Ford has finally whipped the covers off its new show-jumping off-roading dynamo after months and months of media teasers. Meet the new Bronco Raptor.
With interest in standard Broncos being so high that many American dealers are dropping significant mark-ups on top of standard retail prices, the Bronco Raptor is an inevitable release, and most likely an inevitable success. It’s the first time Ford has released a Raptor-ified model outside of the F-150 or Ranger.
Diving straight into the juicy powertrain details, the Bronco Raptor gets Ford’s popular 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6. But, unlike other models with this engine, it swaps the traditional aluminium block for a more heavy duty graphite iron block in a move that theoretically makes the powertrain more robust and reliable for the inevitable hours of dune-bashing. It also gets an anti-lag turbo system borrowed from the Ford GT motorsport programme.
Ford has yet to confirm power output for the model, stating instead that it will produce over 400hp, or 303kW. For reference, the standard Bronco comes with a 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 producing 246kW. Yes, this toughened EcoBoost 3.0 could very well be the engine that we get in the upcoming Ranger Raptor.
On top of getting a stronger block, the powertrain is also supported by improved cooling and air-induction systems, a seven-mode all-wheel drive off-road system (including a new Baja mode for high-speed gravel shenanigans), four exhaust modes, and a familiar 10-speed automatic.
The Raptor isn’t just more powerful than the four-door Bronco it’s based on. It’s also larger, measuring in at 250mm wider than its base vehicle and 120mm more ground clearance, thanks in part to meatier 37-inch BF Goodrich all-terrain rubber and extended wheel arches. Other styling tweaks outside include a new grille, front bash-plate arrangement, integrated tow-hooks, different lights on each end, and vents in the front fenders.
It may look a lot like the standard Bronco, but the front and rear quarter panels, door skins, fenders, and fender flares are all specific to the Raptor. The bonnet is, too, with its additional ‘power bulge’.
As with the Ranger Raptor, the Bronco Raptor also features a slightly modified chassis. Ford has given the platform new shock towers, control arms from Ford Performance, and a set of Fox internal bypass dampers.
On top of featuring extensive support from Fox, the Bronco also gets a hand from renowned off-road engineers Dana. It sports Dana AdvanTek axles at each end, and upgraded half shafts, plus larger driveshafts. The transfer case has a new 3.06 low ratio capable of a 67.7:1 crawl and, for those tackling the harshest off-road environments, the model also comes with a one-pedal trail mode.
These additions help the model achieve 330mm of suspension travel up front and 355mm in the rear, with the semi-active dampers monitoring the height of each wheel hundreds of times a second, and the platform’s torsional rigidity increasing by 50 per cent.
So what does all of this cost. Well, Ford has said that the model will start at US$69,995 ($104,500) stateside, including shipping and handling. That’s quite the jump over the current top-spec US$47,780 model, but given the amount of people paying more than sticker price on the model, it’s likely that these will sell like hot cakes regardless.