Vehicles | August 26, 2020 1:45 pm

Was a Ford Bronco Raptor Just Confirmed From a LinkedIn Gaffe?

The rumors of a high-performance Bronco just got way more real.

yellow 2021 Ford Bronco SUV driving in the sand
If you're not impressed with the new Bronco, what about a Bronco Raptor?
Ford

Ford did the unthinkable with the new Bronco SUV: paid homage to an icon, made a legitimate rival to the Jeep Wrangler and satisfied the notoriously curmudgeonly dad community that collectively holds a rose-colored view of the classic Bronco. Nonetheless, there have been a few initial criticisms in the power department — even though the vehicles aren’t hitting dealerships until later this year — including that the stick shift Bronco is only available with a four cylinder engine, and none of the new models have a V8 option. That may soon change. 

Rumors have been circulating about an expanded Bronco lineup, including a pickup and a high-performance Raptor model, the latter taking after Ford’s popular off-road F-150 Raptor pickup. This week, we got a new bit of evidence that could potentially prove the existence of the Bronco Raptor, and it came from the most unlikely of places: LinkedIn.

According to a post from the Bronco6G forum, as reported by Motor1, apparently an engineer who has been working at Ford going on 30 years added “2023 Bronco Raptor” to his list of projects on his LinkedIn profile, and a forum administrator has the screenshots to prove it.

Of course, this news should be taken with a grain of salt — we are in the territory of internet forums and edited screenshots. When Motor1 tried to verify the news, the outlet found that the LinkedIn profile in question had no mention of the Bronco Raptor (though it could have been edited after the media picked up on it), and Ford refused to comment. On the flip side, Bronco6G is the same forum that leaked what ended up being legitimate photos of the Bronco months before the unveiling, and that broke the O.J. Simpson date controversy, so these people know their stuff.

Honestly, a Bronco Raptor makes sense for Ford, especially considering Jeep has already previewed the first V8 Wrangler in what can only be the opening shots of the upcoming off-road SUV war. But what could Ford’s high-powered offering look like?

Jalopnik has a few ideas: “The current Ford F-150 Raptor comes with a 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine … However, the latest rumors suggest Ford has plans to challenge the new Hellcat-powered Ram TRX with a 720+ horsepower F-150 Raptor with the Mustang GT500’s V8.” In other words, a Bronco GT500 is not out of the realm of possibility.

But whether it’s powered by a better EcoBoost V6 or the holy grail V8, or something else entirely, if Ford makes a Bronco Raptor, people will line up to buy it. Let’s hope we only have to wait until 2022 to see it.

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