The Ford Bronco took a 25-year break to work on itself, and now that it’s back, it’s raising eyebrows and stealing attention from other rugged SUVs like the Jeep Wrangler, Land Rover Defender, and even the Mercedes G Class. With the introduction of an even more powerful Raptor model, you can live out your wildest off-grid fantasies or tackle the urban jungle in style.
The Bronco Raptor is clearly inspired by off-road racing, with a wider body and fully boxed steel frame. The Ford Performance team worked with off-road suspension pros FOX to develop proprietary suspension with massive amounts of travel. In fact, the Bronco Raptor features 60 per cent more wheel travel at the front and 40 percent more at the rear than the standard Bronco, which will help it tackle any manner of obstacle.
Everything about the Bronco Raptor is huge—for instance, the tires. The massive 37-inch BFGoodrich KO2s are the largest on any production SUV. Even when you’re not running your weekly Baja race, the tire and suspension combo will make short work of any road surface. Stroll right through potholes, or even sinkholes, if you need to.
Under the hood is where the Bronco Raptor really shines, with a twin-turbo 3.0-litre six-cylinder putting out over 400 horsepower. And in case someone manages to miss you driving by or filling their rearview mirror, the Bronco Raptor will feature an exhaust with active valve technology and selectable modes that will give the SUV an extra audible and rugged grunt.
Visually, the Bronco Raptor looks pretty extreme. Huge block-print lettering on the grille ensures no one forgets who makes the toughest trucks. The hood is sculpted as though the powerplant within bulges like a bodybuilder. The integrated hood vent is covered with Raptor logos to help onlookers understand what kind of power is motivating this Bronco. The wider front fenders also have integrated heat extractors to provide cooling to the motor.
The cabin isn’t significantly different from the standard model, but it still features a 12-inch digital dashboard and 12-inch infotainment system. The seats are covered in easily cleaned marine-grade vinyl, and the rubber flooring can be hosed down if it gets dirty. The Raptor also features a few fun splashes of orange colour and lighting, showing its more playful side.
High-performance off-roaders are always in vogue, even when they’re far from the dirt patch. The Ford F-150 Raptor first debuted in 2010, since then making a name for itself, gaining popularity and celebrity status. Dwayne Johnson, Scott Disick, Prince Jackson, John Mayer, and Jesse James have all been spotted piloting F-150 Raptors. The F-150 Raptor is known for its legendary performance, having competed in the Baja 1000, Dakar, and even the Mint 400 and not only surviving but placing on the podium.
Suffice to say, the Raptor name has a reputation behind it, and the Bronco is clearly cashing in on that trend, with the same rugged look, sound, and performance. The order books open in March, and production begins this summer.