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It’s an interesting thought experiment: if money was no object and you wanted the ultimate Ford off-road vehicle, what would you get?

Are you going for the new 2023 F-150 Raptor R, the king of the mountains V-8-powered Baja-style supertruck with the engine from the Mustang Shelby GT500?

 

Or are you opting for the new compact, smaller, less powerful but capable 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor SUV?

Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, its strengths and weaknesses, but both are the best kind of name plate names, and to those who control their Raptor,

you know that one or the other another will have too much power and dirt. So, that’s a fair question: what’s the best thing on the road? Or more specifically, what does each of them do better than the other?

Ford invited us to Holly Oaks All-Terrain Park north of Detroit in late 2022 to drive them back, and we intend to find out.

Related: 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor Review: The Bronco is better in almost every way

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor | Photo from Cars.com by Aaron Bragman

Ford Bronco Raptor: the trickiest newcomer

New to the lineup is a Raptorized version of Ford’s best-selling Bronco.

The most obvious advantage here is that you can remove the roof and doors, while you can’t on the F-150 Raptor without the help of a Sawzall – so if driving an open car is the most important thing, the Bronco is your only choice.

(Thanks for reading, have a great day!) But we’re more interested in seeing how the two compare when used as getaway cars, not live-in cars. Also, it was 32 degrees in the air the day we tested both, so the roof and door were there.

Both share a significant number of road parts: both use the same brakes, the same 3.1-inch Fox internal bypass shocks (tuned for each car, of course) and share the same a significant number of suspension components.

They even have similar suspension travel: 13 inches in the front and 14 inches in the back, thanks to one large 37-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 road tire each uses.

Overall, there’s a lot of F-150 Raptor under the skin of the Bronco Raptor, and it shows in the way the car performs on dirt.

The biggest differences to consider are the parts and the powertrain, the first of which is immediately clear when you see them side by side.

The Bronco is shorter by 41.6 inches than the F-150 Raptor R and has a shorter 28.9-inch wheelbase.

The difference in width is interesting, though: while the Bronco is about 9 inches narrower than the windshield, its “track” width (the space between the left and right wheels) is only about Eight inches. one inch behind.

All this means that the Bronco Raptor is very good at rocking because of the way it is done more, passing and exiting.

Bring back the curb and you have an approach angle of 47.2 degrees in the Bronco Raptor versus just 33.1 degrees in the F-150 Raptor R.

Breakover gives the Bronco a similar advantage: a shorter wheelbase allows a turning angle of 30.8 degrees, but compared to him. to 24.4 degrees in the F-150 Raptor R. It’s the same with the exit angle: 40.5 degrees for the Bronco, only 24.9 degrees for the F-150.

The Bronco can measure up to the F-150’s struggles,

 

but if cross-country Baja speed isn’t your priority, the Bronco Raptor might be better.

A Ford engineer told me that the intake program and the illegal regulation of the F-150 Raptor R is “If it’s good, it’s good,” meaning that if there’s a chance for the big intake to sneak in, he handles anything thrown at him.

he. But it’s safe to say that the Bronco Raptor fits into a tighter slot than the F-150 Raptor R. The differences in the model also appear inside, where the Bronco Raptor has a narrower border than the F-150 Raptor R.

It makes sense; The Bronco is based on a mid-size truck platform that is also said to underpin the next-generation Ranger pickup, while the F-150 Raptor R is built off the pickup. up to the full crew, so you ‘ It will be a little tight on the Bronco without too much width in the line or behind the legs.

On the plus side, you’ll get a hood, storage (as long as you opt for a hardtop) and a weatherproof hood instead of opening the F-150 Raptor R’s roof, which is what you plan to do with your Raptor.

Do you need indoor space and dry cargo storage? Bronco seems like a better choice. Do you have mud gear to throw on the couch, plus more people to pack in better comfort? The F-150 Raptor R is the best choice.

Ford F-150 Raptor R: The Mudstang

The other big difference between the two trucks that I mentioned earlier is powertrain — and this is a big difference.

The Bronco Raptor features a powerful twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 pumping out a stonkin’ 418 horsepower and 440 pounds-feet of torque. It’s a bigger, more powerful version of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 that’s the optional engine in less outrageous Broncos.

It’s mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission that works with a two-speed transfer case and a part-time four-wheel-drive system with an automatic 4WD setting.

The result is a rorty, snorty, responsive SUV that can blast over scrubby terrain or crawl over slippery rocks and loose trails with ease.

But what if you want something more … visceral?

That’s where the Ford F-150 Raptor R comes in with its bonkers engine.

It’s 5.2 liters of supercharged V-8 engine cranking out 700 hp and 640 pounds-feet of torque.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve seen a version of this engine before in the Mustang Shelby GT500, and it’s no less mental here than it is in that two-door track machine.

It’s also a direct response to the Ram 1500 TRX’s supercharged Hellcat V-8 engine, a punch right between the eyes of that equally insane off-road truck.

As an alternative to the Bronco Raptor, the F-150 Raptor R is a more curious choice.

It’s just as easy to drive off-road as the Bronco Raptor, but it indeed does not fit in the same places. Yet what it lacks in finesse, it more than makes up for in brute force —

mash the accelerator pedal on any surface and the massive pickup rears up on its haunches and just flies forward at alarming speed, making grin-inducing sounds.

Disengage the traction and stability control to drift the thing around your favorite sand dunes with ease, jump over rises with aplomb or blast over rutted scrub with astonishing smoothness.

This is not to say the Bronco Raptor is slow.

But its turbocharged power arrives with less of a screaming, thunderous rush, as the F-150 Raptor R has a significant power-to-weight ratio advantage since the curb weight of the two trucks really isn’t all that different: The Bronco Raptor weighs in at 5,731 pounds, while the F-150 Raptor R comes in at 5,950 pounds.

Just 219 pounds difference for a huge supercharged V-8 engine, all that extra room inside, and the added ability to tow almost twice as much as the Bronco Raptor can (8,700 pounds for the F-150 Raptor R versus 4,500 pounds for the Bronco Raptor).

How can it be so close? Thank the F-150’s almost entirely aluminum body structure; it pays dividends in so many ways, including performance like this.

Really not a fair question, that. They’re both insane amounts of fun in the dirt in slightly different ways, but both display complementary strengths tailored to different purposes. The Bronco Raptor’s a great higher-speed cross-country sprinter, but it truly shines when scaling objects and negotiating tighter trails.

The F-150 Raptor R’s bonkers powertrain, brutal acceleration, visceral sound and stunningly good high-speed off-road smoothness make it the champ for blasts across the sand and scrub —

or when you need to tow a camper into the savannah. Either way, you’re getting a truly remarkable piece of engineering and are almost certain to enjoy your ride.

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