We began seeing Ford Bronco Raptor test vehicles not long after the Bronco's reveal back in 2020. Spy videos confirmed a lack of V8 noise fairly early in the process, and with the hardcore Bronco now official, we know it features Ford's twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6. Still, with the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 packing a gutsy V8, many folks might wonder why Ford didn't opt for a V8 of its own under the Bronco Raptor's hood.
There's certainly evidence to support a V8-powered Bronco, and not just because its main competitor offers one. The Wrangler Rubicon 392 belts out 470 horsepower (350 kilowatts), whereas Ford is promising over 400 hp (298 kW) from the twin-turbo V6. Blue Oval engineers would have to give the EcoBoost some significant tweaks to beat Jeep in a power battle, but lest we forget, Ford already offers a V8 in the Bronco DR. Ironically, power output for the 5.0-liter V8 is also ambiguous at over 400 hp, but the Bronco DR will only have a production run of 50. And also, isn't street legal.
Gallery: 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor
The Bronco Raptor is street legal, and we suspect Ford will build as many as it can sell. That's why there's a V6 instead of a V8 under the hood because, per Muscle Cars & Trucks, it's easier for Ford to build them. Ford Performance Vehicle Engineer Derek Bier spoke to MC&T, explaining the Bronco assembly line is already set for a family of engines including the turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder and the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. The 3.0-liter is an offshoot of the 2.7, which basically makes it a plug-and-play addition to the current manufacturing process. In short, it's a practical choice for mass production that offers more power.
Ford uses the boosted 3.0-liter in the Explorer ST, where it makes 400 hp on the dot. Transitioning to the Bronco Raptor, Ford says it will gain a true-dual exhaust system, along with additional cooling and a specific tune to add power. How much remains to be seen, but with the extensive suspension and driveline upgrades, all indications point to the Bronco Raptor being an exceptional off-road machine.