MC&T founder and editorial director Manoli Katakis recently conducted an exclusive interview with Ford Performance Vehicle Engineering Manager Dan Bier regarding the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor. Questions ranging from how the team got the new SUV to fit on the assembly line, why it doesn’t have a Coyote V8 engine, to whether or not Ford has more integrated capabilities like Pro Power Onboard or a tire inflator kit planned to come later down the road.
The Bronco Raptor is nearly a foot wider the base Bronco, and integrates a unique fully-boxed frame with other structural reinforcements, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s assembled on its own line. Instead, some clever manufacturing tricks were implemented during the build process to ensure the biggest Bronco yet could fit through some of the assembly line’s choke points, albeit snugly.
It’s not that the Bronco Raptor is too wide for the Michigan Assembly Plant where it’s set to be built in the summer of this year. Instead, it’s too tall. To make it fit, the two bolts that lock each rear coil-over shock mounts in place are loosened during assembly process, allowing the rear axle to lower, and a temporary third bolt holds an axle mount in place as the Bronco Raptor squeezes through the assembly line. At the end of the line, the temporary bolt gets removed, the axle is raised back up, and the main bolts are fastened back into place. Neat.
We asked Bier if the rest of the Ford Bronco family would get the Raptor’s fully boxed frame, or if we’ll see it on the P703N Ford Ranger coming next year, but our willing participant was mum on the details.
Ford Bronco Raptor: Vehicle Engineering Manager Talks Pro Power Onboard, Integrated Tire Inflator Kit
When taking a vehicle off-road, it’s incredibly beneficial to air down your tires. It allows for improved ride quality and creates a bigger tire footprint, improving the traction a tire can get and making off-roading easier. However, the drawback to airing down the tire is that once you are ready to go back onto the pavement, the tires need to be aired back up. Anybody that’s ever been to, say, the Silver Lake Sand Dunes will recognize how tedious it is to wait in the staging area for an air hose to open up. Whereas one then has to proceed to spending the next 20 or so minutes airing their tires back up.
We asked Dan if Ford Performance has any plans on integrating a tire inflator kit into the Bronco Raptor, and it doesn’t appear to be the case at the moment.
Lastly, the Ford Pro Power Onboard inverter generator system that’s exclusively to the fourteenth-generation F-150 at the moment seems like a no-brainer for the Bronco Raptor. Especially for those looking to take this highly capable SUV deep into the wilderness for some camping. For now, Pro Power will remain on the shelf for the Bronco Raptor, but the system could potentially be integrated in the future. Perhaps during an upcoming refresh of the product? We’ll have to wait and see. For our entire interview with Ford Performance Vehicle Engineering Manager Dan Bier, please have a watch below:
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