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Bronco Off-Roadeo, Las Vegas (Nevada)
Despite the fact that I was able to test-drive Ford’s wild horse for a whole weekend thanks to Joliette Ford, I must say that I was a bit disappointed. I didn’t have the opportunity to put it to the test on all kinds of terrains as I would have liked, and more particularly in “rock crawling.”
This year, once again thanks to the Joliette Ford team, I had the opportunity to live an exceptional adventure behind the wheel of the Ford Bronco. And, this time, there is no doubt that I was able to put the Ford Bronco to the test.
I traveled to the Nevada Desert Mountains of Las Vegas to live the experience the Bronco Off-Roadeo.
WHAT IS BRONCO OFF-ROADEO?
These are specially designed Ford Bronco test and practice sites, where Bronco owners and prospective owners have the opportunity to learn all the technological and mechanical features of their vehicle, driving techniques, and of course, to drive and put the Ford Bronco through its paces in a variety of situations.
There are currently four sites like this in the United States: Moab, Utah; Gilford, New Hampshire; Horseshoe Bay, Texas; and Las Vegas, Nevada. Each site offers a different environment and playground, unique to the location.
A DAY AT THE BRONCO OFF-ROADEO, Las Vegas, Nevada
The day begins with a bumpy road to get to the test site, which is off the busy highway. Upon arrival, a huge fence and a Ford Bronco arch stand before us with a series of towering desert mountains in the background.
Funny fact here: we had to rent a Jeep Wrangler 🤦♀️ from our rental company because there was no other type of SUV available. So we arrived at the Bronco Off-Roadeo site in a Jeep Wrangler. Needless to say, we had to give some explanations to the Ford Bronco enthusiasts who were there (haha!)
The site, located in the heart of the Nevada Desert Mountains, is beautifully landscaped. It’s a total Ford Bronco and off-road paradise out there! There are Broncos of all models and colors, perched and parked everywhere. You can already see some test sites here and there as well as brand new “American ranch” style buildings.
Our guide and coach
Just when my eyes didn’t know where to look, the environment was literally a playground, Matt, a retired police officer specializing in dangerous police and military driving, comes out of one of the Bronco barns shouting: “Hey folks, welcome to Bronco Off-Roadeo! I’m Matt, I will be your guide and coach today.”
That’s when I knew I wasn’t going to forget this day for a long time (haha!)
A bit of theory
First, our group of five drivers and their co-drivers headed to a converted area in one of the barns for the more theoretical portion of the day.
Using a real Bronco, Matt went over all the technological and mechanical features of the vehicle. This was an opportunity for me to learn more about the Ford Bronco. I was able to understand better the behaviors of the vehicle, the usage implications of certain features, when to use them and when not to use them.
From theory to practice
Afterwards, we went to a small practice site, so that Matt’s explanations, driving techniques and tips could be more easily visualized and integrated by everyone. These techniques were to be put into practice later in the day.
Here, we have to keep in mind that people who register for the Bronco Off-Roadeo all come with different off-road driving experiences.
Some are very experienced, while others are just starting out. Matt was able to adapt to the group and meet the expectations of each member. Both the more advanced and the beginners were able to find something to do, which I thought was very good.
The real fun begins
Then, after the theory, the learning and the practice, the real fun begins. 🤩
We are invited to choose our wild horse for the day and take a seat! I immediately jumped on the one that was equipped with every possible and unimaginable feature: a Badland model, equipped with the “Sasquatch Package.” I really wanted to have the opportunity to try everything out as much as possible.
After each driver and co-driver, each equipped with a radio for Matt to communicate with us, were settled into their respective Bronco, we were invited to line up for the drive into the desert mountains.
This is when the excitement is at its peak! I am smiling from ear to ear behind the wheel of my yellow Bronco!
Riding all kinds of terrain and putting the Bronco to the test
Matt takes us through all kinds of terrain, allowing us to use the full range of the Ford Bronco’s features (ultra-steep climbs and descents, tight turns, hyper-rocky terrain, narrow inclines, etc.).
Using his radio, Matt shows us how to get through the obstacles using all the features of the Ford Bronco:
- lock and unlock front and rear differentials,
- front sway bar disconnect,
- turn assist,
- use of the different GOAT modes,
- use of the manual transmission,
- use of the 4X4 L,
- automatic cruise control on downhill,
- one-pedal driving, etc.
On several occasions, he will get out of his Bronco to guide and coach us through the more complex obstacles as well as act as a second pair of eyes outside the vehicle.
Throughout the day, your Ford Bronco drives you through the Las Vegas desert, sometimes deep in a coulee, sometimes on top of the mountains, giving you access to a breathtaking view.
The dessert of the day
At the end of the day, Matt has the dessert in store for us: a steeply banked sharp turn, which requires us to lift the right rear wheel of the Ford Bronco off the ground several feet and bank the vehicle to the opposite side at an angle of about 20 degrees.
The one who gets the highest angle of inclination (without tipping over!), while successfully passing, wins!
Of course, this is all done under Matt’s supervision, so that the vehicle doesn’t fall over.
God, it was fun! It really allowed me to see the limits of the vehicle at this level, something I didn’t have the opportunity to do last year when I tested the Ford Bronco in the Mont-Tremblant National Park area.
Voyez l’expérience de Bianca ici!
Voyez l’expérience de Bianca ici!
The day finally ends with a good meal, then around a campfire 🔥, discussing our day and talking Bronco with the group.
MORE INFO ON BRONCO OFF-ROADEO
Who is it for?
For now, Bronco Off-Roadeo is only for Ford customers who have ordered or purchased a Ford Bronco (all models) or Ford Bronco Sport (Badland model only), 2021 and newer models.
So you can go there even if you have ordered your Bronco, but have not yet taken possession of it. All you need to do is provide proof of your order. This is currently an American program (USA), but Canadian customers can also benefit from it.
However, you should know that Bronco Off-Roadeo is currently planning to open this event to people who do not necessarily own a Ford Bronco. This could be an opportunity for Jeep Wrangler owners to come and test drive the Ford Bronco (haha!)
How much does it cost?
If you are an owner, or future owner of a Ford Bronco, the entire day at the Bronco Off-Roadeo is offered to you free of charge, including vehicle rental, gifts and meals. However, Canadians have to pay a small liability insurance premium.
Can I take one or more co-drivers with me?
You can take up to three co-drivers with you. However, you should be aware that there is a fee for each of these co-drivers. Also, consider that if they want to drive, you will have to share the wheel with them. They will not have their own Bronco.
Bronco Off-Roadeo is a great experience for off-road enthusiasts, and especially for Ford Bronco enthusiasts!
Everything is exceptional: the desert environment of Las Vegas, the layout of the site and the test trails, the quantity and variety of Ford Bronco that we find there, the experience and knowledge of the coaches to whom we have access as well as the landscapes to be admired in passing.
I was able to test the Ford Bronco as in my dreams, and more particularly in “rock crawling”, real “rock crawling”, not only with small stones!
Some girls dream of other things, but I dreamed of driving a Ford Bronco in the desert and I can now check that off my list. ✅
Thank you to the great team at Joliette Ford for allowing me to live this memorable and exciting experience!
For all the details on the Bronco Off-Roadeo, it’s here.