Unlike the last-generation of eight-cylinder-powered models, when Ford launched the all-new Bronco, it did so with two turbocharged engine choices: a 2.3-liter inline-four and a 2.7-liter V6. Since Ford has phased out the V8 from even performance trucks like the current Raptor, it seemed improbable that the Blue Oval would ever offer a new Bronco with eight cylinders.
But Ford has built one, and it's not just a concept. Ford plans to sell them.
The new SUV is called the Bronco DR, with "DR" standing for "desert racer." It's not just inspired by the Bronco Baja 1000 race truck; it is a turnkey Baja 1000-caliber race truck. Factory-built on the Bronco four-door frame, the Bronco DR will pack a Coyote 5.0-liter V8 with a target of more than 400 horsepower and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Other modifications include high-performance Multimatic Positional Selective DSSV dampers and a safety cage.
The Bronco DR off-road specs sound seriously impressive. Ford says it will have 15.8 inches of front suspension travel, 55.1% more than the Bronco Badlands, and 17.4 inches of rear suspension travel. The SUV will have a 47º approach angle, a 33º breakover angle and a 37º departure angle. Even with a custom fiberglass body, the Bronco DR will check in at around 6,200 pounds.
Ford is starting with a limited run of 50 2023 Bronco DR vehicles available in late 2022. Even if you anticipated this would be pricey, brace yourself. Ford expects the Bronco DR will start in the mid-$200,000 range. That's staggering in production Bronco terms, although it's well within the price range buyers pay for custom Gateway Broncos.
If you like the idea of having a Bronco that offers a bit more than the standard model but does not go to this extreme for capability and price point (and will be a little more functional around town), Ford will debut a Bronco Raptor next year.