LinkedIn is usually the place you go to to find out where somebody once worked, or who keeps looking at your profile. Lately, however, it’s been the place to go for automotive scoops.
A Ford systems engineer’s LinkedIn page has inadvertently confirmed the company will launch a Raptor version of its recently revealed Bronco off-roader for the 2023 model year.
Ford Authority first noticed the information in the employee’s profile, which said the engineer was “currently designing EDS system – schematics for 2021 Bronco / 2023 Bronco Raptor, using E3 (Zuken) for schematics that help produce the harness prints”.
Though we haven’t tested it yet, the regular Bronco is no shrinking violet in terms of off-road ability if its specs are anything to go by.
Even the base model will offer four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case, a Dana 44 solid rear axle, heavy-duty bash plates, and an available seven-speed manual transmission with an ultra-low 94.75:1 crawler gear.
A more advanced four-wheel drive system with an automatic mode will also be available, as well as Spicer Performa-TraK electronic differential locks, beefy 35-inch off-road tyres, a suite of electronic off-road aids called the Trail Toolbox, and a sway bar disconnect function.
The Bronco will offer a choice of two EcoBoost engines: a turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder producing 201kW of power and 420Nm of torque, and a turbocharged 2.7-litre V6 making 231kW and 540Nm. The automatic transmission is a 10-speed unit.
That leaves us wondering where Ford will go with a Bronco Raptor.
A recent report from The Drive has indicated the big daddy F-150 Raptor will return to V8 propulsion with the adoption of the Mustang GT500’s 5.2-litre supercharged V8 with over 540kW of power, setting the recently revealed 520kW supercharged V8 Ram 1500 TRX dead in its sights.
The current F-150 Raptor’s powertrain, however, could be a good fit for the smaller Bronco. It’s a twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 mill related to that in the Ford GT, and produces 335kW of power and 691Nm of torque.
Likewise, the locally-developed Ranger Raptor offers a substantial upgrade over regular Rangers, though not in terms of power. Instead, its enhancements include a new coilover rear suspension, Fox 2.5 shock absorbers, more ground clearance, a beefed-up exterior and a slate of other changes under the skin.
The next Ranger Raptor will make it stateside, packing the same boosted V6 as found in the Bronco.
The 2.7-litre will produce slightly more power and torque than that in the Bronco, however – with 242kW of power and 542Nm of torque, it’ll be up by 11kW and 2Nm.
It isn’t the first time future product information of Ford’s has appeared on LinkedIn.
Early this year, a user on the Mustang 6G forum found a job posting of Ford’s that was calling for someone to be the final sign off on the “2023 Ford Mustang S650 vehicle program”.
The listing went on to confirm the S650 would replace the current S550-series Mustang in 2022 for the 2023 model year.