If you've been checking in here from time to time, you may have noticed I live in California. Suburban Sacramento, to be exact. Sacramento is actually the second sunniest city in California, with an average of 269 days of sunshine per year (the national average is 207).
If you've seen the news lately, you know that this year is not an average year. We've had at least a dozen atmospheric river events producing record snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains and record rainfall in the foothills and valleys.
A typical year's worth of rainfall in Sacramento is 18-ish inches, measured from October to October. As of the end of March, we appear to have blown past 25.
Suddenly a snorkel sounds like a great idea. And this one comes with an SUV attached.
The Ford Bronco Everglades is a special edition Bronco introduced in 2022. The snorkel isn't just for water. The idea, as hardcore off-roaders know, is to raise the air intake above the level of the road---getting it out of the way of things like dust, snow and----yes---water. It features two easy-to-swap plates that can reverse the direction of the intake depending on the conditions.
There are also raised vents for the front and rear axles, transfer case and transmission. All that adds up to water fording capability of 36.4 inches.
And just in case you do encounter a situation where there's insufficient traction from the 35-inch Goodyear mud-terrain tires, the Bronco Everglades comes with a Warn winch as standard equipment. The winch has 100 feet of synthetic line and a 10,000 pound limit.
Under the hood is a 2.3-liter Ecoboost four-cylinder, making 300 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. Zero to 60 in a bit better than 7.5 seconds. EPA fuel economy average 18 mpg combined. Those seeking more fearsome firepower are directed to the Bronco Raptor and its 3.3-liter turbo with 400 horses.
The removable doors and roof panels have optional storage bags that can fit in the cargo area for open-air adventures.
And because the outdoors has a way of getting inside, the Bronco Everglades has standard marine-grade vinyl seats and rubberized washout flooring.
When the Bronco Everglades was introduced as a 2022 model (more on that in a minute), the base price (including destination) was $54,595. That gets you everything discussed so far, as well as a heavy-duty modular front bumper, fender tie-down hooks, full-vehicle steel bash plates, automatic high beams, front and rear tow hooks, a six-speaker audio system with a 12-inch LCD touchscreen, a front stabilizer bar, hill start assist and a tool kit for door and top removal.
Our test vehicle had a few extra cost options---a three-year navigation subscription ($695), the door and roof panel storage bags ($350), towing capability (that's how it's listed on the sticker---$595) and a slide-out tailgate ($600). That brings the MSRP for a 2022 Bronco Everglades (which our tester was) to $56,835.
Now---about the 2022 thing. If you go to the Ford.com website, you won't find a 2023 Ford Bronco Everglades available. I reached out to Ford Communications and got this response:
Bronco and Ranger are both built at Michigan Assembly Plant. As we are preparing for the launch of the all-new Ranger, we’ve made some temporary manufacturing changes to maximize commonality on the assembly line to ensure a quality launch for the new Ranger while getting Broncos to existing reservation and order holders. As a result, we’ve made the difficult decision to temporarily not offer the Everglades series for the remainder of the 23MY.
When I asked if Ford intends to offer the Everglades in model year 2024, I was told Ford has nothing else to add beyond the statement above.
There are (as of this writing) Bronco Everglades on Ford dealer lots. The number can change in a heartbeat, so I'll just tell you that right now (8:48 a.m. Pacific on Monday, April 3), there are not enough to use all the fingers on one hand to count them. And I can't tell you how many you might expect to see come up someday on the used market, because Ford doesn't break out individual Bronco models in their sales figures.
But Ford wants you to know about the Bronco Everglades, otherwise it wouldn't have gone to the time and expense of putting one into the hands of journalists like myself. That suggests to me that the Bronco Everglades will be back.