The Blue Oval has been teasing a new 2021 Ford Bronco concept for several days now, and thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long to see it. As expected, this new concept was created in partnership with outdoor outfitter Filson, and it was inspired by both vintage U.S. Forest Service Broncos and Filson’s iconic materials. But this particular creation, officially dubbed the Bronco Filson Wildland Fire Rig Concept, is about more than celebrating the heritage of these two iconic American brands.
“Ford and Filson share a unique history of helping protect our nation’s wildfire crews for more than a century and helping them access rugged areas of forests,” said Dave Rivers, Bronco marketing manager. “Today, we’re combining those strengths to support those who protect our natural resources as well as helping preserve our nation’s forests for future generations.”
The two companies will collaborate to raise funds in support of the National Forest Foundation’s reforestation programs and promote fire prevention awareness through limited-edition Bronco Filson outdoor gear at Filson.com, and via the custom Bronco Wildland Fire Rig concept vehicle. The Fire Rig concept serves as a model for future firefighting rigs based on the all-new Ford Bronco four-door.
The Bronco Wild Fund, which launched earlier this week, also will donate two Bronco four-door SUVs modeled after the Wildland Fire Rig concept to support forest firefighting crews who protect communities and defend vital natural resources.
The collaboration news comes during one of the most devastating U.S. fire seasons in history, with more than 7.5 million acres already ravaged. The Ford and Filson efforts honor the work of wildland firefighters – from federal, state, local and private teams.
The Bronco + Filson Wildland Fire Rig concept itself is a Badlands trim model equipped with the Sasquatch Package. It’s finished in Forest Service Green paint, similar to the first-generation U.S. Forest Service Bronco, and features a full fire skid with water tank in back. Up front, a modular steel bumper from Ford Performance has been fitted with a Warn Zeon 10s winch, while overhead, a heavy-duty custom fabricated roof rack with a Rigid LED light bar is mounted to the Bronco’s accessory-ready points on the side mirror arms and rear J-plate.
The concept is also fitted with an array of firefighting equipment including a Pulaski, shovel, water tanks and axes, and is strong enough to double as a firefighter lookout. The Kimtek Firelite Fire/Rescue Transport skid, with a Hannay Reels fire hose reel, Davey high-pressure water pump, and 50-gallon water tank is mounted out back, while a Stihl chainsaw, two hard hats, a high lift jack, and Sure Seal drip torch are latched to the skid.
The interior of the Bronco concept features signature Filson materials including tough otter green duck canvas door bolsters, armrests and seat trim surrounds, plus seating surfaces in quilted black leather inspired by Filson’s jacket lining, with an embossed Bronco logo. Grab handles on the instrument panel and center console are painted in matching Filson otter green. A CB radio is also mounted to the Bronco’s bring-your-own device rack on the instrument panel.
Fireproof ripstop nylon similar to that on Filson backpacks and briefcases is used for the bimini-style top and rear cargo area divider. The top can be opened, rolled back, and secured by Filson bridle leather straps. Other materials providing long-term durability from the elements include Cerakote ceramic coating on the wheels, roof rack and grille, and center console and instrument panel trim.
The steering wheel features a Bronco horse logo plated in Filson brass, while an embroidered Filson logo is mounted to the interior top and a similar logo is applied to the center console trim tag.
“The Filson and Bronco collaboration was a natural fit, given the deep histories both brands have with the U.S. Forest Service dating back to the midcentury, when crews relied on the Filson Cruiser jackets and first-generation Broncos to reach remote terrain and protect them in harsh conditions,” said Doug Thielen, director of marketing at Filson. “Our resilient materials and innovative product designs are the perfect complement for the rugged Bronco SUV, and honor wildland firefighters who risk it all to protect our forests and natural resources.”