What’s this Ford Bronco Raptor doing in Australia?

Ford’s Bronco Raptor off-road SUV hero has been spotted doing a supermarket run on Australian soil.

Ford Australia has vehemently denied the Ranger-related Bronco for local market consumption, so what is a top-of-the-range, off-road-ready Raptor version doing near the brand’s headquarters?

Spotted at a Coles supermarket car park, the Bronco Raptor is a left-hand-drive model with Victorian number plates, and is labeled as an “Engineering Evaluation Vehicle”.

According to Ford Australia, however, the Bronco is no closer to arriving in local showrooms.

“Ford’s Australian Product Design team work on a variety of global vehicle programs, including many that are not destined for Australian roads,” a spokesperson said.

“The Bronco Raptor that was recently pictured in Melbourne is here for engineering validation and evaluation, however it is not an indication of the vehicle being engineered for Australia. Bronco remains LHD [left-hand drive] only and unavailable for Australia.”

MORE: 2023 Ford Bronco Wildtrak spied in Victoria

Ford Australia has cited in the past that the Bronco is off the table for Australia as it is produced exclusively in left-hand drive for overseas markets.

There are few right-hand drive markets which would take such a vehicle – the UK, Japan and much of South-East Asia prefer smaller cars – and the numbers may not stack up to develop the car just for Australia.

The Bronco is now made in the US, as well as China, but demand overseas could mean there may not be production capacity to accomodate smaller markets such as Australia.

However, the brand has left the door open for a right-hand-drive conversion program for the Bronco, much like the route it has taken with the F-150 full-sized pick-up.

The Bronco is underpinned by a version of the T6.2 platform used beneath the current Ranger ute and Everest off-road SUV, and was largely designed, developed, and validated on Australian soil.

MORE: Ford leaves the door open for Bronco in Australia

Changes to the Raptor version of the Bronco include beefed-up underbody protection and a much wider track width – all on show in these images.

In fact, the track width of a Bronco Raptor is even wider than a Toyota LandCruiser GR Sport at 1869mm, compared to 1665mm.

The suspension has also been upgraded to Fox shock absorbers with a bespoke tune, which combines with 37-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain tyres to boost ground clearance to 333mm.

The headline feature of the Bronco Raptor is its 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V6, which punches out 312kW/597Nm to all four wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission.

For reference, the Ranger Raptor ute uses the same 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V6, though tuned to 292kW/583Nm, according to Australian power measuring standards.

The post What’s this Ford Bronco Raptor doing in Australia? appeared first on Drive.

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