When it comes to off-road legends, few vehicles can match the storied history of the Ford F-150 Raptor or the Ford Bronco. Now, Ford has decided to combine these two automotive icons to create the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor. This new version of Ford’s recently revived off-road SUV promises to bring more power, more capability, and more aggressive looks for drivers who demand the ultimate in rock-crawling and desert-running performance. The only question is, does it live up to that promise, and is the Bronco Raptor a worthy addition to the Raptor family?
What Makes a Bronco a Raptor?
The first thing most shoppers are probably wondering is what sets the Bronco Raptor apart from the Bronco Wildtrak and makes it worth its $70,000 price tag (which is considerably more than the $47,780 starting price of the Wildtrak)? To start off, the Bronco Raptor continues the Raptor tradition with “FORD” spelled out in massive letters across the unique grille, but this model is far more than simply an appearance package. It also brings some serious off-road features that may just make it a better performance vehicle than the original F-150 Raptor.
Under the hood is a new 3.0L twin-turbo V6 pumping out over 400 horsepower. That’s a big step up from the 2.7L V6 and 325 horses of the Bronco Wildtrak, but still a smaller engine with fewer ponies than the F-150 Raptor’s 3.5L EcoBoost and 450 horsepower. However, don’t count the Bronco Raptor out just yet. While it may lag behind when it comes to raw power, Ford has tuned this off-road SUV for more technical off-roading. The most noticeable example of this is the model’s standard 37-inch mud-terrain tires that make even the massive 35-inch rubber on the Bronco Wildtrak seem small. The F-150 Raptor is also available with these huge tires, but only if you opt for the available Raptor 37 package. The standard equipment is a set of 35-inch tires.
The larger tires give the Bronco Raptor an impressive 13.1-inches of ground clearance, which is 1.5-inches more than a Bronco Wildtrak and 1.1-inches more than an F-150 Raptor on 35s (the Raptor 37 has the same 13.1-inches of clearance). In order to accommodate the larger tires, the Bronco Raptor comes with almost ludicrously wide fender flares, making it a full 9.8-inches wider than a standard Bronco. That may give you trouble on tighter trails but adds stability at higher speeds. Finally, the entire suspension has been upgraded and reinforced for durability, articulation, and handling. This includes front and rear locking differentials, which is a step up from the F-150’s front limited-slip differential when it comes to serious rock-climbing.
Should You Buy a Bronco Raptor?
Do you have $70,000 lying around and a desire for extreme off-roading? Then the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor should be near the top of your list of models to consider. While the F-150 Raptor remains the most powerful off-roader Ford sells, the Bronco Raptor has enough tricks up its sleeves to make it a worthy alternative–especially if you want an SUV rather than a pickup truck. The main competition for this new model is going to be Jeep’s Wrangler Rubicon 392. However, while the 470-horsepower HEMI V8 in the Jeep is an impressive engine, we can’t help but feel that the Bronco Raptor is a better platform to handle this type of power and will provide a more capable overall experience.