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Ford Teases Flying 2021 Bronco… Is This The “Warthog”?

Or Could It Be The Bronco Raptor? Either Way It’s Awesome!

When Ford finally unveiled the all-new 2021 Bronco the internet lost its collective mind. The new off-roader paid homage to the classic while providing nearly everything the wheeling public wanted in a dirt-centric SUV. However, rumors still persist that there is to be an even more capable Bronco in the lineup. A Bronco that's geared towards the high-speed desert loving crowd. A Bronco that has been unofficially dubbed the "Bronco Raptor". Well, we're happy to report that it is real, and Ford has given us the first taste of what to expect.

In a world where everything happens on social media, it's not surprising that Ford would drop this spectacular news to its followers first. In an early morning post, Ford showed this single photo of what appears to be a camouflaged Bronco flying high above the desert floor. The caption reads "Testing. Testing. Is This Thing On?" along with a microphone (mic drop?) emoji. Even more interesting is a reply from the official Ford account in the comments which states that the vehicle in question will be announced in the "fall" and will be available for ordering in "December". They end the response with "Saddle up" leaving no doubt that the camo flying machine is in fact a Bronco.

Looking at the photo a few things become apparent quite quick. First, looking at the tires we see what appears to be 37-inch BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrains. We're certain of the brand by the tread pattern and judging by the sidewall can say definitively they are at least 37-inches in diameter. The front lower control arms are beefy cast aluminum pieces that mimic those found on the F-150 Raptor. We also see extended steering tie rods, which indicate a wider front track width than the standard Bronco. The front shocks are disguised, but from what we know about Raptor we can easily tell that they are a similar design, likely a similar 3.0-inch Fox internal bypass and with LiveValve technology.

Peaking towards the rear we can see that the lower suspension control arms are significantly beefed up and resemble those found on off-road race vehicles more than the simple tube control arm of the "normal" Bronco. Rear shocks and springs are camouflaged as well and appear to be mounted to the axle near the wheel. Also, at the rear is what appears to be an upsized rear axle, most likely the 9.75-inch axle found in the F-150 pickup. Engine is open to speculation, but we'd guess it's a member of the EcoBoost family and most likely will be the stout, 400 hp, 3.0L EcoBoost V-6. Proving this theory is the opening in the lower grille camouflage, which provides air to where the intercooler would be mounted.

A rear locking differential is a given, and we'd expect at a minimum for the front to have a Torsen limited slip. This Bronco also appears to have rock sliders mounted along the side. We also see what appears to be an aluminum skid plate under the engine, along with something towards the rear.

What's In A Name?

Just ahead of Ford dropping the amazing flying Bronco photo was a discovery that the company had trademarked the "Warthog" name. What is it for, we don't know. However, the application with the US Patent and Trademark office lists the possible uses as "Land motor vehicles, namely, passenger automobiles, pick-up trucks, sport utility vehicles." And, given the cute naming convention used for Bronco (looking at you Badlands and Sasquatch), it wouldn't be a terrible stretch for Ford to use "Warthog" in this instance. Still, the company has also trademarked "Bronco Raptor" so we'll just have to wait and see.