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Engineers Gave Us An Answer We Weren’t Expecting

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor Engine 3.0L EcoBoost V6 High Output Turbo Engine
Image via Ford.

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.

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor
Image via Ford.

“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.

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor
Image via Ford.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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