By Jon Maib
Check out the video and then read more below!

I recently had the opportunity to go check out the new Bronco in its off-road habitat in Horseshoe Bay, TX. at the Grey Wolf Ranch. Ford has setup 4 different locations for the 'Bronco Off-Roadeo'. These can be found in Texas, Moab, New Hampshire and Nevada. This has been setup to allow new owners of the Bronco to really see what the Bronco is capable of and how to use the many functions of this highly innovative re-make of an old classic.

Horseshoe Bay, which is just outside of the Austin area is home to some of the most fun off-roading to be found in Texas. This is close to Llano, TX. where the Jeep Jamboree is held and I can tell you, that was some good wheeling too! (whoops, I said the J word in a Bronco article). The venue setup was amazing and highly inviting. If you've watched the video, you will have seen the staging area for the Broncos and for the guest. We began the morning off with a quick meet and greet to get to know those we would be wheelin with and to meet our trail leaders and spotters.

After the meet and greet, we headed out to the practice course to learn a bit about what the Bronco could do. This included a brief understanding of four wheel drive, the components that allow a vehicle to use 4 wheel drive and other basics of the vehicle. Once completed, we separated into 2 groups and then went over the basics of rock crawling using the Bronco One Pedal feature, Sway Bar Disconnect, Trail turn assist and Hill Descent feature:

One Pedal Feature: This allows you to speed up and slow down using only the accelerator pedal, so you can stay focused on navigating difficult terrain ahead of you. This renders two-footed driving obsolete for low speed, off-road crawling. To engage, you simply:
-Press the center button on the 4x4 selector to turn on or off. (Available only in 4wd mode)
-Depress the accelerator to speed up, back off the pedal to slow and remove your foot to stop.

Sway Bar Disconnect Feature: Disconnect the stabilizer bar by pressing the button on the Off-Road Hero Switch Pack located on the dash. When the vehicle is moving at below 20 mph, the bar will automatically disconnect. When you exceeds 20 mph, the bar will reconnect.
-The sway bar can be turned off during a flexed situation giving you better traction at a moments notice.
-In Rock Crawl G.O.A.T. mode, the sway bar is automatically disconnected
-The stabilizer bar disconnect feature is not available in certain G.O.A.T. Modes

Trail Turn Assist: This assists the driver by reducing the vehicle's turn radius in low-speed, technical off-road environments that require large steering input. This is accomplished through application of brake torque to the inside rear wheel of the turning vehicle.
-Simply engage by using the button found on the Hero Switch Pack on the dash, turn wheel to left or right lock position and add throttle to whip vehicle around tight corners.

Hill Descent Feature: This is essentially a cruise control system that uses traction control technology with anti-lock brakes. This system continually adjusts braking pressure to help control slippage and maintain a constant preset speed while you are going down a steep grade.
-Set transmission into Manual mode and use the selector on the shifter to choose the speed you want, take your feet off the pedals and the vehicle will modulate the speed as you descent.

These are some of the features that Ford has added to the Bronco to take some of the guess work out of off-roading. These features are helpful and fun to use on the trail. Our video above shows us using several of these throughout the day.

The rest of our day was spent having fun and just learning what the Bronco can do and what new drivers can do with their Broncos. I believe I was the only one there (other than our fantastic trail guide Amy) with any background in off-road, so it was fun to watch these new Bronco owners learn what their new vehicles could do right out of the box!

I was extremely impressed with how the Bronco did off-road and how comfortable it felt being inside, even as a passenger. The IFS of the Bronco definitely does not have the same kind of flex of a solid front axle and you will see this by the many 3 wheeling pics I got. But, is the Bronco a contender with the Jeep? I would say it is and Jeep will have people looking pretty hard at the Bronco now. Will the Bronco be a Jeep killer? Nope, we have been here before, check out my thoughts from before when I first got to climb in and on the Bronco for the first time HERE.

I do plan on doing a future review of the actual G.O.A.T mode functions and what they do, so keep checking back. But for now, enjoy the video and some of the pics I got at the Bronco Off-Roadeo!