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Jeep Fires Back at Ford Bronco Before it Even Debuts

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Today’s the big day at Ford, as the Bronco's much-ballyhooed comeback becomes officially official with the long-awaited unveiling of the model. It's no secret that the Bronco has one goal in mind: to go after Jeep and its Wrangler.

Are the folks at Jeep feeling the heat? The company, after all, has enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the big-boy all-terrain SUV sub-genre with the Wrangler, and now the Gladiator since this year. They would be remiss in not being wary of the arrival of a Ford rival.

While the company will never admit it is sweating, clearly there’s talk at HQ about this new contender, and what to do about it. And so, we get this cryptic but not very subtle new broadside fired by FCA and clearly aimed in the direction of the Bronco.

Just hours before the scheduled premiere of the Bronco, Jeep posted this image that seems to tease something new for one of its models. Clearly visible on the hood of either a Wrangler or a Gladiator are the numbers 392. For those familiar with the brand, these numbers refer to the 392-cc Hemi V8 engine found spread throughout the lineup. This unit spits out 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque.

For now, the Bronco's most powerful engine, at least at launch, is expected to be a 2.7L EcoBoost V6 generating 325 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.

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Jeep has previously toyed with the idea of grafting a V8 onto the Wrangler. There's no doubt that the Ford Bronco's arrival has gotten things moving at the FCA division. What’s more, we can already foresee retaliation on the part of Ford; the Mustang's V8 could easily find its way into the product offering for the Bronco, for instance.

It adds up to an exciting war looming on the horizon, the biggest winners of which will be consumers who will have more choices and configurations to choose from.

392 numbers on Jeep hood
Photo: Ford
392 numbers on Jeep hood