SUVs

Wrangler, beware: 2020 Ford Bronco should pack solid front, rear axles

That's the word on the street, according to Dana's recent investor presentation.

Ford, Wieck

When Ford promised that the 2020 Bronco would be a proper off-roader, many in the media took it with a grain of salt. But by the sounds of it, that salt is entirely unnecessary.

The 2020 Ford Bronco will achieve its status as a full-on four-wheeler thanks to solid axles front and rear, Automotive News reports. It was revealed during a Dana investor presentation that the axle company received the contract to build axles for both the 2019 Ranger and 2020 Bronco, and Dana claims that both vehicles will feature a pair of Dana solid axles.

That's some old-school cool, right there.

Ford

Fans of American manufacturing will be excited to hear that the new axles will reportedly be manufactured at the same Toledo, Ohio plant that will soon manufacture axles for the next-generation Jeep Wrangler. Screw the horsepower wars -- let the off-road wars begin!

Solid axles are as the name belies -- it's a solid connection between two wheels, as opposed to an independent suspension, where the wheels have more independence from one another. Solid axles provide for better articulation in a high-load environment, which is right up off-roading's alley.

Of course, solid axles have drawbacks, as well. They're significantly less comfortable on the road, as what happens to one wheel (say, hitting a pothole) will have an immediate affect on the other. Cornering ability can be worse, too, due to a lack of camber angle under body roll, but nobody expects the Bronco to be a track hero in any respect.

The Bronco was originally conceived as a competitor to the Jeep CJ, so it's exciting to see this battle come back for 2020. The Wrangler has always sported a pair of stick axles -- including the legendary Dana 44 on certain models -- and while it wasn't necessarily assumed that the Bronco would have the same setup when it returned, it's nice to see that it will.