It’s been hard for Ford to hide the Bronco Raptor from spy photographers. Its boxy design is unmistakable, and no amount of cladding can hide the widened fender flares or increased ground clearance. That’s not to say Ford hasn’t tried to keep its design a secret. Camouflage has covered much of the SUV, including the front and rear fascias, but a new batch of up-close spy pics gives us a clearer picture of the rugged off-roader Ford is developing.
The photos show the SUV sporting the same camouflage as before, but the closer photos provide a better look at a grille that looks quite familiar. It appears the Blue Oval is going to give the Bronco Raptor a bold FORD grille just like it offers on the F-150 Raptor pickup. Grille openings for the “O” and “D” are quite visible. They were present in older spy shots, though they were much more obscured. The photos also reveal this test vehicle wearing BF Goodrich AT All-Terrain T/A tires on what appear to be 17-inch wheels.
The beefier tires are only one part of the Bronco’s Raptor makeover. The suspension has several unknown upgrades, which increases its ground clearance and widens its stance. We expect Ford to make some tweaks to its design to differentiate it from other Broncos, but the camouflage hides those from our curious eyes. This test vehicle is also missing its front bumper, but don’t expect that omission to make it to the production variant.
Details about the Bronco Raptor’s powertrain remain elusive. The automaker has two strong choices – the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 or the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6. The bigger one powers the F-150 Raptor and produces 450 horsepower (335 kilowatts), while the Explorer ST gets the smaller engine, which makes 400 hp (298 kW). We expect the Ford Bronco Raptor to arrive for the 2023 model year, though it’s unclear when Ford will debut the model.