Ford has officially unveiled the world’s most capable and powerful, mass-produced off-road truck in the world, introducing the 2022 Bronco Raptor.
Rumors about it began swirling as early as 2020 and were only confirmed after the teaser was released, which was promptly followed a couple of months later by photos of camouflaged prototype tearing up dirt.
It may still look like a Bronco on the outside, but as the world’s first Ultra4-inspired SUV, this version has been massively modified to accommodate all the necessary upgrades.
For reference, Ultra4 is the official website of ‘the toughest one-day off-road race on the planet: King of The Hammers.’
“Raptor is the apex of our off-road lineup and is now a full lineup with race-proven content and design that you can’t get from anyone else. Only Ford could create a Bronco Raptor,” said Jim Farley, chief executive officer, Ford Motor Company.
The frame of this Bronco has been ‘raptorized’ to allow for higher suspension travel and increased track width for better stability. It uses a fully-boxed, high-strength steel frame with new shock towers for more wheel travel and greater off-road durability.
Its body is wider than the base Bronco four-door by 9.8 inches to improve high-speed cornering. It also has larger-diameter inner and outer tie rod ends, and has an electric power steering rack and housing influenced by F-150 Raptor.
Ford Performance gave it competition-level axles. It uses a semi-float Dana 50 Heavy-Duty AdvanTEK with 235-millimeter ring gear for the rear axle and a Dana 44™ AdvanTEK at the front with upgraded half-shafts and a 210-millimeter ring gear. These axles increase track width by 8.6 inches (over the base Bronco) and use larger front and rear driveshafts to support increased wheel torque. Minimum ground clearance is 332mm which is 122mm more than a base four-door model. It also gets distinct front and rear control arms to let the wheel travel a maximum of 330mm in front and 355mm at the rear. That’s 60% and 40% more, respectively than a Bronco base model.
To run all those components, it uses an advanced 4x4 system with the brand’s exclusive G.O.A.T. Modes (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) Terrain Management System. These are seven driver-selectable modes including Baja and the new Tow/Haul mode that gives it a tow rating of 2,041 kg. It also comes with a higher-capacity clutch designed to withstand the demands of high-performance desert events and an upgraded transfer case with a 3.06 4x4 LO ratio for up to 67.7:1 crawl ratio.
All those mechanical enhancements would be for naught if it didn’t get some really good tires, which is why Ford Performance got in touch with BFGoodrich. This sits on 37-inch KO2 all-terrain tires (37x12.50R17LT), the largest of any production SUV in America.
The final touch on the body is heavy-duty bash and skid plates covering the front bumper to the back of the engine, transmission, and transfer case. On top, it gets a B-pillar crossbar and C-pillar reinforcement for more than 50% extra body-in-prime torsional rigidity. Ford offers two 17-inch x 8.5-inch beadlock-capable wheels for it.
Contrary to the rumor that it’ll get a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, Ford gave it a different engine that came with Raptor-level tuning. It uses a twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost with intercooling and air-induction systems designed to endure the higher ambient desert temperatures. Its 400 horsepower is sent to the wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission, making it the most powerful Bronco ever.
To make sure that the engine makes just the right sound, it uses a true dual-exhaust system with active-valve technology. This allows the driver to alter the sound with four selectable exhaust modes, including Normal, Sport, Quiet, and Baja.
“We had to build the Bronco Raptor – it’s our ultimate vehicle for hardcore off-road enthusiasts who demand something more. 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,” said Carl Widmann, Ford Performance chief engineer.
Inside, it has an all-digital 12-inch cluster that offers various views including a Bronco Raptor-exclusive Performance View that emphasizes tachometer and gear readings and allows the customization of gauges.
All Bronco Raptors have a dark interior with Ford Performance Code Orange accents. Base models come with Black Onyx marine-grade vinyl Ford Performance-designed front seats and rubberized washout flooring but customization is possible. Optional equipment includes laser-perforated Black Onyx Neo suede seats, vinyl-wrapped instrument panel topper, leather-wrapped outer seat bolsters and carpet flooring, a thicker and sport-contoured steering wheel with magnesium paddle shifters and gloss black Raptor logo, and Code Orange seat belts.
The entertainment system uses a 12-inch touchscreen with SYNC4 and can double as the monitor for its exterior camera with 360-degree viewing capability. If you’re looking for a better audio system, opt for the Lux Package that includes a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system and adaptive cruise control.
“The Bronco Raptor interior was designed around what we know hardcore off-road racers want in a vehicle. 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 race-ready, high-bolster front seats, Bronco Raptor leaves the factory ready for the starting line,” said Ryan Olsson, design manager.
On the outside it gets the familiar Ford block lettering stretching across the rectangular grille, a heavy-duty modular steel front bumper by Ford Performance, LED headlights with amber daytime running lamps and integrated amber marker lamps. Standout features are removable bumper end caps for improved off-road clearance and integrated removable Rigid LED fog lamps and Rigid off-road lamps for greater illumination.
To enhance its appearance, Ford stripped its Bronco body to the base and replaced everything with unique-to-Raptor front and rear quarter-panels, fenders, fender flares, and door appliques. Exterior color options are Hot Pepper Red Metallic, Velocity Blue Metallic, Eruption Green Metallic, Shadow Black, Iconic Silver Metallic, Area 51, Cactus Gray, Cyber Orange Metallic Tri-Coat, Oxford White, plus Ford Performance-exclusive Code Orange paint.
If the looks aren’t radical enough for you, Ford offers a Bronco Raptor Graphics Package with splatter graphics, trapezoidal patterns, and floating shapes to give it a digital look.
The 2022 Bronco Raptor will be available starting March this year. The initial allocation will go to customers who made early reservations, so if you didn’t place one, patience will be key.