We started seeing the Ford Bronco Raptor test vehicle shortly after the Bronco revealed back in 2020. The spy video confirmed the V8’s lack of noise quite early in the process, and with the hardcore Bronco now official, we know it features the Ford twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoBoost. V6. However, with the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 packing a bold V8, many may wonder why Ford didn’t opt for its own V8 under the hood of the Bronco Raptor.
There’s definitely evidence to support a V8-powered Bronco, and not just because its main competitor offers it. The Wrangler Rubicon 392 makes 470 horsepower (350 kilowatts), while Ford promises more than 400 hp (298 kW) from the twin-turbo V6 engine. Blue Oval engineers had to give the EcoBoost some significant tweaks to beat the Jeep in a power struggle, but lest we forget, Ford already offered a V8 in the Bronco DR. Ironically, the power output for the 5.0-liter V8 is also ambiguous at over 400 hp, but the Bronco DR will only have a production 50. Also, not legal.
Bronco Raptor is street legal, and we suspect Ford will build as much as it can sell. That’s why there’s a V6 instead of a V8 under the hood because, per Muscle Cars & Trucks, easier for Ford to make. Ford Performance Vehicle Engineer Derek Bier speaks to MC&T, explained that the Bronco assembly line was already set for the engine family including a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. The 3.0-liter is an offshoot of the 2.7, which essentially makes it a plug-and-play addition to today’s manufacturing processes. In short, it is a practical choice for mass production that offers more power.
Ford used an upgraded 3.0 liter in the Explorer ST, where it made 400 hp at that point. Transitioning to the Bronco Raptor, Ford says it will get a true dual exhaust system, along with added cooling and special tones for added power. How much remains to be seen, but with its extensive suspension and driveline upgrades, all indications point to the Bronco Raptor as an excellent off-road machine.