Well before the official 2021 Ford Bronco reveal back in July, I and several others speculated about a high-performance Ford Bronco Raptor. Frankly, it makes all the sense in the world. The company launched the nameplate with its explosively popular F-150 pickup a decade ago, and has since followed suit with the global Ranger Raptor. Now, a Ford engineer may have inadvertently spilled the beans on its development, according to a post on the Bronco6G forums.
The employee — who is an Electrical Distribution System engineer at Ford, according to their LinkedIn profile — says they worked on the 2021 Ford Bronco. Curiously, though, the profile also mentions the “2023 Bronco Raptor”, an admittedly innocuous sign that it is in fact coming after the standard Bronco reaches customers next spring.
Now, Ford did already split the Bronco range out into two key off-road variants. The Bronco Badlands (the one we’ve seen taking on the trails in recent weeks) is more your Jeep Wrangler Rubicon rival. It’s built as more of a trail runner, while the Bronco Wildtrak is meant as more of a Baja rig. You can also get the new Bronco with a 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, as we thought could complement the standard 2.3-liter four-cylinder in a Raptor variant.
The question remains then: How much headroom does Ford have to Raptor-ize the Bronco? There’ still arguably plenty of room, as that engine can produce even more power. What’s more, Ford could even introduce the 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6, as seen in the Explorer ST with 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. Sources tell us a hybrid model is also in development, so we could see electrified performance with a Bronco Raptor model.
Some have mentioned a 5.0-liter Coyote V8, but that is genuinely more of a rumor at this point. Depending on how Ford decides to position the new F-150 Raptor, though, nothing is currently outside the realm of possibility. Mind you, Jeep is working on a Wrangler Rubicon 392 packing a massive 6.4-liter V8. The tit-for-tat between the two automakers makes it even more likely we will see a Bronco Raptor, as this LinkedIn post further confirms.