Ford Bronco Raptor a preview of Ranger Raptor spec

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Ford Bronco Raptor 4

More aggressive, Ford Performance-developed Bronco Raptor goes on sale in the USA in March, still cold on an Australian launch.

This is the new Ford Bronco Raptor, a hardcore version of the brand’s big selling new SUV designed to inject some off-road performance appeal into the Bronco line-up. Despite its obvious appeal for Australian car buyers, Ford has no plans on bringing the model here.

It goes on sale in the United States in March, and while we won’t get it here in Australia, it may showcase some of the off-road technology and performance we can expect of the next Ranger Raptor, with the latest-generation Ranger revealed late last year. The new Ford Ranger Raptor will be unveiled next month and modifications to the Bronco Raptor, including the twin-turbo V6 engine, are likely to be similar.

Ford Bronco Raptor 7

Developed by Ford Performance, the Bronco Raptor is equipped with a significantly revised chassis with a taller ride height and a wider track than the regular Bronco. The final power figure has not yet been confirmed, but Ford claims that the Bronco Raptor will produce around 298kW.

The adapted version of the regular Bronco’s steel frame chassis is joined by new, taller shock absorbers, and what Ford claims are competition-spec front and rear axles, used on the Bronco DR rally raid car. These axles widen the track by 218mm, while the minimum ride height of the Bronco Raptor sits at 332mm, an increase of 122mm.

Ford Bronco Raptor 2

Semi-active dampers with specific front and rear tuning are fitted, and adjusted by sensors at each corner of the car, monitoring conditions and suspension height to tweak the suspension set-up on the move. New front and rear control arms enable greater suspension travel, while the Bronco Raptor gets 37-inch off-road tyres from BFGoodrich, wrapped around 17-inch wheels.

Additional underbody protection is another key ingredient. Heavy-duty bash and skid plates cover the front bumper, the engine, transmission and transfer case. Additional strengthening of the body has been implemented in the B-pillar and C-pillar for greater rigidity.

Power is provided by a new turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine, developing around 300kW and linked to a 10-speed automatic gearbox. Ford has built seven drive modes into the Bronco Raptor, including a new ‘Baja mode’ for maximum off-road performance, with optimised anti-lag for the turbocharged engine.

Ford Bronco Raptor 3

The makeover is complete with more aggressive styling making the most of the wider track and raised ride height, while Bronco Raptor owners will be able to make use of the car’s modular bodywork system, removing and adding doors, roof panels and extras as they see fit.

James Brodie

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