It is heartwarming to see a company like Ford all-in on off-road capable vehicles. With a comprehensive line of trail-ready cars and taking off-road performance to new heights with the F150 Raptor and Ranger Raptor (only available for global markets), they have set the stage welcoming their competitors to attempt what they have achieved. And the rebirth of the Ford Bronco, and now the only thing that is just as exciting is the Bronco Raptor. Well, the Bronco Raptor is here – a 3.0L Twin Turbo V6 making 400 horsepower, with 37inch tires, Fox Live Valve Suspension, cycling 13″ of wheel travel in the front and 14″ in the rear. The expected base price for this Ultra4 inspired Bronco Raptor is to start at $69,995. Ford just recently released it this morning January 24th and here is everything you need to know – Baja mode just got kicked up a notch.
Ford Off-Road Involvement
When we say Ford is all in on off-road, they truly are. Most of their SUVs and trucks are marketed to the outdoor enthusiasts, but for those that want to get a little bit more extreme – well, then you have the F150 Raptor and Bronco.
Ford further proves their commitment to its performance models by putting them through their paces. From Racing Baja in two generations of Raptors in Baja and even winning a stage at Dakar, they have proven to be fairly successful. The 2019 Bronco R effort in Baja resulted in a DNF, and the 2020 Bronco Baja 1000 effort was successful in their eyes, finishing the Baja 1000. (despite Ford’s effort towing the Bronco R across the finish line 5 hours after Glickenhouse and their Baja Boot, their only competitor.) While Baja was bad luck for Ford Performance – Ultra4 brought great fortune to the team in the 4600 Modified Stock class, claiming the Bronco’s two victories in the season with Brad Lovell behind the wheel, a huge accomplishment nonetheless.
Ford also released a Race Ready Bronco DR, a spec race truck with a Coyote V8 hand-built by Multimatic. Production numbers are being limited to 50 vehicles, but no one has ever seen them race, so who knows if they are any good.
Interestingly enough, Ford took a few notes from the 4600 race Bronco in Ultra4 and implemented similar technology to create the production Bronco Raptor. Ford claims it is the first Ultra4, inspired SUV in production. They aren’t wrong, and in fact, they are incorporating that into the overall ethos of the Bronco Raptor, and giving recognition to the race organization is fantastic.
The Bronco Raptor has been widened 8.6 inches across to make good for 13 inches of wheel travel in the front and 14 inches in the rear. Soaking up that suspension is 3.1 Fox Live Valve internal bypass shocks with the same terrain select modes you would see on a Raptor or select Polaris RZR models.
Additional front and rear jounce dampers (or air bump stops) help absorb the load after full compression on jumps or whoops. New brakes on the trailer hitch help increase the tow rating to 4500 pounds.
The same 37-inch BF Goodrich Ko2 tires on the F150 Raptor are to come equipped on the Bronco Raptor, a first for an SUV to be built with tires that large.
Engine and Drivetrain
While we knew the Bronco Raptor was coming, we thought just maybe with many hopes and prayers; Ford would give us the V8. But no. (insert quote about a V8 being legendary and because it sounds good we need it, and something about freedom and bald eagles)
It is equipped with the same 3.0L twin-turbo V6 in the Ford Explorer ST. Ford did not specify the horsepower, but they say it is aimed to make tuned to make 400HP and 415 ft. pounds torque. Sorry, no V8, even though it will be missed, but you can always drive a 1996 Bronco with a V8 making 205hp.
Baja mode is still in the Bronco amongst other settings, but this new refined drive mode has an anti-lag system that lets the exhaust flow when you’re off the throttle to keep the turbos spinning. This minimizes turbo lag and allows you to stay on boost whenever you don’t have your foot in it.
Unfortunately, there is no mention of a manual transmission at this moment. The transmission is a 10-speed automatic, and the transfer case low range is 3.06:1, with a 67.8:1 crawl ratio that matches the standard Bronco and a 4.7:1 final drive.
The axles have been beefed up immensely to withstand durability needs for serious off-road performance, with a Dana 44 in the front and Dana 50 rear axle with a 235-mm ring gear in the rear.
A total of 86 inches in width, the Bronco Raptor is nearly as wide as the F150 Raptor. At first glance, the body remains untouched but was actually widened to accommodate the width and extend the fender flairs outwards to reach DOT requirements. It is subjective, but I do not think the flares look good; fiberglass companies will definitely adapt to selling fenders to restore the looks of this bucking Bronco.
Pricing and Availability
The Bronco Raptor starts at $69,995. For comparison, it costs $78,470 to equip a 2022 F-150 Raptor with the 37 package, and a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 starts at $76,395.
Ford says you can start making reservations in late March. Although they say most of the 2022 model year Bronco Raptor allocation will get snatched up by existing reservation holders based on their original reservation date.
Needless to say, this Bronco Raptor is very exciting. What are your thoughts?