There have been rumors about a next-gen Bronco for years, and now that we know it’s actually on the way, the Blue Oval is still dropping hints about what’s in store for it. That said, this latest bit of info is some of the most exciting we’ve heard yet—because it sounds like there might be a Raptor Bronco on the horizon. And we’re already pretty sure a Ranger Raptor is happening.
Now, most of the design work for the new Bronco is being handled Down Under. That’s great for a number of reasons, the chief one being that—pardon the broad brush here—Australians are crazy gearheads who love the smell of gasoline and burning rubber and much as they love life itself. For an example, look not further than an Aussie burnout contest. And given the fact that their country is largely unpopulated, they also know a thing or two about off roading.
So it makes sense that the best intel about what’s in store would come from that part of the world, and that’s exactly where these latest bits come from. Here’s what Ford Performance head engineer Jamal Hameedi recently said to Drive. For those who haven’t been paying following this story as closely as we have, the Everest is a current body-on-frame SUV that’s providing the platform for the Bronco.
“The first F-150 Raptor was way beyond our wildest dreams in terms of success, and that success spawned a Ranger Raptor. So to do an SUV is a little more difficult because you have to figure out how to deal with the rear suspension. In the form of a bodyside outer it’s not just a box outer [and that] poses a unique challenge in how you package that.”
OK, so it might not be, “Oh yeah, we’re totally going to hook America up with a killer Raptor Bronco,” but it’s a pretty enthusiastic endorsement of the concept. And given that a beefed up Bronco is basically going to be a license for Ford to print money? We’d bet we’ll see something coming down the pipe here sooner rather than later. We know we sound like a broken record here, but this might be a good time to get on good terms with your local AutoNation Ford dealer…