Storm Chasing Bronco Sport Interceptor

Cyclone Cowboy

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Several people asked me start a thread for this topic (because it spun off other topics) so here it is.

I won't repeat everything I've already posted, but I'm building a concept vehicle for storm interception and volunteer EMS work.

I need to point out that although I'm planning on using the Bronco Sport, the final decision will only come after seeing it in person and doing an intense test drive. My biggest concern ATM is ground clearance. I would like at least 9.5 -- especially with hurricane flooding. The Badlands has 8.8" with the optional 29-inch tires. If the dealer offers a 1 inch lift kit, we will be there. My other concern is the engine start / stop feature. That would normally be a deal breaker, even though there may be a on / off switch that mnust be pushed everytime you start-up. Pain in the as_. I don't want to worry about something going wrong when I pull over then have to haul as_ when a twister is heading my way. I won't detail the potential issues of an auto shut off engine while chasing, but they do exist. Fortunately, I have found a company that sells a device to circumvent the "on/off" issue. The other looming issue is the price of gas over the next 4+ years. Depending on the outcome of the election, I may bail out for a Hybrid vehicle, although good 4x4 Hybrids are limited and the good ones like the Ford Explorer are way beyond my volunteer budget. I (we) drive over 20k miles per year chasing and $6.00+ gallon gas (expected cost w/ green taxes) would blow our budget in a few days. This is NOT a political statement as saving the planet is great, but reality is reality and I'm on a budget.

I will post a complete update next week.
 

Elboy

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For reference, I'm the chaser / photojournalist that photographed the cover for the original Twister Motion Picture Poster.

twister-poster2.jpg
amazing! i hope you end up with the perfect storm interceptor, bronco or not. wish i could help you in anyway but i don’t know too too much about the best car options / mods haha.
 
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Cyclone Cowboy

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Thanks! It's always difficult to find the right vehicle. The Xterra was perfect, minus poor mileage and crummy headlamps, but Nissan had a marketing brain fart. I think the "perfect" vehicle (off road clearance, Hybrid mileage, size, cost-effective, good acceleration and 4x4) is several years away, but coming. Hopefully the Sport will fill the gap.
 

BobSlydel21

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For reference, I'm the chaser / photojournalist that photographed the cover for the original Twister Motion Picture Poster.

twister-poster2.jpg
Dude that’s so cool. I’ll never forget seeing that movie in the the theatres. Was 14 years old with my AAU Basketball Team.

I’m hoping this all works out in the Bronco Sport favor... Ford needs to pony up and give you a grant or something. So dope. So you’re chasing any disaster...as a volunteer?
 
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Cyclone Cowboy

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I wish Ford would "pony-up" and give me a deal on a blacked-out Explorer 4x4 Hybrid since we don't have 50k......lol. I'll actually settle as a test driver for the Ranger Raptor!

I work as a both a EMS volunteer (I"m a tactical EMT) when needed and as a National Weather Service storm spotter. I also have doctors on the chase team and we respond when needed. I use to do a lot of storm photojournalism, but the photo market collapsed when digital cameras and social media flooded the markets for free. There have been so many "fake" chasers on TV lately, it makes legitimate chasing hard to sell for marketing. I pay for everything myself.
 

Excape

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Since you're the real deal and have the T-shirt (poster) to prove it, Ford should assist you with promoting their rugged SUV lineup. What's more marketable than "Twister Tough".

I mean, if Toyota did the asteroid thing (see below), then Ford should be chomping at the bit for a bonafide real-world action vehicle role.

Tacoma Meteor YouTube
 

TheMalamute

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I totally understand where your coming from. I’m a volcano chaser and took the famous photo from 1997’s hit “Volcano”. I’m always looking for a vehicle that meets my needs. Just kidding. That is actually really cool and I hope this vehicle will be what you want and more!

3EA5BD2D-76A8-43CE-8E26-ED1A0CB181FB.jpeg
 
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Cyclone Cowboy

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Marketing is a tough nut to break. Every storm chase vehicle we have owned has been on TV: Discovery, National Geographic, The Weather Channel, etc., but car sponsors are very difficult to land.
 
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Cyclone Cowboy

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Found this picture today of our first storm intercept vehicle, a Ford Explorer from back in the early / mid-1990's. It does kind of look like a larger version of the Bronco Sport.

CH-02-sm.jpg
 
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Cyclone Cowboy

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This was the original concept but I changed it back to black. We will also be adding some things from the Ford Bronco Sport accessories book if funds allow. We might be able to store the EMS equipment box on top.

Original image with permission by Matt St-Pierre - Motor Illustrated - Concept additions by Warren Faidley http://www.stormchaser.com



Ford-Bronco-Storm-Chasing-Concept-sm.jpg
 

2Horse

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This was the original concept but I changed it back to black. We will also be adding some things from the Ford Bronco Sport accessories book if funds allow. We might be able to store the EMS equipment box on top.

Original image with permission by Matt St-Pierre - Motor Illustrated - Concept additions by Warren Faidley http://www.stormchaser.com



Ford-Bronco-Storm-Chasing-Concept-sm.jpg
My first thought when seeing this storm interceptor vehicle was that the added running boards/steps must cut into the ground clearance which is very important to you. Would they stay?
 
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Cyclone Cowboy

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This was the original concept but I changed it back to black. We will also be adding some things from the Ford Bronco Sport accessories book if funds allow. We might be able to store the EMS equipment box on top.

Original image with permission by Matt St-Pierre - Motor Illustrated - Concept additions by Warren Faidley http://www.stormchaser.com



Ford-Bronco-Storm-Chasing-Concept-sm.jpg
Yes, I'd likely change the design.
 
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Cyclone Cowboy

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On a similar note..... I keep seeing lift kits on Sport pictures, including the SEMA show concept vehicle, but no one seems to know anything about the lifts, e.g., max height and if the dealer will do it.
 
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