This kind of thing is becoming more common.
The Ford Bronco has taken the world, and specifically America, by storm. It's already proving to be a sales success with all first editions selling out just hours after their release. Needless to say, people are very excited for their new off-roaders to arrive. Part of that excitement is because you can customize so much on the Bronco, and people love driving cars with a bit of their own taste in them. Unfortunately, one area that may be a little more difficult to work with is increasing the power of the car, as the ECU is heavily reinforced to prevent unreliable changes.
We've seen this sort of thing before with even the mighty Hennessey Performance Engineering admitting that it may need GM's help to properly tune the C8 Corvette. Early versions of the R35 Nissan GT-R also took an age to crack before ex-NASA engineers were finally able to get into the ECU without crippling the car. But you can't blame manufacturers for playing it safe. In these days of electronic everything, some wannabe whiz kid with a laptop could destroy your new vehicle's ability to even move. But Ford knows that its customers want to play around and, according to Muscle Cars & Trucks, is actually working with SEMA to find a safe way of letting people extract more from the Bronco.
According to Bronco program manager Jeff Seaman, "there's a SEMA agreement where we authorize third parties to make engine calibrations and updates. I think this is definitely an opportunity to explore as we go forward. We've got the OTA architecture in place for the Bronco, but how that works with third-party developers vs doing it in house and internal updates is still something to see how it will work."
So at the moment, you can't just head to your local garage and ask the guy in charge to extract more power from the motor, but at least Ford is aware and interested in helping the aftermarket find a way around this.