Ford’s answer to the Defender and Wrangler is officially receiving the Raptor treatment
Following a number of teasers late last year, Ford has officially revealed its range-topping Bronco Raptor before it hits the road this summer. Before you get too excited though, the model will be off the menu for right-hand-drive markets, but there’s still a lot to like about the rugged new off-roader – and as a statement of intent for the company’s future products internationally it’s a fascinating insight into Ford’s future.
Following in the footsteps of the Bronco Raptor’s larger F-150 Raptor sibling, Ford Performance has opted for a 3-litre twin-turbocharged V6 with an output of over 400bhp. Cooling and induction systems have been designed specifically to handle the high temperatures of the desert, driveshafts reinforced and a new valved exhaust system included for a boost in sound. A 10-speed automatic is the sole transmission option.
The ‘Raptor HOSS 4.0’ suspension system is the star of the show, with Ford Performance boffins designing an entirely new setup for increased suspension travel, a wider overall track and greater ability on loose terrain. Mounted to new shock towers designed to boost wheel travel and durability, the Bronco’s trick new suspension has the ability to adjust according to the conditions via a number of sensors at each corner.
Elsewhere, Ford has widened track by 9.8 inches over a base-level Bronco for improved stability, increased torsional rigidity by 50 per cent with B and C-pillar reinforcement and boosted ground clearance by 4.8-inches to 13.1. Off-road-centric features such as bash and skid plates for drivetrain protection and BFGoodrich KO2 37-inch all-terrain tyres are also standard.
Like with the range-topping F-150, Ford Performance has made sure you won’t mistake a Raptor-badged Bronco for a standard one. Unique LED headlights now including amber daytime running lights are added along with a fresh new steel bumper (removable for improved ground clearance), LED fog lamps and off-road lamps for those low light excursions. A new vented bonnet, swollen front and rear arches and Raptor badging also help set it apart from an ordinary car.
As in the standard Bronco, the Raptor has a removable top and doors for that proper outdoor experience. Both rigid and soft-tops are available, and while the process of removing these components is not a one-touch experience, Ford has put a lot of effort into making the process as pain-free as possible, ensuring the whole system is able to be done by just one person. The removable doors are frameless, making them more manageable when off the cars, and on four-door models they fit into the rear cargo space.
Given the open nature of the cabin, Ford has ensured the whole space is weatherproof, complete with waterproof digital interfaces and drainage holes in the cabin floor. Shared with the new F-150 is a 12-inch infotainment system, controlling, amongst the usual elements, Ford’s curiously named G.O.A.T terrain response system. Inside, the Raptor gets a new steering wheel, carbonfibre trim and a new ‘Performance View’ on the digital dashboard.
Pricing is yet to be announced but order books for the Bronco Raptor will open in the US this March, with first deliveries expected to commence in the summer.
This article originally appeared at evo.co.uk
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