Sporting massive tires, desert-racing suspension, a high-strength steel frame, massively-flared fenders, and a 400-horsepower V6, the new Ford Bronco Raptor looks as capable as it is. Ford unveiled the car Monday as a dune racer for the road, ready for everything from “highway-speed desert dune conquering” to “Baja rock crawling,” according to the company.
Ford Performance chief engineer Carl Widmann called it “the ultimate vehicle for hardcore off-road enthusiasts who demand something more.” The core of the vehicle is a steel frame coupled to stronger shocks with increased travel and protected by durable skid plates throughout. Further reinforcement throughout generates 50% more torsional rigidity than the standard vehicle, all to provide stability atop race-derived axles that ride about nine inches longer than the standard vehicle. A heavy-duty clutch and stronger suspension, with up to 60% more travel than the standard vehicle, provide peace of mind from a durability standpoint.
The end result is a tough appearance, sitting ten inches wider than the standard Bronco and 37-inch tires, the largest on any production SUV in America, according to Ford. The headline figure is, of course, the power, delivered through the 3.0-liter iron-block Ecoboost V6. The company hasn’t released power figures, but says it’s targeting more than 400 horsepower, very strong for an off-roader of that size. That’s paired, exclusively, to a 10-speed automatic with no manual transmission available. It will offer paddle shifters, along with racing bucket seats, for that sports feel, though.
The vehicle will also feature the best features of the standard Bronco, including the GOAT terrain modes, with the High Package available as standard. That includes the 12-inch touchscreen. The vehicle might disappoint some enthusiasts who eagerly awaited a V8 paired to a manual transmission, but the package will come with more capability than its competitors and for cheaper, starting at $69,995 including destination charges, several thousand less than the Jeep Wrangler 392.
If the success of the base model is anything to go by, this halo car for the Bronco range will be hard to get hands on. Ford already confirmed that most cars for the 2022 model year will go to buyers who already have a confirmed Bronco order, further limiting the supply. Those interested in waiting can expect to begin placing orders in March of this year.
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