There’s bad news for anyone underwhelmed by the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor’s powertrain: Larger-displacement engines aren’t in store for the off-road monster.
At the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R launch Ford Performance boss Carl Widmann explained to Motor Authority why the Bronco Raptor (“Braptor”) doesn’t have a larger, more powerful, engine than its current twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6.
2021 Ford F-150 Raptor
The twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6’s a no-go
Simply put, the Braptor’s too narrow for the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 that produces 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque in the Ford F-150 Raptor.
While the Braptor is far from narrow–it’s 8.6 inches wider than stock, making it 7.5 feet wide–the added width is from the massive 37-inch tires, long-travel Fox remote reservoir suspension, and running bits. The actual engine bay isn’t wider than the standard Bronco lineup.
The engine bay, specifically the space between the shock towers, is too narrow and tight to fit the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 properly, according to Widmann—with emphasis on “properly.”
It may be possible to shoehorn the larger engine under the hood, but that doesn’t mean Ford can or will. The automaker needs the engine to fit, and also to have enough space to keep cool, breathe, and pass crash tests while meeting safety standards.
2023 Ford Bronco DR
The 5.0-liter V-8: not enough torque
Enthusiasts clamoring for Ford to shove the 5.0-liter V-8 under the Braptor’s hood aren’t going to get their wish either.
Widmann said the 5.0-liter V-8 doesn’t have enough low-end torque to satisfy the Raptor engineering team’s requirements. Nothing aside from a supercharger would solve that issue, but Ford doesn’t offer a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 in any vehicle from the factory.
Ford did put the 5.0-liter V-8 into a Bronco, but it was a purpose-built mid-$200,000 desert racer. Dubbed the 2023 Ford Bronco DR, the V-8-powered Bronco was developed as a turnkey racer, and it’s not street-legal. Ford built it for those looking to run the Baja 1000 with a factory rig. Only 50 were available with the implication more would be sold at a later date.
The V-8 in the DR was said to target an output of over 400 hp, which is less than the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 in the Braptor, which is rated at 418 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque.
2022 Hennessey VelociRaptor 500 Bronco
More power to come?
Ford Performance now sells more power for the Bronco and Explorer ST, but has made no mention of the Braptor, yet.
The Explorer ST dances with the family out of the box with the Braptor’s engine rated at 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. The factory-backed tuning offered by Ford Performance ups power output in the Explorer ST to 430 hp and 467 lb-ft.
Ford hasn’t hinted whether a Bronco Raptor R will join the lineup to slot above the existing vehicle and below the F-150 Raptor R, but Hennessey’s already tuned the Bronco Raptor to 500 hp—for an additional $32,950 above the cost of the vehicle itself.