by Karl Furlong
To say that the Ford Bronco Raptor has been a much-anticipated model from the Blue Oval is an understatement of note. This is, after all, the fusion of Ford's hottest SUV with its hottest off-road performance moniker. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 rival arrives as the most powerful street-legal Bronco ever, and an array of chassis upgrades make it capable of being driven hard across desert dunes and other rough terrains. At the moment, Ford fans will have to make do with two cylinders less than the most hardcore Wrangler, but this is unlikely to stop the Bronco Raptor from being one of the most desirable off-roaders in the business.
See trim levels and configurations:
3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
The Ford Bronco Raptor release date in the USA is set for this summer, and customers will be able to place their orders in March 2022.
The purpose-built Ford Bronco Raptor does everything we expect of it. It backs up its macho appearance with an incredibly strong, rugged shell, good cargo space, and Ford's latest technologies to make off-roading fun and easy. While a V8 roar would have been special, the V6 is powerful enough and will be a lot more economical.
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is a special off-roader in its own way. It'll likely be a lot quicker than the Bronco Raptor, but beyond this, the Ford seems to have its rival beaten. The Bronco Raptor has better off-roading abilities, better on-board tech, and it looks a lot more special.
As for price, the new Bronco Raptor begins at $69,995. That sees it come in at around $5,000 less than the Jeep's MSRP.
From any angle, the new Ford Bronco Raptor looks built for adventure. Being a Raptor-badged Ford, the exterior upgrades are all functional and designed to give this Bronco as much capability over the rough stuff as possible. Threading the Bronco Raptor through congested cities won't be easy, as it's a whole 9.8 inches wider than a base four-door Bronco. It's just as well, then, that the Bronco Raptor was designed for environments where space isn't an issue. Upgraded axles have increased the track width by 8.6 inches, but it's not only width that's gone up. A minimum ground clearance of 13.1 inches is nearly five inches up on a base four-door, so it's a tall beast too.
The tires are from BFGoodrich and are 37-inch KO2 all-terrain items, the largest of any SUV in America. Other changes that you'll notice outside are aggressive fender flares, bespoke front and rear quarter-panels, a unique grille with FORD lettering, and heavy-duty bash and skid plates. It looks phenomenal, especially with the doors and roof removed and when finished in one of the more vivid exterior colors, including Cyber Orange Metallic Tri-Coat, Code Orange, and Hot Pepper Red Metallic. Other Ford Bronco Raptor colors include Velocity Blue, Area 51, and Oxford White. For us, the company has added just the right amount of aggression to the Ford Bronco Raptor exterior.
The 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor has a 116.5-inch wheelbase. It measures 191 inches in length, 77.8 inches in height, and 86.9 inches in width with the mirrors extended. As mentioned, the track width has increased significantly - by over eight inches - compared with the regular model, and is now 73.2 inches in front and 73.6 inches at the back.
Ford hasn't yet confirmed if a V8-powered Bronco Raptor R is on the way. In the meantime, the Ford Bronco Raptor engine of choice is a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6. Final outputs have yet to be confirmed, with Ford only saying that the V6 is targeting over 400 horsepower. That's easily more than the regular Bronco with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, which delivers 330 hp when running on premium gas. We expect the torque output to closely mirror that of the Explorer ST that makes 415 lb-ft. Among its rivals, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 remains ahead with 470 hp and 470 lb-ft from its thirsty Hemi V8. The Ford's mpg specs should be better, though.
Paired with the Bronco Raptor's V6 is a ten-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. With a curb weight of 5,733 pounds, the Bronco Raptor will probably accomplish the 0-60 mph sprint in a little over six seconds. While the Jeep is faster, the Ford can tow up to 4,500 lbs, 1,000 lbs more than its V8 rival.
Using the basic Bronco's rugged interior as a base, the Ford Bronco Raptor interior comes with a bevy of extras to set it apart. The 12-inch digital gauge cluster comes with a Performance View that's unique to the Raptor, and buyers won't have to pay extra for other features like a 360-degree camera system, a 12-inch touchscreen interface, and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
As the 2022 Bronco Raptor SUV is designed to spend a lot of time in dusty, muddy environments, the cabin's materials have been carefully chosen. That begins with the upgraded Ford Bronco Raptor seats. As standard, it gets marine-grade vinyl seats in Black Onyx, and there is practical rubberized washout flooring inside. Contrasting with the dark upholstery are Ford Performance Code Orange accents, including for the steering wheel stitching. The seats have special foam side bolsters to help absorb some of the shocks when traversing challenging terrain. Owners can add suede upholstery, carpeted flooring, and adaptive cruise control.
Behind its second row, the Ford Bronco Raptor has excellent trunk space, measuring up to 37.1 cubic feet.
Ford has thrown all its toys at the Bronco Raptor to make it an unstoppable force when the tarmac turns to gravel. We've mentioned the wider axles, which include a solid rear axle that has been upgraded to a semi-float Dana 50 heavy-duty AdvanTEK assembly. Front and rear driveshafts are larger, the 4x4 system has a higher-capacity clutch, and Ford worked with Fox to develop the high-performance off-road stability suspension system with Live Valve technology. This includes Fox 3.1 internal bypass semi-active dampers.
The result of all of this is that the wheel travel for the Bronco Raptor has increased by 60% and 40% front to rear, respectively, relative to the base Bronco. Suspension travel is an impressive 13 inches in front and 14 inches at the back, and approach/ramp breakover/departure angles work out to 47.2/30.8/40.5 degrees, respectively. Those figures surpass that of its Jeep rival, as does the Ford's water fording ability of up to 37 inches.
The G.O.A.T. Modes (Goes Over Any Type Of Terrain) Terrain Management System makes off-roading easier, including a Baja Mode that improves performance during high-speed desert runs.
The most popular competitors of 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor: