bronco, two-thirds of those have turned into firm orders. Deliveries of the redesigned Bronco are slated to begin in June. Early models are already making their way out onto the streets under the car of Ford employees.

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The 2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST gives buyers more performance at a lower price.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Explorer lineup is getting a three-model enhancement for the 2021 model year. The Explorer Enthusiast ST, Platinum, and Platinum Hybrid will be making their way to dealership lots later this year in a targeted attempt to identify customer desires.

The new models join the just-announced 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch, also a new addition.

2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST

The Enthusiast ST grade takes a lot of what customers like about the existing Explorer ST and delivers it at a far cheaper price. The Enthusiast ST has a starting MSRP of $48,750 as opposed to the ST, which starts at $52,830.

Setting it apart from there Explorers is the Enthusiast ST's quad chrome exhaust tips, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets, and sideview mirrors with ST projection lamps.

The new model comes equipped with the same 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine that's in the Explorer ST that churns out 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission completes the powertrain.

Ford has given the model a sport-tuned suspension and a top track speed of 143 mph. A standard Class III Trailer Tow Package provides towing capability of up to 5,600 pounds.

The cabin of the Enthusiast ST is complete with leather seating surfaces, unique Miko micro-perforated inserts, and City Silver accent stitching with the ST logo. There's a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, heated sport-style steering wheel with the ST logo, and paddle shifters.

The Explorer Enthusiast ST also features standard Ford Co-Pilot360 technology.

2021 Ford Explorer Platinum

2021 Ford Explorer Plat Ford has two new Platinum models coming to a dealership near you.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

2021 Ford Explorer Plat

The new Explorer Platinum is powered by a 3.0-liter engine and comes standard with rear-wheel drive. Four-when drive is available.

To make the Platinum version worthy of its upscale price tag, its packaging includes door handles with satin aluminum insert, liftgate appliqué, lower bodyside cladding insert, roof-rack side rails, a twin-panel moonroof, and a unique grille with satin aluminum finish. Its cabin is fitted with leather seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dashboard, door rollovers, and door and front console armrests.

The 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum has a starting MSRP of $52,480. The hybrid version of that model starts at $53,085.

All the models are currently available for order via Ford dealerships. Deliveries are expected to begin this summer.

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