Ford said the Bronco Raptor is set to hit the roads this summer and customers can begin placing orders in March.
The Raptor's improved off-roading capabilities and 3.0 litre twin turbo ecoboost engine making over 400hp will help Ford directly compete with the Jeep's Wrangler Rubicon model.
The Raptor lineup, which usually features pickup trucks like its F-150 and the Ranger, was created to mirror off-road trophy truck designs onto their street-legal counterparts.
To build the world’s first Ultra4-inspired SUV, Ford Performance set the bar high. Bronco Raptor had to be even faster and bring more off-road capability, agility and maneuverability than Bronco already delivers.
“We had to build the Bronco Raptor – it’s our ultimate vehicle for hardcore off-road enthusiasts who demand something more,” said Carl Widmann, Ford Performance chief engineer. “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.”
Starting with the Bronco frame foundation, the Ford Performance team knew it needed a Raptor-specific version for increased suspension travel and track width for handling stability during high-speed desert runs. At the Raptor core is a fully boxed, high-strength steel frame with new shock towers that increase wheel travel and off-road durability.
Heavy-duty bash and skid plates provide continuous driveline coverage from the front bumper to the back of the engine, transmission and transfer case. In the upper body, 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.
Competition-level, Ford Performance-developed axles, also used on the Bronco DR race truck, further deliver on the Ultra4-inspiration. The solid rear axle is upgraded to a semi-float Dana 50 Heavy-Duty AdvanTEK with 235-mm ring gear, while the Dana 44 AdvanTEK front-drive unit includes upgraded half-shafts with 210-mm 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 for even more sure-footed confidence.
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.
An advanced 4x4 system with three modes includes a higher-capacity clutch designed to withstand the demands of high-performance desert events. The upgraded transfer case also features a 3.06 4x4 LO ratio for up to 67.7:1 crawl ratio.
The Ford Performance team collaborated with FOX to upgrade the High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension (HOSS) system with Live Valve technology.
Similar to the F-150 Raptor truck’s position-sensitive damping design, the Raptor HOSS 4.0 system features FOX 3.1 Internal Bypass Semi-Active Dampers (3.1-inch diameter) that are uniquely tuned at the front and rear and feature integrated reservoirs up front and remote reservoirs in rear. Suspension height sensors and other sensors at each corner monitor terrain conditions independently hundreds of times every second and adjust suspension tuning accordingly.
Unique Ford Performance-designed front and rear control arms help deliver 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. To deliver the confidence and high-speed needs of the world’s first Ultra4-inspired SUV, the Ford Performance team reached out to BFGoodrich for standard 37-inch KO2 all-terrain tyres (37x12.50R17LT), the largest of any production SUV in America.
Two Ford Performance-designed 17-inch x 8.5-inch beadlock-capable wheels are available. An electric-power steering rack and housing influenced by F-150 Raptor, as well as larger-diameter inner and outer tie rod ends, were added to further upgrade Bronco Raptor.
To give Bronco Raptor even more desert-running power, the Ford powertrain team developed the proven twin-turbo 3.0-litre EcoBoost engine with specific Raptor-level tuning to meet Ford Performance standards. With a target of more than 400 horsepower, Bronco Raptor will be the most powerful street-legal Bronco ever, with intercooling and air-induction systems designed to endure the higher ambient desert temperatures.
For higher-speed desert capabilities or crawling over rocks, the compacted graphite iron-block engine, which saves weight while providing strength for added durability, is paired with a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission tuned to meet Ford Performance standards.
A true dual-exhaust system, featuring first-for-Bronco active-valve technology, uses near-equal-length pipes for an improved exhaust note. The system allows drivers to alter the sound of their Bronco Raptor with four selectable exhaust modes, including Normal, Sport, Quiet and Baja.
Bronco Raptor builds on the brand’s exclusive G.O.A.T. Modes (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) Terrain Management System designed to help drivers better navigate off-road. Seven driver-selectable modes include a uniquely tuned Baja Mode that activates a turbo anti-lag calibration to maximize performance over high-speed desert runs. New to Bronco is Tow/Haul mode, which helps enable a tow rating of 2,041kg, a 453kg improvement over the base model. Trail Control, Trail Turn Assist and Trail One-Pedal Driving are also included.