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2021 Ford Bronco vs. 2021 Ford Mustang Mach E Is a War of Ages

I'm pretty sure most of you have noticed that car lovers around the world are living in some pretty interesting times nowadays. The actual status quo of mobility, on the whole, is on the verge of taking a rather abrupt turn, either for worse or for the better.
Everything we know and love (or hate) about the automobile is going to change irremediably in the next decade or so. I'm not talking about autonomous driving or flying cars (at least not just yet), but about the very concept that makes you look at a car and say: “I want to own and drive that.”

Not long ago, classifying a vehicle you saw for the first time was like cracking a nut with a sledgehammer. We only had sedans, hatchbacks, stations wagons, SUVs, convertibles, pickup trucks, and sports cars. Granted, each of these segments had their own sub-niches that were probably a bit harder to pinpoint, but not impossible.

Yes, some convertibles are actually roadsters and some hatchbacks can be sports cars while some SUVs can hit 60 in under 4 seconds, but their basic essence is still pretty obvious to the trained or untrained eye.

Well, here we are in the third decade of the 21st century, and things are becoming increasingly complicated from this point of view, especially since there is also a clash of generations brewing in the distance.

Both Baby Boomers and Generation Xers are slowly fading out of the spotlights, their place being taken over by an assortment of more digitally literate Millennials or members of the so-called Generation Z.

Not all Gen Z folks are yet old enough to drive or wealthy enough to buy a car – some say they don't even have an interest in them anyway – but most carmakers are currently struggling to develop alternative means of transportation mostly with them in mind.

On that bombshell, most surveys say that Gen Z people are about as car crazed as are flies splattered across a windshield, and they eschew driving every chance they get. Show them the latest foldable electric scooter or a Sci Fi-looking autonomous pod concept car, and you'll need to mop their drool from the floor. Throw them the keys to a '68 Dodge Charger, and they'll run away screaming on their self-balancing hoverboards.

I exaggerate, obviously, but previous generations did grow up believing that having and owning a car was a pivotal part of life. Nowadays, with the advent of car-sharing and improvement in public transportation, owning a car is obviously less crucial than before.

That said, carmakers still want to remain relevant in the future, like any old-age business, so most of them compete in various ways to spark the joy of motoring in the younger generations. Sometimes, these competitions even take place inside a car brand's own lineup.

I think the best example of how you can offer seemingly antithetical products for a continuously changing market that is heading toward a future where no one owns a car is found in Detroit, of all places.

Ford is the first of the Detroit Big Three and among the first in the world to take a dip in this whirlwind with two upcoming models that are about as divergent as the Millennials are from Baby Boomers.

I'm obviously talking about the extremely old-school 2021 Ford Bronco and the poles-apart 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, both of which are currently trying to establish themselves as key market players in their respective niches.

The Bronco is an antediluvian boxy off-roader with a rigid rear-axle and is powered by an internal combustion engine that no matter how efficient EcoBoost technology is, still runs on good old dinosaur juice.

The Mustang Mach-E, save for its anachronistic and downright insulting name, is a digital car for the digital age, powered by electric motors and the same kind of energy that runs through wires, not pipes.

It's almost like Ford wanted to enforce the generation gap into its own model lineup, thus reiterating a battle of two distinct ages. Similar wars took place when horse-drawn carts began to be replaced by noisy horseless carriages.

Nobody knew who would win in the end, but you can be sure as hell not that many cowboys were friendly with gas-station owners for a while.

Fittingly, both the Bronco and the Mustang Mach-E have horse-inspired names with a large legacy behind them, so it will be interesting to see which of their two niches will become mainstream in the long run. I want the Bronco nameplate's return to be a successful one, but I'm betting all my money on the electron-powered newcomer.

 
 
 
 
 

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