By on January 24, 2022

Ford Bronco Raptor

After plenty of speculation and spy shots – plus a healthy dose of rumor – Ford has whipped the sheets off what they’re calling the most powerful street-legal Bronco ever to roll out of a Blue Oval factory. Shod with FOX shocks which permit yawning wheel travel, 37-inch all-terrain tires, and heavy-duty bash plates, this thing is ready to jump a few dunes and tear across wide-open spaces.

Under the hood is an engine not currently found in any factory Bronco – and it isn’t the mill your author thought would be residing between these flared Raptor fenders.

Ford decided to pluck the 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 from its corporate cupboard for this application, an engine currently seeing limited use in a few Lincoln products and the Explorer ST with a 10-speed automatic. Ford is aiming for ‘at least’ 400 horsepower, a sum which would represent a nearly 100 pony increase over the existing top dog which is a 2.7L EcoBoost V6. Torque is under wraps for now, though it’s worth noting this engine makes 415 lb-ft in the Explorer ST and the non-Raptor V6 Bronco tops out at 400 lb-ft of twist. Blue Oval marketers will surely point out that horsepower is what you want for high-speed desert running anyway, and they have a point. An active-valve exhaust and near-equal length headers should improve its sound compared to other applications.

So why did Ford tap the scarcely-used 3.0L EcoBoost and not the popular 3.5L EcoBoost found in the F-150? Size likely has something to do with it, since full-frontal photos of these mills show the latter with a lot more girth than the engine which will be pressed into Bronco Raptor duty. Also – and here’s one to file away for future reference – Ford offers this 3.0L as a plug-in hybrid in the Lincoln Aviator. That thing belts out a mighty near-500 horsepower and 630lb-ft of torque; such a setup would simultaneously bring the goods to both the Wrangler 392 V8 (470/470) and the Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid (375 hp/470 lb-ft).

Ford Bronco Raptor

Ford Bronco Raptor

But back to the Bronco Raptor. Underneath, we find all manner of off-road goodies. New shock towers compared provide room for more wheel travel than a standard Bronco (13 inches front, 14 rear) while extra body reinforcements in the B- and C-pillar areas reportedly give the thing about a 50 percent boost in torsional rigidity. The rear axle has been swapped out for a Bronco DR race-truck-inspired semi-float Dana 50 while the independent front assembly uses a Dana 44 drive unit. There are lockers at both ends. Interestingly, the 44 is available in the aftermarket through Spicer Products who describe it as “the ultimate upgrade for extreme off-roading” for your Bronco.

Suspenders have been developed with FOX, who’ve been lending their talents to F-150 Raptor development for years. Here, we find Live Valve technology with position-sensitive damping and internal bypasses which are uniquely tuned at the front and rear. There are integrated shock reservoirs in front but remote reservoirs out back. Minimum ground clearance is 13.1 inches (up from 11.5 on Wildtrak), with approach and departure angles set at 47.2 and 40.5 degrees, respectively. Water fording is good for an inch over three feet. For comparison, the new F-150 Raptor on 37’s has a 33.1-degree approach and 24.9-degree departure angle with a ground clearance equal to the Bronco Raptor’s. Meanwhile, a Wrangler Rubicon equipped with the Xtreme Recon Package has angles of 47.4 and 40.4 front and rear with 12.9 inches of clearance. Let the games begin.

Ford Bronco Raptor

Ford Bronco Raptor

If this Bronco looks wide, that’s because it is. In fact, it is 9.8 inches wider than a base Bronco four-door, checking in at a massive 85.7 inches. That explains the clearance marker lights and any inevitable Arizona pinstriping. Curb weight is 5,733 pounds which are about 800 more than a fully kitted Wildtrak model. There will be plenty of orange-hued addenda inside the new Raptor, along with a few trim options including an entertaining Rhapsody Blue. We spy new a natty new gauge cluster ripped from top-trim F-150 pickups, plus paddle shifters and the dandy 12-inch infotainment screen.

Customers can begin placing orders in March, with vehicles expected to begin arriving this summer. You’ll have a leg up on getting one if you already have an existing Bronco reservation, apparently. We’re looking forward to having a go later this year.

[Images: Ford]

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23 Comments on “Jump Around: 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor...”

  • avatar

    I’m sure with a little effort Ford can get this thing over 3 tons. Perhaps it’s time for Suzuki to make a come back.

    • 0 avatar

      As long as it’s mainly sprung weight (wheels/suspension components kept light), a bit of weight brace the suspenders against, to insulate the driver from hits, is not necessarily a bad thing on a go-fast-over-bumpy-ground vehicle.

      For slower, more technical trails, light weight and small size rules, though.

  • avatar

    “with vehicles expected to begin arriving this summer.”

    This summer seems optimistic considering the “normal” Bronco’s production hell.

  • avatar

    Macho dink measuring device.
    $63,000. Who would take it hard off roading? Nobody sane would. If it does hit the forest service roads, it ll be trails that a 2 wheel drive Rav4 could do.

    • 0 avatar

      I took my 4WD Honda CRV down some pretty bad roads in is fine. Had to fill a few holes with rocks so I didn’t run the front end into the ground on a tight switchback. Actually had the advantage of being fairly narrow and short, most of these vehicles are far too wide to make it. There were jeeps too, but you don’t need such massive capability to go places you’re actually willing to go. 99.999% of these high prices vehicles will remain pavement queens – wouldn’t want to hurt to resale value after all.

    • 0 avatar

      People keep spouting this chestnut that expensive 4wd never hit the dirt. It’s just not true. I regularly see expensive new Raptor/TRX/60k+ new Rubicons, etc. at OHVs on black diamond trails. That doesn’t count sand dunes, mud, etc.

      I’m not saying everyone does that, but I think it’s a lot more than people realize.

    • 0 avatar

      “Who would take it hard off roading?”

      A small group of buyers will do just that. I see plenty of loaded newish Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon’s with mods offroad.

    • 0 avatar

      While they can do it, Raptors aren’t for technical trails.

      They are great for allowing you to go 15mph faster ever bumpy dirt ROADS than less sophisticatedly suspended vehicles. And 15mph adds up to a big difference, if you’re traveling hundreds of miles over such roads.

      The Raptor itself is great at that, but it’s too big and clumsy everywhere else. This thing, and the ZR2 and TRD Pro Tacoma/4r (and I suppose Ranger Raptor) are better all rounders. (I still think the diesel ZR2/Bison is the bee’s knees (better range…), but it’s a lot slower than this for those who also want to “race.”)

      • 0 avatar

        This is as wide as a raptor basically, and it depends on your technical trails. I agree in general that narrower is better but they seem to do pretty well on southern utah, nevada stuff which is pretty technical. So ya, like I said the regular sasquatch is a better vehicle imho- but I don’t write these off as being unable.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    With vehicles like this (85.7 inches wide, 5733 lbs) still being developed (Hummer EV is another example), I’m not sure we’ve hit Peak Car just yet.

    • 0 avatar

      “I’m not sure we’ve hit Peak Car just yet.”

      I’ve postulated before that the EV revolution will lead to larger vehicles.

      • 0 avatar

        In that case… that was the end of that “revolution…..”

        So far, in practice, adjusted for arbitrary political favoritism: The undisputed poster child for the actual EV revolution, has been the Bird (and similar electric kick scooters)…. With pedelecs coming in second….

        ICE vehicles have been problematically inefficient (problematically being assumed…), to no small extent because they just don’t package very well, for transporting a single person over short distances in denser environs. For 200 mile trips down the Autobahn with 4 passengers, a small diesel is already efficient enough to not be worth bothering much with.

        EVs OTOH, shine at tiny sizes. Exactly where ICEs suck. Once you get to 125cc scooter sizes, speeds and ranges (per passnger); EVs are already largely incapable of adding much value.

        The big jump in realistic EV efficiency, will come once they are being locked in to, and continuously fed power from, the road; during the higher speed, higher draw portions of their trips. Then, they don’t need much battery (only last mile). And can again be made lighter, more efficiently packaged, and hence overall more efficient.

        But as long as they need to drag all their juice along, batteries are simply too inferior to diesel/petrol tanks wrt juice density, for them to ever shine at the larger, higher draw, end of the vehicle spectrum. If batteries were as dense as diesel, charging your IPhone would be an annual ritual; something you did on New Years Eve…

        • 0 avatar

          patching a slow leak on my zuma125 rear tire right now. 50 mph, 90ish mpg, sub-$100 yearly insurance.perfect 2nd or 3rd vehicle. i put a top box and hook up on the kick panel for a decent sized bag.

  • avatar

    Did they even try? It’s clear ford put very little effort into the Ranger SUV and it seems they put even less into this.

    Some fender flares and an engine out of an Explorer. Riveting stuff.

    God forbid they drop the 5.0L in this to make it unique. But no, instead, it has even less differentiation than the F150 Raptor to the F150. Ford clearly phoned this in. This does not look like a supposed halo model. What a joke.

  • avatar

    GAY!!! And I can say this because I am gay. This infatuation with BUTCH TRUCKS and SUVs is so stupid. This vehicle is a Lesbian DREAM. So go on boys…buy it in DROVES and pay WAY too much. Just remember, you’ll look like a Butch Girl!!! LOL

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Bronco = Unobtainium

  • avatar

    IMHO, this is worse than a sasquatch. No way I’d pick this one up over the regular width version.

  • avatar


    TTAC’s competition says:

    “The Raptor’s new steel bumper features a large steel front bash plate with integrated tow hooks and four Rigid LED foglights. Two of the inboard fog lights come covered from the factory; Ford says the combined lumens of all four are too bright for legal on-road use.”

    Will a single Raptor buyer leave those covers on? Of course not. We’re just all doomed to be blinded by illegally bright lights every time we see a Raptor at night.

  • avatar

    The 2.7 ecoboost is leagues more reliable than the 3.5l with its cam phazer issues. The 3.0 is from the same family as the 2.7 and I would expect it to have similar reliability.

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