With the debut of the all-new Ford Bronco Raptor (go ahead and call it the "Braptor"), the battle for off-road supremacy has never been hotter. Bred from the same baja-inspired thinking as the F-150 Raptor, the Braptor brings significantly more capability to the table than its regular production counterparts. The same thing can be said about the Jeep Wrangler 392, which is clearly the new Raptor’s main competitor. How do these two off-roaders stack up?
Ford Performance's mission for the Bronco Raptor was to build an Ultra4-inspired off-roader you can use for WalMart runs. In order to achieve that level of performance, balanced with a commuter's practicality, Ford Performance started from the ground up. The Braptor receives a new fully boxed frame constructed from high strength steel, complete with modified shock towers for improved durability and increased wheel travel. The SUV packs the Raptor HOSS 4.0 system, which includes Fox’s 3.1 Internal Bypass Semi-Active Dampers.
Combined with a set of unique control arms, the SUV offers 13 inches of wheel travel up front and an impressive 14 inches out back. Those figures represent gains of 60 percent and 40 percent travel over the base Bronco, respectively. The truck also features a minimum ground clearance of 13.1 inches. The Wrangler 392 features upgraded frame rails as well, complemented by a 2-inch factory lift kit, FOX aluminum monotube shocks, and unique suspension geometry. That helps the SUV achieve 10.3 inches of ground clearance with improved suspension articulation.
While the Wrangler 392 lags a little behind in the ground clearance category, it's partially due to the shoes each truck wears. The Bronco Raptor rides on a set of 17-inch x 8.5-inch beadlock-capable wheels, which come wrapped in 37-inch BF Goodrich KO2s. The 392 on the other hand comes with a set of 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels, but it rocks a set of 33-inch rubber. Customers do have the option to spec the Xtreme Recon Package, which fits the Jeep with 35-inch tires from the factory.
Of course the bits above the wheels and tires are also crucial to off-road performance. The Wrangler 392 uses a full-time four-wheel drive system bolstered by a Selec-Trac two-speed transfer case, combined with the Dana 44 axles and locking differentials at both ends.
The Bronco Raptor, on the other hand, leans into Ford’s off-road racing remit. The SUV features the same axles as the Bronco DR racer, with a Dana 44 up front and a semi-float Dana 50 solid axle out back. These axles push the SUV’s track width out by 8.6 inches over the regular SUV, which helps explain the 9.8-inches of added width overall. Upgraded electronic locking differentials sit at both ends as well. The Bronco also features an impressive crawl ratio of 67.7:1, compared to the Jeep’s 48:1 ratio. Then again, the Wrangler’s powertrain is surely capable of making up that difference.
Under the hood of the Wrangler 392 sits the familiar 6.4-liter Apache V-8 engine. In Wrangler spec the engine is good for 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft, which allows the SUV to rip off a 0-60 mph run in just 4.5 seconds. While that’s not Urus-rivaling speed, the figure is mighty impressive next to other dedicated off-roaders. It also doesn’t hurt that the naturally aspirated engine is working with more than double the displacement as the Bronco Raptor’s EcoBoost powertrain. In place of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost now sits a larger 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6, which was long rumored. While Ford isn’t quite ready to share output figures, the automaker does confirm they’re targeting more than 400 horsepower. Both SUVs are solely available with their respective automatic gearboxes, though both do offer paddle shifters.
So without a bit more information from the Blue Oval, it is difficult to say exactly how well these two machines stack up, though it's clear Ford kept their cross-town rival in mind during development of this Ultra4-inspired offering. Regardless of which of these two 4x4s suits you best, we can all agree it's great to have some competition in the segment.
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