In case this is your first time on the internet, the 2021 Ford Bronco was revealed earlier this week, much to the joy of off-road enthusiasts everywhere. Just the same, it may have the folks over at Jeep a little hot under the collar. The Wrangler hasn’t seen this kind of direct competition before, so FCA turned the wick up a bit this week to steal a bit of Ford’s thunder. Because while the new Bronco does indeed appear to be formidable, Ford seems to have omitted a V8 engine from the preliminary spec sheet. At the same time, Jeep teased the Hemi-powered Wrangler 392 as a concept, and appears to be production bound by next year.
Enter PaxPower. The same company that currently offers a third-party Ranger Raptor and Coyote-V8-swapped F-150 Raptor pick up trucks is now readying itself for a Bronco V8 offering next year. According to Pax Power, customers will be able to choose between a naturally aspirated 5.0L Coyote V8, or a boosted version courtesy of a 2.9L supercharger. Horsepower, according to the aftermarket company, should jump up to 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque with the atmospheric engine, and a whopping 758 horsepower with the blower. Giddy up horsey!
By comparison, a base 2021 Bronco 2-Door or 4-Door starts with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder shared with the Ford Ranger with 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. The optional 2.7L EcoBoost V6 shared with the 2021 F-150 produces 310 hp and a stout 400 lb-ft of torque in this application. Both engines are paired with the Ford-GM collaborated 10L80 transmission.
The price? To start, a naturally aspirated Bronco V8 conversion will cost $30,000 on top of the donor SUV, at minimum. To note, pricing for the 2021 Bronco ranges from $29,995 for a Base 2-Door, to over $63,000 for a First Edition 4-Door.
So, why such a massive price tag? According to a video from TFL which you can watch below, the price covers the cost of a Coyote V8 crate engine ($9,500 according to the Ford Performance website), as well as the need for an all-new 10-speed automatic that is compatible with the Coyote V8 engine. As it stands, the current 10-speed in the 2021 Bronco is not meant to operate with the control modules of V8 engines. Odd, yes.
A manual transmission is also being explored as a possible option. Along with the powertrain upgrade, Pax Power aims to offer a suspension, bumper, performance, and other upgrades for the new 2021 Ford Bronco, as shown in this rendering.
Keep in mind, however, that this is a rendering. The 2021 Bronco SUV is capable of over-the-air (OTA) updates, and therefore, is likely utilizing a new electrical architecture that’s also destined for the 2021 Ford F-150. This means that we could see extreme levels of cybersecurity that could keep ambitious tuning projects from functioning properly, as we currently see with the C8 Corvette. We’ll have to wait until next year, when PaxPower and other tuning companies can get their hands on a 2021 Bronco to see what happens.