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New Ford Bronco Raptor Is A 400-HP Off-Road Beast

The Ford Bronco is already a potent off-roader, but Ford felt that the Jeep Wrangler needed even tougher competition. Meet the new Ford Bronco Raptor, which expands on the Bronco's excellent performance in the dirt (or sand, snow, and mud).

The Bronco gets even brawnier in Raptor form, with wider fender flares and rear quarter panels, exclusive door moldings, and a redesigned steel front bumper for improved rock crawling. New rock rails and retractable running boards further enhance the Raptor's performance when rock crawling. Thanks to these changes, the Bronco Raptor is now 9.8 inches wider. The wider track also allows for side heat extraction ducts to increase engine cooling. Up front, this Bronco wears block lettering on the grille, which makes any Ford Raptor instantly recognizable. The signature Bronco headlights now have amber LED daytime-running lights, as well as amber marker lamps. The front bumper now features removable end caps, as well as tow hooks, LED fog lamps, and Rigid off-road lights. The newly sculpted hood flanks Raptor logos on either side of the hood bulge, while the Carbon Black hood vent is positioned in front.

Ford stripped the Bronco back to its frame, in order to add extensive off-road enhancements for the Raptor. The high-strength steel frame has new shock towers, which improve wheel travel and the SUV's durability when going off-road. Continuous driveline coverage from the front bumper to the rear of the powertrain comes from new heavy duty skid and bash plates. Torsional rigidity increases by 50% compared to a standard 4-door Bronco, thanks to reinforced cross bars in the B- and C-pillars. The new Ford Performance axles are also used in the Bronco DR off-road racer, so this should promise excellent performance. The upgraded front and rear axles with 210- and 235-millimeter ring gear bring the vehicle's track width up by 8.6 inches. Larger driveshafts deliver additional wheel torque, which is essential for high-speed desert runs. As expected, ground clearance is much higher than a standard Bronco, sitting at 13.1 inches (4.8 inches taller).

The Bronco Raptor has a revised 4x4 system with three different modes, and a new clutch that has been optimized for desert performance. An upgraded transfer case now has a 3.06 4x4 LO ratio, which allows for a 67:7:1 crawl ratio. There is also a new FOX High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension setup that features live valve tech. FOX internal bypass semi-active dampers with a 3.1" diameter are reminiscent of the ones found in the 2021 F-150 Raptor, and are separately tuned in the front and rear. The front suspension incudes integrated reservoirs, while the rear features remote reservoirs. Numerous sensors, including suspension height and corner-mounted ones, are capable of separately monitoring the terrain under the vehicle over one hundred times every second. The information recorded from the sensors allows the suspension to automatically tune itself to accommodate its surroundings. The Raptor also has the regular Bronco's unique G.O.A.T. terrain management driving modes, but with even more content. The Raptor now has seven manually-selected modes, including a new Baja Mode with a turbo anti-lag calibration system. There is also a new Tow/Haul Mode, which raises towing capacity to an impressive 4,500 pounds. Additional G.O.A.T. modes include Trail Turn Assist, Trail One-Pedal Driving, and Trail Control.

New Raptor-exclusive control arms in the front and rear deliver 13-inch maximum wheel control in front and 14 inches in the rear. That makes a whopping 40% and 60% increase compared to a normal Bronco. In order for that power to carry out correctly, 37" BFGoodrich K02 all-terrain tires are standard. For the record, that makes them the largest tires currently available on any SUV in the US. To go with the tires, 17" x 8.5" headlock-capable wheels are offered on the Raptor. There is also an all-electric power steering rack to allow the best steering possible for off-road ventures.

So, what powers this bonkers SUV? An all-new 3.0 liter EcoBoost twin-turbo with special Raptor tuning carried out by Ford Performance. This amazing powertrain produces 400 horsepower, unsurprisingly making the Raptor the most powerful Bronco yet. A compacted graphite iron block structure effectively reduces weight, which further improves the Bronco Raptor's off-rad performance. In order to keep this powerful EcoBoost cool, Ford added intercooling and air induction systems optimized for high temperatures. A 10-speed automatic is paired up with the engine, and remains similar to the one found in the more expensive Broncos. Releasing all of the remaining energy is a dual-exhaust system with first-ever active valve tech and almost identical pipe lengths. Normal, Sport, Quiet and Baja selectable exhaust modes allow the driver to slightly adjust the sound of their Bronco Raptor.

Inside, the cabin is quite familiar. However, Ford added a few touches that are inspired by Baja racing. In front if the driver is a 12" digital gauge cluster, with multiple customizable gauge setups. The steering wheel itself is slightly new, with new Raptor-exclusive controls, central gloss black Bronco emblem, and upgraded magnesium paddle shifters. A 12-inch SYNC 4 infotainment system is standard on the Raptor, with voice recognition and connected exterior cameras with a 360-degree view feature. Opting for the Lux Package gives you adaptive cruise control, as well as a 10-speaker B&O sound system. A clear two-tone design theme is evident, with the marine-grade vinyl seating and rubber washout floor floor in Black Onyx. Elsewhere, you'll find sharp Code Orange accents in the door netting, air vents, G.O.A.T. mode rotary dial, steering wheel stitching, and the light-up ignition button. A carbon fiber material is found on the steering wheel bezels, grab handles, and gear shift. The new Ford Performance front seats are made for bumpy terrain, with foam side bolsters to keep passengers secure. Interior options for the Raptor include a vinyl gauge luster topper, leather-wrapped seat bolsters, Code Orange seat belts, carpeted flooring, and cool laser perforated Black Onyx Neo suede seating.

No information on the Bronco Raptor's pricing has been given, but customers will be able to place their orders in March. Deliveries are to commence as soon as this summer.

Bronco Raptor or Wrangler 392?

Images: Ford


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