Suddenly, a Ford Bronco Raptor Enters the Realm of Possibility

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
suddenly a ford bronco raptor enters the realm of possibility

Ford’s 2019 Ranger might be new to the U.S., but the model’s uninterrupted existence in overseas markets means those customers get first dibs on the brawny Raptor variant. This assumes North Americans eventually get their hands on the wide-track, off-road Ranger model, and it’s a reasonable assumption.

As for the reborn Ford Bronco, a Ranger platform-mate slated for U.S. production in 2019, the existence of a beastly Ranger Raptor is enough to generate the faintest of hopes for a wilder SUV. Now, thanks to comments made to an Australian publication, those dreams don’t seem nearly as crazy.

Speaking to Drive, Ford Performance head engineer Jamal Hameedi remarked on the possibility of doing to Ford’s overseas Everest what it did to the Ranger.

The Everest, like the upcoming Bronco, is a midsize SUV built on the Ranger’s T6 frame. The SUV’s rear suspension — a coil-sprung solid axle with a Watt’s link — is similar to that of the Raptor, which ditches the stock Ranger’s rear leaf springs. It’s not a total carryover, but the two vehicles share enough similarities to make an Everest Raptor worth talking about.

And talk, Hameedi did.

“There’s no reason [we wouldn’t do an Everest Raptor],” he said. “The first F-150 Raptor was way beyond our wildest dreams in terms of success, and that success spawned a Ranger Raptor. So to do an SUV is a little more difficult because you have to figure out how to deal with the rear suspension. In the form of a bodyside outer it’s not just a box outer [and that] poses a unique challenge in how you package that.”

The most obvious difference between the Ranger and its Raptor sibling is the added width. The Raptor’s body stretches nearly a foot wider, with a track increased — front and rear — by nearly 6 inches. Frame modifications became necessary. While stretching the skin of an SUV over a much wider track would pose its own challenges, it’s an idea Ford of Australia doesn’t dismiss out of hand.

“Long term it would make sense if you look at the fact that passenger vehicles were overtaken by SUVs this [2017] year,” said Ford Australia product communications manager Damion Smy. “There’s definitely a case for more performance oriented or at least more sports styled SUVs in the future.”

It’s still a longshot, and who knows what Ford’s American crew feels its customers deserve, but faint hopes don’t need much fuel to stay alive. We now have a Ford Edge ST, with an Explorer version on the way. The future, at least at the Blue Oval, seems dependent on crossovers and SUVs, some of them with added performance cred.

Is a butchier Bronco too much to ask?

[Images: Ford]

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  • Mikeg216 Mikeg216 on Feb 16, 2018

    Just use the expedition.. Put in the 5.0..and all the tricks from the raptor and bam!

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Feb 16, 2018

    With the shorter wheelbase and wider stance an Everest/Bronco "Raptor" would be fast in the desert, buggy like. If there is a Bronco Raptor it will be expensive. I did read many comments on how the Bronco should have really sharp pricing. But, many comments on this site are from tight asses that don't seem to want to pay much for anything, even road infrastructure, then blame everyone else but their tight ass selves for cheap imports in the US. The Bronco will be an expensive vehicle compared to the old Bronco, and a Raptor Bronco will be quite expensive.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird The hideaway headlamps on these and other Ford vehicles of the era could have issues mostly vacuum related. Usually the vacuum hoses that ran to the actuators would deteriorate. The “coffee can” reservoir which was mounted in the front header was rarely an issue because it was protected from the elements. The other coffee can reservoir used for the HVAC controls and actuators and mounted under the passenger side wheel well had a tendency to rot away. I once replaced one on my 70 Mustang when I noticed that the vents were acting janky. Later model Fords like Fox bodies used a durable plastic globe shaped one. The radio on these 69-70 full-size Fords mounted on the left side of aircraft style instrument cluster within the drivers touch probably disappointed many young people. “Mom will you change the station?” “Andy Williams is so square”.
  • MichaelBug For me, two issues in particular:1. It can be difficult for me to maintain my lane on a rainy night. Here in southeastern PA, PennDOT's lane markings aren't very reflective. They can be almost impossible to make out when wet.2. Backing out of a parking space in a lot with heavy pedestrian traffic. Oftentimes people will walk right into my blind spot even if I am creeping back with my 4-way flashers blinking. (No backup camera in my '11 Toyota Camry.)Michael B 🙂
  • Tagbert When you publish series like this, could you include links to the previous articles in the series so that we can follow through? Thank you. Edit: now I see a link embedded in the first paragraph that goes to the previous story. It wasn’t clear at first where that link went but now I understand.
  • DungBeetle62 When you're in one of these, you life in a state of constant low-level nervous about 90% of the time. But that other 10% kinda makes up for it.
  • Garrett Instead of foisting this problem on the car companies and the people who buy cars, make those who possess liquor licenses and those who purchase alcohol take on the economic cost of this problem.
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