You can buy a new Ford Bronco with a V8 engine. You just won’t be able to legally drive it on public roads. So even as the 2022 Bronco Raptor has over 13 inches of minimum ground clearance, the biggest tires of any American production SUV that money can buy, a fully-boxed frame, hardcore Dana axles, badass looks, a decked-out interior, and so forth… folks will still say its missing two cylinders. See, the BRaptor comes exclusively with a high-output 3.0L EcoBoost V6 engine that promises to punch out an estimated 400 horsepower.
Sure, emissions targets probably have plenty to do with why the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor features a 3.0L EcoBoost V6 engine instead of a howling Coyote V8 engine. But as it turns out, that’s not the only reason, as I learned from talking to Ford Performance engineers. And it’s not only a Coyote V8 that the Bronco Raptor leaves out of the engine bay, but the 3.5L EcoBoost V6, as well.
“The truck has to go through the same assembly line (as Ranger and base Bronco) and we want to follow the same processes… the 2.7L is part of the ‘Nano’ family and the 3.0L is the upgrade to it,” Ford Performance Vehicle Engineering Manager Derek Bier told MC&T. “The 3.5L EcoBoost is a different technology, a different power pack. (3.0L) was the most capable of the Nano, also with upgrades unique to the Bronco Raptor, allowing us to follow that same bill of process, that same platform, that same control strategy, and just be efficient.”
The 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor will be built at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan alongside the Ford Ranger and standard Bronco. All vehicles use the 2.3L EcoBoost four cylinder turbo engine, while the Bronco incorporates the 2.7L and 3.0L EcoBoost V6 engines on top of it. The next-generation Ford Ranger is expected to mirror the Bronco’s engine lineup when it begins production at MAP next year.
Because there’s no tooling at MAP for anything other than the Nano engine family, the Ford Bronco Raptor engine strategy appears to be operating within the framework of what makes sense when sharing a massive plant with other vehicles and platform mates. Playing the hand that it’s dealt, so to speak.
The 3.0L EcoBoost in the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor sees cooling upgrades not seen in the Explorer ST or Lincoln Aviator, such as a trans oil cooler, unique seals, and more airflow from the larger grille. Total airflow for the 3.0L EcoBoost V6 is said to be 50 percent more efficient than the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 in the base Bronco.
“The 3.0L EcoBoost was always a part of the (Ford Bronco Raptor) program. There was never another powertrain considered for it,” said Bier.