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Ford Bronco gets Raptor treatment

Blue Oval unleashes hardcore version of Jeep Wrangler rival

27 Jan 2022

WHILE local ute enthusiasts eagerly await the unveiling of the Raptor variant of the new-generation Ford Ranger, the Blue Oval has unleashed a hardcore version of its Jeep Wrangler-rivalling Bronco off-roader, replete with a stonking 294kW twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 engine. 


The purposefully doorless Bronco Raptor is claimed to be the world’s first Ultra4 Racing-inspired 4x4 that’s as adept at scaling desert dunes at breakneck speeds as extreme rock crawling. 


“The Bronco Raptor is our ultimate vehicle for hardcore off-road enthusiasts who demand more,” Ford Performance chief engineer Carl Widmann said. 


“Like the Ultra4 desert race trucks, the ‘Raptor of SUVs’ is equipped with competition-level off-road technology and hardware.”


This includes a fully boxed, high-strength steel frame with shock towers that facilitate increased wheel travel, as well as heavy-duty bash plates and skid plates. Courtesy of a B-pillar crossbar and C-pillar reinforcement, the Raptor’s body is 50 per cent more rigid than that of a standard Bronco.


The High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension 4.0 was co-developed with FOX and Ford Performance. The adaptive system delivers up to 60 per cent more wheel travel than before, while the competition-level axles increase track width by 218mm. Ground clearance is a claimed 333mm. 


Meanwhile, the newcomer’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine delivers 294kW and 563Nm of torque. The powerplant, which makes the Raptor as the most powerful road-legal Bronco ever, features uprated intercooler and air-induction systems to compensate for higher ambient desert temperatures. It’s mated with a beefed-up version of Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission. 


To add to the Raptor’s sense of theatre, a dual exhaust system with active valve technology produces no fewer than four selectable exhaust notes including Normal, Sport, Quiet and Baja. 


The Bronco Raptor makes use of Ford’s G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) terrain management system, which offers seven selectable modes, including a uniquely tuned Baja mode and a Tow/Haul mode that allows for a maximum tow rating of 2041kg. 


The off-roader’s interior is no less purpose-built as its hardcore exterior treatment. The cabin features, inter alia, a 12.0-inch digital instrument cluster and similarly sized SYNC4 touchscreen infotainment array, as well as a 360-degree camera system. 


“The Bronco Raptor interior was designed around what we know hardcore off-road racers want,” Ford design manager Ryan Olsson said. 


“From the all-new Performance View on the cluster and unique steering wheel with paddle shifters and fingertip access to Raptor-specific controls, to its high-bolster front seats, the Bronco Raptor leaves the factory ready for the starting line.”


The extended Ford Bronco range remains exclusive to the North American market.

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