Given Ford's propensity for fulfilling enthusiast desires (see: the new Bronco, the Ford GT, the Mustang Mach 1, et. al.) and for using the names of its most beloved vehicles to bestow additional cool on other models (i.e. the Mustang Mach-E, the Bronco Sport, etc.), the idea that FoMoCo would eventually combine its two most notable off-road nameplates and create a high-performance Bronco Raptor has long seemed, well, stupidly obvious.
Which is why were shocked to hear that a new trademark application has the world wondering whether Ford is planning on building a Bronco Raptor at all — or if the Blue Oval has something else entirely planned.
See, on September 9th, Ford Motor Company applied to trademark the name "Warthog" as it applies to "land motor vehicles, namely, passenger automobiles, pick-up trucks, [and] sport utility vehicles." Now, in a vacuum, this wouldn't seem like a very big deal. However, as Motor Trend pointed out, the name "Warthog" has been floating around on Bronco forums and the like for quite some time as a possible name for a range-topping variant of the new SUV — a spot that, in the F-150 lineup (and Ranger too, if you live elsewhere) is reserved for the Raptor.
If it does wind up being the king of Bronco hill, a Warthog would presumably feature many of the sort of badass off-roading features pioneered by the likes of the Raptor trucks. Expect to see giant tires, flared fenders, advanced powertrain programming, and a reengineered suspension — though perhaps one aimed more at extreme rock-crawling rather than Baja-styled high-speed desert runs. (That niche, after all, is already starting to grow more crowded, what with the arrival of the Ram 1500 TRX.)
One thing we do know about the Bronco Warthog: it will not be scoring a V8 engine under its hood. Chief engineer Eric Loeffler said as much recently, declaring that, due to emissions regulations and an abundance of potent turbocharged inline-fours and V6s in the lineup, no production Bronco would likely ever use a V8. If Ford does give the Warthog added power above the current range-topping 2.7-liter turbo V6's 310 hp and 400 lb-ft, expect it to come in either the form of the turbo 3.0-liter V6 found in the Explorer ST or the turbo 3.5-liter V6 found in the F-150 and Expedition.