Look, we get it, this is sacrilege. We’re slapping God in the face, going against nature, all of that, but we just couldn’t help ourselves—we just had to know what the 2021 Ford Bronco would look like with a Jeep Wrangler‘s face. And then, once we had that mongrel rendered, our curiosity for what the Wrangler might look like with the new Bronco‘s face got the best of us. So, we rendered that, too. You either are very, very welcome—or we are so, so sorry.
Why the face swap? Because the Bronco is here to try and take the Wrangler’s lunch in the mid-size, hard-core off-road 4×4 segment. Both SUVs promise more capability than most owners will ever need, both can have their doors and roofs stripped off with relative ease, and both reach back in time to distant iconic ancestors for name recognition. (The Bronco lineage stretches back to 1966, while the Jeep can trace its roots to the battlefields of World War II.) They’re two sides of the same coin, and now we’ve swapped the coin’s sides from heads to tails and back.
The 2021 Ford Wrangler Rubicon
If you figured the Jeep Wrangler’s relatively narrow, pinched face—usually stuffed between two open fenders—wouldn’t translate well to the Ford Bronco’s full-width, square-jawed face, well, you were right. It doesn’t. To fit the Wrangler’s mug on the Bronco, we inadvertently gave it the appearance of an atrocious front overhang—something that definitely undoes the Bronco’s Wrangler-challenging approach angle. In fact, more than a few of our staffers pointed out how the Fordangler looks like the now-defunct Jeep Patriot subcompact crossover. Yeesh.
Face issues aside, the rest of the Bronco looks very Jeep-like. We sprinkled some goodies from the Wrangler’s Rubicon off-road trim over the Bronco, including the red-painted tow hooks on the bumper, Rubicon lettering for the the front fender, and the Rubie’s 17-inch wheels. We didn’t touch anything else. While the Ford may appear to be a set of squared-off fenders away from going full Wrangler, that bulky front end ensures the two SUVs remain distinct, even with our face-swapping antics.
The 2021 Jeep Bronco Wildtrak
Unlike the Jeep-ified Bronco, the Bronco-fied Jeep looks, at least up front, like neither 4×4. Instead, it vaguely resembles a modern Toyota FJ40. Narrowing the Bronco’s full-width grille and headlight binnacle to fit between the Jeep’s front fenders scales it down to a thin, small-eyed visage in line with the classic Toyota off-roader’s look.
For fun, we lifted key features from the new Bronco’s Wildtrak off-road trim level, including its Method-brand beadlock-capable wheels, steel front bumper, and available LED light bar. In place of the Wrangler’s Rubicon hood decal, we slapped the Ford’s “Wildtrak” lettering, and we added the bucking Bronco badge where the Jeep’s “Trail Rated” roundel lives on the front fender. Since this is not a Bronco, we changed the “BRONCO” lettering in the grille to something in between the Bronco and Wrangler worlds.
So, what have we learned? The 2021 Ford Bronco and the Jeep Wrangler are cut from similar cloth, but each is unique enough that trying to meld them into one another doesn’t exactly work. Each offers a distinct appeal, with the Bronco’s boxy style faithfully reviving and modernizing the original Ford 4×4’s look from the 1960s, and the Wrangler’s open-fender wildness remaining unlike anything else you can buy new today.