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The Bronco Raptor is Ford’s apex off-road predator

More than ready to conquer the toughest of terrains

This bucking Bronco is capable of going airborne at high speeds with confidence. PHOTO FROM FORD

Who does not love seeing the hardcore versions of their favorite vehicles? There are high-performance on-road badges like the M, F, RS, and AMG. The equivalent of which, at least in Ford‘s stable, being the Raptor logo. Vehicles with the Raptor treatment are just 4×4s on steroids.

We have seen the F-150 Raptor and the ever-popular Ranger Raptor. Now, the pack is joined by a third dinosaur: the Bronco Raptor.

This vehicle is tough enough to brave the rockiest of trails. The question is: are you? PHOTO FROM FORD

Ever since the Bronco’s reintroduction in 2020, fans have been clamoring for a Raptor version of the off-roading SUV. We have seen shades of it in the Baja-ready Bronco DR, so, like Thanos, you can say that it was inevitable. This time, the Bronco Raptor is the first SUV directly inspired by the Ultra4 class of off-road racing, so you can definitely say that this Raptor is on a whole different level.

But can Chris Pratt tame this Raptor? PHOTO FROM FORD

The Raptor-exclusive front grille also sports amber DRLs and marker lights. The modular bodywork is graced by bespoke front and rear quarter panels (with heat vents), massive fender flares, and functional vents on the hood. This makes the Raptor 249mm wider than the plain-Jane Bronco.

There are reinforced rock rails (with removable running boards), and the modular steel front bumper has integrated tow hooks, removable end caps (for better off-road clearance), and detachable integrated LED fog and off-road lighting. Plus, if you would desire it, there is an optional graphics package that would add splatter designs all over the vehicle.

Unlike other cars, these flares do not lie. PHOTO FROM FORD

The high-strength steel frame was designed for breakneck runs on the Baja sand dunes. The chassis has been reinforced in various places for an increase of “greater than 50%” rigidity, with heavy-duty bash and skid plates to protect the engine.

Ford Performance-designed Dana axles are used, increasing the track width by 218mm, and allowing the Bronco Raptor to have a ground clearance of 333mm (122mm higher compared to the regular four-door Bronco). The 4×4 system also gets a beefed-up clutch and transfer case with a 3.06 4×4-low ratio for up to 67.7:1 crawl ratio.

The High-Performance Off-Road Stability 4.0 suspension (HOSS 4.0) gets upgraded with FOX 3.1 semi-active dampers, and Ford Performance-designed front and rear control arms increase wheel travel to 330mm for the front, and 355mm for the rear.

All of this rides on Ford Performance 17-inch beadlock wheels, shod in massive 37-inch BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrain tires. Finally, there is an upgraded electric-power steering rack, and larger inner and outer tie rod ends.

Ford's EcoBoost engines have proven to be incredibly capable powertrains. PHOTO FROM FORD

Of course, it would not be complete without a bump in power. There are no specifics yet, but Ford says that the twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine has been tuned to target more than 400hp, with upgraded cooling and induction systems to withstand the temperatures in the desert. It is mated to a tuned version of Ford’s ten-speed automatic gearbox, and the dual exhausts have active valves that change depending on the drive mode you are in.

These drive modes are controlled by the GOAT (Goes Over Any Terrain) system. There is a special “Baja” mode, which does things like making the exhaust louder, and also enables an anti-lag system to maintain boost at all times. Of course, it is capable of towing 2,041kg, which is 453kg more than the regular Bronco.

You can get fresh air inside the Bronco Raptor just by opening its roof. PHOTO FROM FORD

The cabin is trimmed in Ford Performance’s Code Orange color with carbon-fiber accents. It also features a new 12-inch digital instrument cluster with a Raptor-exclusive Performance view. Ford’s Sync 4 user interface adorns the 12-inch infotainment system and there is a 360° camera system. There is also a unique steering wheel with paddle shifters, and high-bolster front seats.

The base trims feature vinyl seats and washable rubberized flooring, perfect for desert runs. But if they want luxury, there are options for suede seats with leather-wrapped seat bolsters, carpeted flooring, a thicker steering wheel with magnesium paddle shifters, a ten-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, adaptive cruise control, and Code Orange seatbelts.

Customers in the US will be able to place orders this March. There are no prices yet but expect this to command a heftier sum that the regular Bronco because of all the upgrades.

Despite that, it will still be easier on the pockets compared to the Bronco DR, so we are expecting this to be a hot seller once it comes out. Here is to hoping that Ford Philippines does bring the Bronco in (and its Raptor variant, too, please).

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.