The off-roading beast finally comes out of the shadows.
If you are among the select group of people that don't like the Ford Bronco, we'd suggest avoiding the internet for a while. The 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor has just been revealed following a number of teasers and endless spy shots showing the off-roader testing on both the trails and the tarmac, and as you can imagine, the hype is immense. This is a vehicle that all the Ford fans have been asking for, and now that it's finally been revealed, we only have one question: has all that hype been justified? Let's see what the Blue Oval is offering.
"Designed and engineered by Ford Performance to be the world's first Ultra4 Racing-inspired SUV, [the Bronco Raptor] is capable of highway-speed desert-dune conquering and Baja rock-crawling." That's how Ford's press material opens, so if your expectations weren't already high, they surely are now. As predicted, the Bronco Raptor comes with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost engine that provides "more than 400 horsepower." Power is sent out to all corners via a 10-speed automatic gearbox exclusively. You also get a Raptor HOSS 4.0 race-ready suspension system, a fully-boxed, high-strength steel frame, and 37x12.5-inch all-terrain tires as standard (the largest of any production SUV in America). Two Ford Performance-designed beadlock-capable wheels are available too. And with 9.8 inches more width than the base Bronco, Ford says that high-speed cornering can be confidently undertaken.
That frame incorporates new shock towers that increase wheel travel (by 13 inches front and 14 inches rear) and off-road durability, says Ford, while heavy-duty bash and skid plated protect the entire driveline from the front bumper to the rear of the engine, transmission, and transfer case. Model-specific reinforced rock rails with removable running boards are also present, and the B-pillar crossbar and C-pillar have both been reinforced too, thereby improving torsional rigidity over a standard Bronco four-door by more than 50%.
Ford Performance-developed axles feature too, with Ultra4 inspiration. The solid rear axle has been upgraded to a semi-float Dana 50 Heavy-Duty AdvanTEK with a 235-millimeter ring gear. Up front, the Dana 44 AdvanTEK front drive unit boasts upgraded half-shafts with a 210-millimeter ring gear. Together, these increase track width by 8.6 inches to 73.6 inches. Larger front and rear driveshafts have also been included to handle the extra torque on the wheels and the minimum ground clearance has been increased to 13.1 inches, up 4.8 from a base Bronco.
The 4x4 system has been updated too. This offers three modes and now includes a higher-capacity clutch "designed to withstand the demands of high-performance desert events." The transfer case is another area that gets upgraded, with this now including a 3.06 4x4 low ratio for up to 67.7:1 crawl ratio. Another expected addition is that of the FOX suspension system. The High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension (HOSS) system has been upgraded with Live Valve FOX 3.1 Internal Bypass Semi-Active Dampers that are uniquely tuned for the vehicle and boast integrated reservoirs in front with remote reservoirs at the rear. Multiple sensors at each corner monitor terrain conditions independently hundreds of times every second and adjust the suspension accordingly.
The Bronco Raptor has been designed to be practical in other situations too. Thanks to a new Tow/Haul mode, the Raptor is rated at 4,500 pounds for towing, 1,000 more than the base model can handle. As you'd expect, the G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) Modes are present and include Trail Control, Trail Turn Assist, and Trail One-Pedal Driving. The interior boasts a 12-inch digital cluster with various views that include a Bronco Raptor-exclusive Performance View that highlights the tachometer and gear readings and allows for customization of the gauges. Speaking of customization, what options are on offer?
Exterior colors will include 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, and Ford Performance-exclusive Code Orange paint. Inside, base models are fitted with Black Onyx marine-grade vinyl seats and rubberized washout flooring. To add a bit of color, splashes of Code Orange appear on the G.O.A.T. Modes rotary dial, dash vents, door netting, and steering wheel stitching. The color also appears on the Bronco logo on the instrument panel and even the push-button ignition lights up in the same color. The grab handles, steering wheel bezel, and gear shifter are trimmed with low-gloss carbon fiber accents.
All-new laser-perforated Black Onyx Neo suede seats are optional, along with vinyl wrapping for the instrument panel cover. You can also spec leather-wrapped outer seat bolsters and carper flooring, and the seatbelts can be had in Code Orange too.
Sticking with the cabin, the SYNC 4 infotainment system comes as standard with a 12-inch touchscreen. A 360-degree camera is also included, while a Lux Package can be equipped for a little more tech. This adds a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system and adaptive cruise control, among other features to be revealed later. It seems like an epic package, and with useful styling upgrades like a heavy-duty steel bumper with tow hooks, integrated Rigid LED fog lamps, a vented hood, and painted fender vents, this is sure to draw attention anywhere. That FORD block script across the grille is just the icing on the cake.
Unfortunately, pricing has not yet been made available for this new off-roader. Deliveries will begin in the summer, with orders opening in March. Apparently, existing Bronco reservation holders also have the ability to upgrade their existing reservation to a Raptor reservation. One thing is clear, these will be snapped up rapidly.