What Is It?
The Ford Bronco stakes its claim as an impressively capable off-road vehicle with styling that sets it apart from lesser SUVs. However, some buyers may be looking for something even more extreme — for those folks, the Dearborn-based automaker offers an all-new 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor. With bold styling, huge tires, additional capability and more power, the Bronco Raptor has the talons to tackle practically any terrain and frighten anything that gets in its way.
Ford provided us with a 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor Advanced 4WD painted in Shadow Black. The Raptor perches at the top level of the Bronco lineup and comes with all bells and whistles, although the test vehicle that landed at our door came outfitted with an interior carbon fiber pack and leather / suede seats for a total MSRP of $74, 425. Competitors to the Bronco Raptor include the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392, Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro and Land Rover Range Rover Defender V8.
“We poured all of our passion and all of our Bronco and Raptor know-how into creating this absolute desert-racing beast,” said Jim Farley, president and CEO of the Ford Motor Company. “It’s the real deal. It’s not for show and it’s not for everybody. But for people who love to get out in the wild, it’s the ultimate,“ enthused Farley. The Ford CEO also noted that “Raptor is the apex of our off-road lineup and is now a full lineup with race proven content and design that you can’t get from anyone else,” Farley said.
The 2022 Ford Bronco already looks tough, and the Raptor version ups the ante with revised body panels and large fender flares, making it almost 10 inches wider than a base 4-door Bronco. Up front sits a signature Raptor grille similar to that found on the F-150 Raptor, featuring bold FORD lettering across a two-piece black rectangular grille that wraps around the vehicle, specific LED headlights with amber DRLs, as well as amber running lights at the top of the grille. A heavy-duty modular steel front bumper from Ford Performance includes tow hooks, removable end caps, integrated removable Rigid LED fog lights and Rigid off-road lamps.
Adding to the aggressive look, the Bronco Raptor’s raised hood sports an integrated vent. The hood is molded-in-color Carbon Black with Raptor logos on either side.
The 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor rides on massive 37-inch BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrain tires fitted to 17-inch high-gloss black aluminum wheels.
The 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor interior features a heritage-inspired horizontal dash design with an integrated 12-inch touchscreen display running SYNC 4, the latest version of Ford’s infotainment system. The truck has Raptor orange accents throughout the interior, and the test vehicle arrived trimmed in the aforementioned carbon fiber which adds a high-performance element.
The 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor also comes with a 12-inch digital driver display as standard equipment. The display can be configured with a range of views, including a Performance View exclusive to Bronco Raptor that highlights tachometer and gear readout, with the ability to customize gauges.
The 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor has ample space for rear-seat passengers and plenty of storage space. Multiple power outlets are available — both USB and standard 110-volt.
Bronco offers a decent amount of cargo space with plenty of room for luggage or toys. Access is via a large right-hinged rear door, which means there needs to be plenty of space behind the vehicle in order to fully open the door. Unfortunately the glass hatch cannot be opened unless the door has been opened all the way — an annoying design flaw.
Under the Hood
Powering the Ford Bronco Raptor is a specifically tuned Raptor version of Ford’s twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. The powerplant generates 418 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque, making Bronco Raptor the most powerful street-legal Bronco ever produced. The 3.0-liter EcoBoost gets mated with a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission tuned by Ford Performance.
G.O.A.T. Terrain Management
The 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor receives an enhanced terrain management system named G.O.A.T. Modes, which stands for Goes Over Any Terrain. The special system offers seven driver-selectable modes for improved performance in varying conditions. The uniquely tuned Baja mode includes a turbo anti-lag calibration for improved performance in high-speed desert conditions. Bronco Raptor also has Tow / Haul mode for a tow rating of 4,500 pounds, which is an increase of 1,000 pounds over the base Bronco.
The Bronco Raptor allows the driver to set suspension, steering and exhaust levels via buttons on the steering wheel. There’s also an R button that acts like a preset to customize the driver’s choices, which can also include selecting 4WD system if desired.
Updates Under Skin
Ford engineers made modifications to increase suspension travel and widen the track of the Bronco Raptor, including new shock towers that increase wheel travel and off-road durability. The driveline is protected by heavy-duty bash and skidplates, from the front bumper to the back of the engine, transmission and transfer case. Additional reinforcement for the B-pillar crossbar and C-pillar increase torsional rigidity by more than 50 percent compared to the standard Bronco 4-door.
Ford Performance worked with FOX to upgrade the Bronco’s High-Performance Off- Road Stability Suspension system with Live Valve technology. With a similar design to the F-150 Raptor’s position-sensitive damping design, the Raptor HOSS 4.0 system features FOX 3.1 (inch diameter) internal bypass semi-active dampers specifically tuned for Bronco Raptor. The front dampers have integrated reservoirs; the rears have remote reservoirs, in addition to suspension height sensors and other sensors at each corner to monitor terrain conditions independently hundreds of times per second and then adjust suspension tuning accordingly. Bronco Raptor boasts 13.1 inches of ground clearance — considerably more than the standard version.
With the weather actually cooperating (which says a lot in the Pacific Northwest), we pulled the SUV’s special tool set and went to work transforming the Bronco into an open-air Raptor by removing the doors and roof. (All Broncos have this transformative feature — not only Raptor.) The roof panels easily remove by unlocking a few clamps and levers, while doors require removal of two bolts each — easy peasy. Unlike the Jeep Wrangler, the Bronco has sideview mirrors attached to the A-pillars, so they remain even after the doors come off. The entire process takes about 15 minutes.
Bronco Raptor Reassembly
Taking the doors off the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor is easily accomplished by one person. Reattaching them to the vehicle can be a bit more difficult for a solitary individual. Top and bottom holes need to be aligned, which we discovered can be quite difficult to do while balancing doors that seem to be getting heavier and heavier. After about an hour of work we had the Bronco put back together, but we learned Raptor reconstruction is ideally not a one-person job.
On the Road
During our test drives, we were pleasantly surprised by how well-mannered the Bronco Raptor can be on pavement. One preliminary look at the massive tires and off-road suspension and we expected a rough ride, but the Bronco can be quite comfortable and easy to drive on well-maintained roads. That said, Bronco Raptor drivers need to be vigilantly aware of this special vehicle’s full width, since the fenders extend quite a distance from the body. Handling is about as good as one might expect from such a predator — a tight, winding road is not a Bronco Raptor’s optimal path — unless it’s a dirt road.
Plenty of Power
The powerful 3.6-liter EcoBoost V6 engine makes the Bronco Raptor an entertaining drive. With no shortage of power on tap, the SUV launches quickly off the line with a bit of front-end lift in the process. The Raptor’s exhaust note is fittingly pronounced — especially in Sport mode — exuding power without being obnoxious.
We had the opportunity to venture off pavement in the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor, although never coming close to challenging this extremely capable machine. Set to Baja Mode with the system in 4WD High, the Bronco has no problem climbing an almost vertical dirt berm or descending on uneven surfaces. Baja mode activates the Bronco’s forward-facing camera, which makes maneuvering over steep drops much easier.
Look Ma, No Doors
Flying down the road in the Bronco Raptor with all the doors and roof removed provides a completely transformational experience. With the rush of the wind and the sight of the road rushing by beneath occupants’ feet can be almost giggle-inducing — an experience we would highly recommend. Heading off the pavement can be equally entertaining, especially watching the left-front tire bite into dirt as it the Bronco Raptor heads for the hills. But Bronco owners be forewarned — off-roading sans doors and roof can bring a lot of the environment inside the cabin, but in the end the freedom of free-running makes any clean-up well worth the effort.
In stock configuration, the 2022 Ford Bronco is already an impressive vehicle, so Raptorizing this popular SUV takes things up several notches. It may not be for everybody, but with a bold look that some might even call a bit scary, a powerful EcoBoost engine and extreme off-road capability, the Bronco Raptor will certainly check all the boxes for the off-road enthusiast.