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Ford's New High-Powered Bronco Could Have a Very Familiar Name

No sense reinventing the wheel...or an already potent automotive sub-brand.

ford suv in testing
Ford

Ford hasn't even managed to get the new 2021 Bronco to dealers yet, but we already know that the carmaker is working on a more high-performance, even-more-badass off-road-capable version of it — after all, Ford released its own photo of this super-Bronco testing last September. Now, according to multiple recent reports, the new SUV's name will be quite familiar to Ford customers.

There had been speculation the killer Bronco would get the moniker "Warthog," which may have been an internal code name. (Ford did file a trademark application for it, however.) But Ford Authority recently reported that the company was looking for a more familiar name....and Motor 1 cites a source saying that that familiar name may be an obvious one: the Bronco Raptor.

Ford choosing "Bronco Raptor" for this hi-po off-roader feels like a no-brainer. "Warthog" sounds cool to me, a man in his 30s who spent an inordinate amount of time with his college friends playing capture the flag with Warthogs on the Blood Gulch level of "Halo." But that feels like a very particular reference (admittedly, that might enthuse Ford engineers). Broadly, it has little resonance. Ford buyers already know what Raptor signifies. Why create another term to mean the same thing?

And, of course, auto execs also love a good sub-brand. If Raptor spreads across the F-150, Ranger and Bronco lineups, it could then also be used to branch out into performance and style accessories for the non-Raptor versions.

What will the Bronco Raptor look like? An engine upgrade should be the biggest difference, though don't expect a V8. Reports from last summer had Ford considering their twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6. That powerplant puts out 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque as a combustion engine in the Ford Explorer ST and a staggering 494 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque in the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring. Since Ford is now competing with the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 and the hybrid Wrangler 4xe, it could make sense to offer both combustion and hybrid options. We'll have to wait and see.

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