It’s not for everyone, but there’s something appealing about conquering muddy, boulder-laden lake beds, climbing awkwardly formed rock clusters or boldly going where only a few have gone before. It’s why the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor exists.
It’s for those who viewed the 2021 return of the standard Bronco after a 24-year absence as a pedestrian effort. The debuting Raptor is the real deal. It’s huge, a monster off-roader equipped with a 418-horsepower, twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6. It produces 440 pound-feet of torque.
It’s propelled with a 10-speed automatic transmission and a four-wheel-drive system that features selectable G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) mode and 37-inch BFGoodrich K02 all-terrain tires. It will tow 4,500 pounds and the maximum payload is 1,155 pounds. Its curb weight is 4,945 pounds.
Like any off-road geared beast, gas mileage averages are tragic, 15 miles per gallon in city driving, 16 mph on the highway.
Available in one trim and only with four doors, the Bronco Raptor undercuts its sibling, the Ford F-150 pickup truck. Its base price is $68,500; the F-150 with the same behemoth tires costs at least an additional $10,000.
Despite its increased power, presence and price, the Bronco Raptor shares much with the regular Bronco. Both include rubberized flooring, marine-grade vinyl upholstery and an overhead set of auxiliary toggles as standard equipment. Leather-trimmed seating is an upgrade on both models.
Like its more tame sibling, the Ford Bronco Raptor also has removable body panels, frameless doors and exterior mirrors mounted on the base of the windshield. They’re still usable when the doors are removed. A rack located on top of the dashboard is a convenient port for smartphones and small devices requiring a 12-volt outlet. It’s there, too.
Adventurers will rejoice. The Raptor’s wonders include part and full-time four-wheel drive, driver-selectable front and rear locking differentials, trailer sway control, six skid plates, front active w/driver control anti-roll bar,
off-road suspension and Fox racing shock absorbers.
Electric power-assist steering, dual stainless steel exhaust, auto locking hubs, a short and long arm front suspension with coil springs, a multi-link rear suspension with coil springs, hill hold control, an electric parking brake and upfitter switches are all in the mix.
The Raptor also features Ford’s Sync 4 interface. It includes a large 12.0-inch touchscreen positioned in the middle of the dashboard. The infotainment system includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a Wi-Fi hotspot. A Bang & Olufsen sound system is optional, but a top-line auto option may not be ideal in a rugged vehicle in which quiet driving isn’t a priority.
Ford’s CoPilot 360 suite of driver-assistance technology, which includes automated emergency braking and lane-keeping assist is standard. Adaptive cruise control is optional.
The Ford Bronco Raptor is all about off-road escapades, but getting there requires road travel. It’s where the testosterone-heavy Bronco’s shortcomings surface. It’s nearly 86 inches wide, meaning many standard parking spaces aren’t usable. It’s 87 inches tall, a prohibitive height in some circumstances.
The SUV is difficult to enter and exit. The vehicle’s full-sized spare tire is mounted on the horizontally opening tailgate, and it’s hinged with a large square metal bracket. Rear-view vision is severely obscured.
Five occupants can travel comfortably and in elevated positions of authority while looking down on the toy cars on the road. The Raptor’s huge tires absorb road obstacles with ease, and the vehicle doesn’t go far without attracting attention. It’s the Bronco the off-road crowd sought.
The Raptor will advance as far along the off-road horizon as needed. No extra or special equipment is necessary. Fully loaded, it’s an $81,000 joy ride in a Bronco that will take all the bucking you can provide and ask for more.