Bronco Nation’s Jordan Parker went to Johnson Valley, the birthplace of the Ford Bronco, to get some one-on-one time out in the desert with the legend –– the 2022 Bronco Raptor.
He jumps right into discussing the engine, as that’s been one of the biggest questions surrounding the vehicle prior to reveal. We all know now it’s the 3.0L V6, but we’re waiting on full output numbers. The engine specs will be released closer to order banks opening, but Ford has estimated 400+ HP.
Under the hood and in addition to the engine, you’ll instantly see a couple other differences from the base Broncos. One, the lack of the prop rod –– the Bronco Raptor has struts, and two, the Ford Performance name stamped on the underside of the hood, signaling this SUV was born for a purpose.
Of course, the community has been begging for a V8 since the beginning, and while Ford dropped one in the Bronco DR, that vehicle will be out of reach for the vast majority of us, and it won’t be an on-road daily driver for those who have it, anyway. Ford didn’t bring in the F-150 Raptor engine, the 3.5L V6, either, obviously, but I’m going to bet people will still have a great time driving this Bronco, desired engine choice or not.
Moving down the front of the Bronco, you’ll see the signature Ford Raptor grille. Clocking in at 86.9” wide with mirrors, the Bronco Raptor needs those three amber running lights in the center. The amber is echoed in the mirror cap lights, as well the LED headlights.
The Bronco Raptor comes with the Heavy Duty Modular front bumper, with silver tow hooks vs. black. With the bumper being modular, the end caps can be removed for additional clearance. Four RIGID pod lights are placed in the bumper. Underneath is the great feature of the upgraded steel bash plates that run the entire length of the undercarriage.
Functionality is a huge component in all the details of the Bronco Raptor, and on the hood and fenders you’ll see heat vents that help in cooling the engine. Look for the faint dates stamped in the molded-in-color hood vents when you get your first in-person sighting, and if it’s a display vehicle, open the fuel door as well!
On to the fenders and flares: There’s no in between. You love them or hate them. I’m not sure if we need to say more, other than to mention the flares are functional, to help cover the 37” BFG KO2s, and the rear flares have replaceable chip guards to keep them looking fresher over time.
The steering and suspension have been beefed up in multiple ways, including the electric-power steering rack and housing influenced by F-150 Raptor plus all the new parts from shocks to dampers. Ford Performance took into account what would make this Bronco excel at both desert racing and rock crawling and put it into practice. The Bronco Raptor has a maximum wheel travel of 13.0 inches in front and 14.0 inches at the rear, or 60% and 40% more, respectively, than a Bronco base model.
Continuing down the body, you’ll see the integrated rock rails and side steps. The steps are removable with the provided toolkit and can be stored when off-roading. When I say “can be,” I mean “should be”: The steps aren’t meant to hold vehicle weight without damage –– but the rails sure are.
On the rear, the Bronco Raptor taillights differ from base Bronco, as does the tire carrier to hold the larger full-size spare. Towing capacity has been increased, so while the package looks familiar, you’ll be able to pull an additional 1,000 pounds –– plus Bronco Raptor has a designated Tow/Haul mode joining the other six G.O.A.T. Modes available. All in all, Bronco Raptor comes with Normal, Slippery, Tow/Haul, Sport, Off-Road, Rock Crawl, and Baja.
Inside the cargo area, you’ll catch a glimpse of the reinforced bars: B-pillar cross bar and C-pillar reinforcement help deliver a greater than 50% total body-in-prime torsional rigidity increase over a standard Bronco four-door model.
The axles are competition-level, Ford Performance-developed axles, also used on the Bronco DR race truck. The solid rear axle is upgraded to a semi-float Dana 50 Heavy-Duty AdvanTEK with 235-millimeter ring gear, while the Dana 44 AdvanTEK front drive unit includes upgraded half-shafts with 210-millimeter ring gear. These upgraded front and rear axles increase the track width by 8.6 inches (73.6 inches versus 65.0 inches) over a base Bronco. Larger front and rear driveshafts support increased wheel torque. Bronco Raptor also runs with a minimum ground clearance of 13.1 inches, 4.8 inches more than a base four-door model.
Finally, coming into the interior, you’ll see Code Orange accents throughout the cabin: on the grab bars, the steering wheel, vents … even the seat belts with the upgraded package. Other noticeable differences are the all-digital display, magnesium paddle shifters, as well as the racing-inspired seats.
Source: Bronco Nation