Ford Bronco Now Available With Factory V8 Power

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
ford bronco now available with factory v8 power

Did that headline grab your attention? As proponents of unmuffled V8 engines, it certainly grabbed ours. Gearheads have been shouting for an eight-cylinder Bronco ever since the first sketches of the Wrangler-fighter appeared all those years ago. Yesterday, in the desert near Las Vegas, Ford finally introduced such a rig.

There’s a catch, of course: the Bronco DR is strictly meant for off-road racing. And it’ll cost a cool quarter-mil.

Nevertheless, it’s a factory-built Bronco equipped with a Coyote 5.0-liter V8 and 10-speed automatic, both of which are (relatively) off-the-shelf items from the Blue Oval cupboard. More good news: The purpose-built Bronco DR shown on these digital pages might have a specialized body hewn from resin transfer molded fiberglass but Ford insists it retains the same frame and body structure as found on proletariat-grade four-door models.

The engine has a targeted output of 400 horsepower, a new vernacular employed by many manufacturers as a hedge against failing to meet stated goals. Ford should have nothing to worry about in this department, however, since this mill easily makes those types of numbers in other Blue Oval machines.

The rest of the Bronco DR (Desert Racer, if you’re wondering) reads like the mission statement from a custom off-road house. Multimatic position selective DSSV dampers play well with billet aluminum lower control arms good for 15.8 inches of front wheel travel and 17.4 inches of flex in the rear. Those measures are 55 percent and 58 percent more than a stock Badlands, respectively. Approach angles are jacked to 47 degrees, about five greater compared to a Bronco equipped with factory 35-inch meats – thanks in no small part to the 37-inch BFGoodrich KM3 mud-terrain tires. Its track width pushes through the 73-inch barrier, almost ten inches more than stock, and the whole thing weighs a meaty 6,200 pounds.

There is space inside for a driver and co-pilot, perched atop aggressive Sparco seats and enveloped by a Multimatic FEA-optimized full safety cage. Ford says the cabin retains a hint of the production truck’s dual-cowl atmosphere, but you really need to squint to see it. A huge central bank of buttons controlling everything from locking diffs to helmet dust pumpers looks great and should make its way into the Ford Performance catalog but surely never will. Mark Rushbrook, Ford Performance Motorsports global director, calls it a “turnkey 4×4 to compete in desert racing events”, though we just call it bloody cool.

Well-heeled off-roaders can get their fix in late 2022 when the first 50 copies of the 2023 Bronco DR will become available for sale. Price is yet to be nailed down, with Ford spox committing only to saying this beast is going to bear a starting price in the mid-$200,000 range.

[images: Ford]

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3 of 16 comments
  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Nov 03, 2021

    "Ford Bronco Now Available with Factory V8 Power" Yay! "There’s a catch, of course: the Bronco DR is strictly meant for off-road racing. And it’ll cost a cool quarter-mil." Fail.

    • C5 is Alive C5 is Alive on Nov 03, 2021

      To the contrary. Like suckers, we both clicked on the link to read more. The bastards won.

  • Zipper69 Zipper69 on Nov 04, 2021

    I'm sure numerous tuning shops are beavering away, right now dropping Coyotes into both Broncos and Rangers. and that is gonna cost a lot less than this fantasy machine.

  • SCE to AUX Let it die with dignity - no electrification. That would kill the spirit of the original.Mazda needs to think about survival and market share, not tinker with a niche car with waning sales, or dying on Wankel Hill.Maybe their body and paint engineers could help Tesla once Mazda folds.
  • Lou_BC H-E-L-L-C-A-T
  • EBFlex "EBFlex speaks more truth."It's sometimes a burden being right all the time.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird Add a couple of more body styles. A coupe with a vestigial rear seat like the BRZ along with a shooting brake version would appeal to a number of drivers who want something sporty but not a hatchback or crossover.
  • Theflyersfan It's the mother of all "ifs" - if Mazda gets the small rotary/hybrid combo going, I can see them using that in the next MX-5. Can they keep it under 2500 lbs and somewhat affordable? Not sure...this is why I don't run a car company! But if they want to replace it around 2025, and it's 2023 now, they need to get started very soon with some rumors and leaks to keep us going. But with the rest of their lineup going greener in next generations, and Mazda selling under 10,000 MX-5s per year, how does it really impact any average emissions and fuel economy ratings? If they can keep tweaking the Skyactiv-G engine for better fuel economy and fewer emissions, they should be able to get the NE generation using gasoline before being forced to go EV or hybrid with the NF. The mission of the MX-5 is light, affordable, open air fun and it's their halo car. And while I agree that EVs are going to be a much larger part of the future, the "all things by 2035 or 2040 or so on" edicts have "kick the can down the road" written in massive font size 1,000 written all over them. We'll be on gas for a while longer - just continue to eke more mpg out of what we have.All that being said, if they were to put the turbo Skyactiv-G engine in the MX-5 for 2024 and make it a Mazdaspeed model, I'd put a deposit on it right now. I love mine, but if it gets bumped up from 181hp to 250-275hp, it would be a flat out riot to drive.