UPDATE, January 1, 2021: The hardcore, flagship Ford Bronco might not be badged 'Raptor' after all.
An email sent to a member of the Bronco6G forum from Michigan-based automotive parts supplier Axis Automation details a number of upcoming internal-combustion and all-electric vehicles for which the company is producing components, including a 'Bronco Warthog', codenamed U725.
The 'leaked' email re-ignites rumours of the Warthog name being applied to the Baja-spec off-roader, after Ford filed a trademark for the name in the US in September 2020.
Only time will tell which name the Blue Oval brand opts to carry over to production, as the Bronco Warthog (or Raptor) is expected to be unveiled sometime in 2022 or late 2021.
Our original story on the Bronco Raptor nameplate continues below.
August 26, 2020: The coming of a hero Ford Bronco Raptor model has always seemed like a sure thing, but, thanks to an unlucky engineer, there is now little doubt of what's to come – and when.
The engineer – whose identity has been thoughtfully obscured in screengrabs posted to the Bronco6G.com community – listed the Bronco Raptor among his ongoing projects under the Experience heading of his profile on LinkedIn, a career-focused social network.
The model is listed as the 2023 Bronco Raptor, which suggests we can expect to see it unveiled sometime in 2022 – quite a ways off, particularly when 2020 seems to have lasted a few years in its own right. (This writer intends to have a second 40th in 2021…)
What we can expect from the Bronco Raptor in terms of powertrain is unclear, given Ford already utilises a spread of suitable 250kW 2.7-litre and 298kW 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6 engines in the Edge (Endura) ST and Explorer ST models overseas.
In its standard form, the new Bronco is powered by the 2.7-litre engine, in a 231kW and 542Nm tune.
This will likely all be academic to Australian fans, however, with the Bronco looking likely to be yet another model Ford sees no economic value – let alone brand-building benefit – in bringing to our shores.