‘Badass’ 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor revealed01/24/2022
Desert runners and boulder crawlers of the world assemble – Ford has the +400hp 4×4 for you
By Matt Bird / Monday, January 24, 2022 / Loading comments
Though only seen on one car for the UK thus far – the very likeable and capable Ranger – you know what’s coming when Ford puts a ‘Raptor’ badge on a car. Thanks to the reputation forged by the F-150s, a Raptor is going to be incredible off road. And having teased its huge fanbase for months, the manufacturer has finally seen fit to unveil a Raptor version of its most capable off-road car, the Bronco. So it’s going to be quite handy in the rough. Ford is clear about its intentions, too: “Ford Performance… designed and engineered Bronco Raptor as a calling card to hardcore off-road enthusiasts.” This is not a 4×4 for posing, even if the doors do come off.
Unsurprisingly, nothing about the Bronco Raptor has been done by halves, equipped as it is “with elite off-road technology and hardware.” Inspired by Ultra4-spec off road racers, the Raptor is way more than a Bronco with some knobbly tyres. Torsional rigidity is up 50 per cent over a standard four-door thanks to additional bracing, the damper towers are tougher and permit increased wheel travel, and skid plates cover the entire driveline. It has axles borrowed from the Desert Racer concept, a Dana 50 at the back and Dana 44 on the front, which means an increase in track at both ends of 21.8cm, making the car’s footprint substantially wider than standard. As for the four-wheel drive system, the clutch and driveshafts are stronger for the Raptor as well – everything is designed for it to withstand the toughest treatment imaginable.
This isn’t just a brute force 4×4, however. Sophistication comes courtesy of Fox, which has updated the High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension with something called Live Valves. Said to be like the suspension used in the F-150 Raptor, the technology means each corner is independently monitored and that suspension tuning can be adjusted hundreds of times every second. The Fox 3.1 Internal Bypass Semi-Active Dampers have integrated dampers on the front axle and remote reservoirs at the rear. The control arms are bespoke for wheel travel, and BFGoodrich has provided the largest all-terrain tyres (37-inch) of any American-built SUV.
Power for the Bronco Raptor hasn’t yet been confirmed, but we do know that it’ll use the 3.0-litre, twin-turbo Ecoboost V6. Ford says the aim is more than 400hp thanks to “Raptor-level tuning”, albeit with the appropriate cooling strategies in place to deal with high ambient temps in the desert. Which ought to be useful as Raptor owners are surely likely to test the upgrades to their limit. The 10-speed SelectShift auto is standard, along with a new exhaust system, with four modes all the way from Quiet to Baja.
In case the exhaust noise and the enormous increase in width don’t give the game away, Ford has ensured an appropriate visual overhaul for the Raptor as well. Even the design boss, Paul Wraith, calls it “the most badass Bronco yet”, and it’s hard to see many people disagreeing – even if they decide to wuss out and put the doors on. When even the front bumper features “tow hooks, removable bumper end caps for improved off-road clearance, integrated removable Rigid LED fog lamps and Rigid off-road lamps for greater illumination”, you can tell things are serious. There are Raptor logos everywhere, a new bonnet to accommodate the larger engine, and unique panels to contain the enormous tracks. Even the rock rails are reinforced, and a ‘Bronco Raptor Graphics Package’ means it can look like a Baja racer even on the way to Target. The paint colour here is a Ford Performance-exclusive Code Orange, which you must get as it complements the orange Fox shocks underneath.
Pretty cool, huh? Perhaps a bit much for us little old Brits, when crossing the ford in the village constitutes off-roading, but the perfect thing for the vastness of North America. Which is good, because that’s where the Bronco Raptor is going to be sold. Ford says it will contact those who had already reserved a spot later this month to see if they’re still interested (we can guess the answer to that one), ahead of opening up orders in March. Raptor deliveries are expected in the summer, and an awesome time will surely be had by every single customer. The lucky devils.
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