Christopher Little

Debut: 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor

Ford is combining two of its biggest performance off-road nameplates for the first time in history: Raptor and Bronco. The 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor, arriving this summer, will debut on February 3 at the King of Hammers off-road race in the Johnson Valley in California. The all-new Bronco Raptor will be faster, more capable, and more maneuverable than any other Bronco model to date.

What brings the Bronco Raptor to the next level? Unique shock towers, heavy-duty bash and skid plates and B-pillar cross bar and C-pillar reinforcements equate to more rigid body. From there, upgraded front and rear axles increase the track width by 8.6 inches over the base Bronco. Bolted to that stiffer frame are unique front and rear control arms and FOX internal bypass semi-active dampers that have integrated front reservoir and rear remote reservoirs similar to those found on the F-150 Raptor. Larger front and rear driveshafts handle increased wheel torque and the 4×4 system is bolstered with a higher-capacity clutch and upgraded transfer case. The result is a minimum ground clearance of 13.1 inches, 4.8 inches more than a base Bronco. All the suspension changes allow for 13 inches of front and 14 inches of rear suspension travel. The Bronco Raptor will wear BFGoodrich 37″ KO2 all-terrain tires on one of two Raptor-specific 17 inch wheels with beadlocks.

Raptor also means more performance. The twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine will receive a Raptor-specific tune for more than 400 horsepower. Matching that new level of performance with sound will be a dual-exhaust system with near-equal-length pipes and active valves – a first for the Bronco. If the 2021 F-150 Raptor we recently tested is any measure, the Bronco Raptor will sound excellent. The Bronco’s G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) Modes also get a Raptor-specific setting. The unique Baja Mode will activate an turbo anti-lag calibration for maximum performance. The Bronco’s Trail Control, Trail Turn Assist, and Trail On-Pedal Driving are included as standard.

Visually, the Bronco Raptor receives the familiar Raptor grille and model-specific lighting. The hood and heavy-duty steel front bumper also fit into the Raptor family. The Bronco Raptor also gets unique front and rear quarter panels, beefy fender flares, and reinforced rock rails with removable running boards. The wider front fenders feature functional integrated heat extraction ducts for improved engine cooling. In total, the Bronco Raptor is 9.8 inches wider than the standard Bronco.

Inside, the Bronco Raptor focuses on performance and usability. There’s a unique steering wheel with Raptor-specific controls and paddle shifters plus a new Performance View setting on the 12″ digital gauge cluster. Additional Raptor-specific cues include the gloss carbon fiber accents on touchpoints, unique sport seats with additional bolstering, and optional Code Orance seatbelts. The Bronco Raptor will come with standard marine-grade vinyl seats and rubberized washout flooring, but can be optioned with leather and suede seats, carpeted flooring, and a thicker sport-contoured steering wheel with magnesium paddle shifters. Additional standard features include SYNC4 with the 12″ touchscreen and 360-degree exterior camera. Like the F-150 Raptor, the 10-speaker B&O audio system and Adaptive Cruise Control are options.

If you want to be one of the first ones tearing up the trails in the all-new Bronco Raptor, orders will open in March. There’s no indication a 2-door Bronco Raptor will be available and no pricing has been announced. We can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the newest Raptor family member and throw it at the most challenging off-road trails in the area. Until then, stay tuned for our upcoming winter test of the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor.

-Christopher Little

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