The Ford Bronco Raptor and Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 are apex predators. They are the most powerful models for Ford and Jeep in the off-road-focused SUV segment. Both have over 400 horsepower and a litany of upgrades for conquering roads less traveled. But what about a paved drag strip?
We sincerely hope owners of the Wrangler 392 and Bronco Raptor enjoy their vehicles off-road, as that's what they were built for. But you know there will be tarmac-based showdowns from time to time, and The Fast Lane Car offers a glimpse of how those encounters will likely go down. By now you should know the competitors, which means you'll know the Wrangler's naturally aspirated 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine holds a significant power advantage. It makes 470 horsepower (350 kilowatts) compared to 418 hp (312 kW) from the Bronco's twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6. On paper, it shouldn't even be close.
Gallery: 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor First Drive
There is an important factor to consider here, and it's not (just) weight. This race takes place in the Colorado mountains, a full mile above sea level. A general rule-of-thumb for engines is a 3 percent loss of power per every 1,000 feet of altitude, so the Jeep's Hemi could be down as much as 15 percent for the race. Engines with forced induction also suffer the effects of less oxygen at higher altitudes, but not nearly as bad as naturally aspirated mills. In short, this could actually be a close race.
But it isn't.
Sorry to spoil the mood, Bronco fans. The Wrangler's high-output V8 is a monster, and it shows in this competition by absolutely trouncing the Raptor. Timed runs reveal nearly a one-second difference between the off-roaders in the quarter-mile, with 15.2 for the Jeep and 16.1 for the Bronco Raptor. Just for fun, the team brought a Bronco First Edition model with the 330-hp (246 kW) 2.7-liter V6 to the party. The race between it and the Raptor was actually a bit closer than the Jeep showdown, an ode to just how beefy that amped-up Bronco really is.
We suspect Bronco Raptor owners won't be the least bit bothered by this outcome. Our own experience behind the wheel revealed an exceptionally capable off-roader that enjoys speed on – or above – pretty much any surface. Still, bragging rights for this round go to Jeep.