Ford’s desert-conquering high performance off-roading family has a new member following the reveal of the new Ford Bronco Raptor. Set to be launched in the US around midyear, the wild new 4x4 will however remain forbidden fruit for South African enthusiasts as the Bronco is currently only built in left-hand drive guise.
While some might have expected the Ford Bronco Raptor to sport a V8 engine like the DR racing version, Ford has opted to fit the road-going Raptor with its 3.0-litre twin-turbo EcoBoost V6. This still makes it the brawniest Bronco ever and although Ford isn’t mentioning exact outputs for now, the company does mention a target of “more than 400hp”, or 298kW in metric speak. Ford says it modified the intercooling and air induction systems to endure desert temperatures.
Being a Raptor there is of course a lot more to this dune-gobbling package than just a fancy engine.
Featuring wider axles derived from the Bronco CR race truck, it’s a good 248mm wider than the regular Bronco, and it comes out the box with a Raptor HOSS 4.0 race-ready suspension system with Live Valve technology.
The advanced 4x4 system has three modes, including a higher-capacity clutch designed to withstand the demands of high-performance desert events. Fittingly, the Ford Bronco Raptor also ships with 37-inch BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrain tyres, which are the largest of any production SUV in the US.
Ford Raptor fans will be familiar with the GOAT Modes Terrain Management System (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain), and the Bronco treats its drivers to seven selectable modes. These include the uniquely tuned Baja Mode, which activates a turbo anti-lag calibration to maximize performance over high-speed desert runs.
Ford says it designed the interior around what hardcore off-road racers want in a vehicle. The digital instrument cluster, for instance, has a model-specific Performance View that makes the rev counter and gear readings more prominent, and which allows for the customisation of gauges.
Owners can also look forward to “race ready” high-bolster front seats, Code Orange colour accents throughout and a 12-inch Sync4 infotainment system.
“We had to build the Bronco Raptor – it’s our ultimate vehicle for hardcore off-road enthusiasts who demand something more,” said Ford Performance engineering chief Carl Widmann. “Like the Ultra4 desert race trucks, the ‘Raptor of SUVs’ conquers desert dunes at highway speeds and is equipped with competition-level off-road technology and hardware.”