Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a Ford Bronco Raptor? Is it going to be called the Warthog? In order, the answers are, no, no, maybe and maybe. All we know is that it’s beefy, and Ford shared a photo of it going full-send on its twitter account Tuesday.
Testing. Testing. Is this thing on? 🎤 #FordBronco pic.twitter.com/9oGCIeX5Jc— Ford Motor Company (@Ford)
September 15, 2020
What we can say with a reasonable degree of confidence is that this appears to be the same prototype (or one closely related to it) that was spotted on public roads just last week. While it was somewhat comprehensively disguised, the mocked-up flares on its fenders appear to be at least an inch or two wider than the stock flares on each side to better accommodate those huge all-terrains. That prototype also sported a much beefier rear axle (including a much more robust-looking pumpkin) and heavily gusseted suspension mounting brackets.
The base Bronco already shares quite a bit of its chassis with the Ford Ranger pickup, which has a Raptor variant sold overseas. Conveniently, it makes use of the Ranger Raptor’s coil-spring rear suspension, meaning Ford Performance has already had a crack at engineering a rear end that can handle the abuse expected to be inflicted on these high-performance off-roaders.
Ford’s plans for a Baja-style Bronco remain a mystery, but at least this answers one question we had when the prototype appeared last week, in that it does indeed appear to be destined for production, and not just a mule for testing suspension components. Rumors suggest that it will be powered by the same 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 that motivates the new Ford Explorer ST, which would give it access to 400-some-odd horsepower, depending on how Ford plans to tune it. Beefy, indeed.
There’s also the distinct possibility that it will be named “Warthog,” rather than Raptor. Thanks to a trademark filing spotted by Motor Trend et al, we know that Ford has applied for the name for use on “… land motor vehicles, namely, passenger automobiles, pick-up trucks, sport utility vehicles.” Granted, that description covers about 80% of Ford’s product portfolio by volume, but it sounds good, right?