When it was announced that the Ford Bronco was being resurrected, millions of Ford devotees and nostalgia buffs were overcome with excitement. With SUVs continuing on their upward trajectory in immense popularity and appeal, it only makes sense that one of the forebears of the vehicle class would return to the fold and reclaim its title as one of the most versatile and stylish in automotive history.
While the modern SUV has certainly become known as the ideal vehicle for the family-oriented consumer, there are still those among us who utilize the vehicle for off-roading and adventures that involve traveling off of the pavement. The legacy of the Ford Bronco is one of resiliency and performance, and in 2023, there’s a new Sheriff in town, for lack of a better term. This lawman of the wilds is none other than the Ford Bronco Raptor. Born and bred to devour the dirt and other obstacles that lay in its path, it’s bound to turn heads at anyone visiting a Ford Bronco dealership.
Looking Back to Look Forward
As any experienced off-roader will tell you, it takes a potent powertrain to navigate the obstacles that accompany adventures that exist off the beaten path. For those who are knowledgeable about the history of the Ford Bronco, then the power of a V6 will take them back to the glory days of the Bronco’s illustrious past. Much like its predecessors, the Bronco Raptor is equipped with a V6 engine, albeit one with more performance-oriented qualities. Propelling the Bronco towards the path of adventure is a twin-turbocharged 3.0L EcoBoost V6 engine with 418 hp and the ability to generate 440 lb-ft of torque. This, in turn, is paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission for ideal performance.
Ready for Anything
There’s much more to off-roading than having a beefy powertrain (but it helps), and Ford has taken the initiative to make the Bronco Raptor as off-road-ready as possible. First, the Raptor possesses over 13 inches of ground clearance which allows it to ford up to an impressive 37 inches of water. You’ll be ready for some serious amphibious adventure without having to worry about getting your feet wet. When it comes to traversing across inhospitable terrains, 17-inch wheels, and 37-inch all-terrain tires make any obstacle obsolete.
FOX, a brand that has made a name for itself by providing BMX and dirt bike enthusiasts with the best equipment for performance, worked with Ford in the design of the unique suspension of the Bronco Raptor. Customized shocks and a position-sensitive dampening design are similar to the F-150 Raptor’s high-end setup. And, if you’re considering using the Bronco Raptor to take some ATVs into the wild, you can do so thanks to a towing capacity that reaches 4,500 lbs. We were most impressed with the Bronco’s advanced G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) modes, comprising seven selections designed for any kind of driving challenges nature throws at you.
Style That Makes a Statement
If you’re going to conquer the unknown and push the limits of where you can go, you certainly don’t want to do it within a vehicle that lacks style and won’t make a memorable first impression. Luckily, you won’t have to worry about that issue in the Bronco Raptor. One look at the Bronco Raptor, and it’s immediately apparent that Ford has delivered a vehicle that possesses just as much style as it does substance. Thanks to its tremendous amount of ground clearance and extended wheelbase, this Bronco immediately draws a line in the sand in terms of addressing its assertiveness. This can also be seen on the front grill, with the Ford emblem embedded in the center between two circular headlights meant to guide you on your travels.
And if the exterior piques your interest, the interior will embolden your excitement. Sitting behind the wheel of the Bronco for the first time has less to do with being in the driver’s seat and more along the lines of an active control center. One thing that we immediately noticed was that while the interior certainly reminded us of a Jeep Gladiator, it improved the concept with miraculous results. Jeep tends to place many of its controls close together, so much so that the space becomes confining and uncomfortable. Ford knows how to place just enough space between the various items in the cabin to create a substantial amount of space for the driver while still making them accessible. Among the notable tech features is the infotainment screen that stretches out to an impressive 12 inches.
A Array of Innovative Technology
While the foot-long infotainment screen is certainly an intriguing and exciting part of the interior of the Bronco Raptor, it’s what it provides access to that’s even more exciting. The Bronco comes with Ford’s latest edition of SYNC 4, which features advanced voice integration. Compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is also standard, as is Sirius XM. Dual-zone climate control is in place to ensure you can stay cool (or warm) while exploring new worlds. A seven-speaker stereo system is standard, but we can’t help but be intrigued by the option to upgrade to the ten-speaker system from Bang & Olufsen that comes with a subwoofer for maximum clarity.
Just as Ford has gone above and beyond to assure their drivers the ultimate off-roading experience, they also take the extra step to provide the best safety and driving assistance technology to the Bronco Raptor, courtesy of the standard Ford Co-Pilot360 Technology suite. Because off-roading can present itself with a certain level of peril, Ford has included a 360-degree camera to grant their drivers oversight regarding their surroundings.
The lane-keeping system and BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) are included, as are pre-collision assist with automated emergency braking. The latter of these features are both imperative for granting reaction time to whoever is behind the wheel. Whether on the pavement or navigating harsh terrain, having any oversight to enhance your reaction time makes all of the difference between a collision and avoiding one. Please note that these features are put in place to help you and don’t replace the responsible habits of an experienced driver. Exercise caution when off-roading and operating your vehicle when in traffic.
The Future Belongs to the Bronco Raptor
Currently in its second year of production, it hasn’t taken long for critics and consumers alike to recognize the greatness and prowess that the Ford Bronco Raptor has to offer. The wait for the Ford Bronco to make its return required quite a bit of patience from the faithful. As we’ve seen here today, not only has the Bronco returned to the form that was revered in its glory days, but it surpassed them and ushered in a new golden age. With a powertrain that outclasses many of its rivals, incredible towing prowess, and suspension that allows for any difficult journey to be accomplished, it’s only a matter of time until the Bronco Raptor ascends to the top of the hill once again. This time, it won’t just be the king of the SUVs but the lord and master of the off-roading world.