We sincerely hope someone at Ford celebrates whatever day the original SVT team at Ford decided to take their performance truck to the sand instead of the strip. Since it dropped in 2010, the Raptor name has become synonymous with gonzo levels of off-road performance and a boatload of horsepower. And it’s a pretty good basketball team, too.
Unveiled just a few weeks ago, the new Bronco has yet found to find its way into a single customer’s driveway. That hasn’t stopped the rumour mill from kicking firmly into overdrive, with speculation running high that Ford will apply the Raptor formula to its Bronco line sooner rather than later.
Absent of any even remotely official words from Ford itself, we’re left to speculate what gear a Bronco Raptor might contain. A stock Bronco equipped with the Sasquatch package is already a serious off-road machine in its own right, packed with 35-inch tires on beadlock-capable wheels, locking diffs, and Bilstein position-sensitive monotube shocks. Its high-clearance fender flares add to the visual drama, as do any number of the accessories from Ford’s own aftermarket catalog.
But what will power the thing when it appears? Prodigious amounts of grunt have always been a Raptor calling card, with the current F-150 Raptor making 450 hp and 510 lb.-ft. out of its 3.5L EcoBoost V6. Fitting that engine into the Bronco engine bay might require a bit of fettling, so a safer bet is the 3.0L twin-turbo V6 that’s based on the 2.7L six-pot that’s already available. It’s an engine that makes around 400 horsepower and a like amount of torque depending on application.
Here’s a thought: with Ford currently (pun intended) applying electrification to the better part of its lineup, could the Bronco Raptor be powered by a mix of gasoline and electricity? That same 3.0L twin-turbo pops up in the Aviator plug-in hybrid, making nearly 500 ponies and over 600 lb.-ft. of twist.
A Bronco Raptor with gonzo off-road kit and a yaffle of right-now torque would be a hoot on the trail. The hybrid system’s extra weight would be a downer, but surely a company with the engineering might of Ford can solve that little puzzle.
For now, we wait — though hopefully not as long as we’ve waited for the Ranger Raptor.
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