The Ford Bronco Raptor is finally here because Ford figures that combining the horsey and dinosaur nameplates is tantamount to printing money; Ford’s probably right. As you’d expect, the Bronco Raptor is loud, brash and stupidly wide. So wide you’ll want a spotter to help you reverse, in case your dune runs dust over the rear camera lens. But the Bronco Raptor is not as much of a showoff as its fenders would suggest, and I’m grateful that Ford did not stick two or more big, dumb tailpipes on this thing, like those of the F-150 Raptor.
The Bronco Raptor’s tailpipes are notably difficult to spot from a head-on view of its rear end. That’s because the exhaust pipes are turned down and tucked up high, presumably to prevent any damage they might sustain while off-roading.
So not only will the tailpipes make the Bronco Raptor sound good, despite it lacking the V8 of the Bronco DR, but they’ll also come from the factory ready to hit the trail — or not hit the trail, more like — sat up high, where they don’t get in the way of ground clearance or affect the Bronco’s departure angle.
Ford claims the Bronco Raptor features a “new” exhaust system, but it looks like an adapted design, and Ford hedges in its description:
A true dual-exhaust system, featuring first-for-Bronco active-valve technology, uses near-equal-length pipes for an improved exhaust note. The system allows drivers to alter the sound of their Bronco Raptor with four selectable exhaust modes, including Normal, Sport, Quiet and Baja.
That active-valve system already appeared on the 2021 F-150 Raptor, though:
A new three-inch equal-length exhaust system features a patent-pending built-in X-pipe, unique “trombone loop” and first-for-Raptor active valves. The system takes advantage of a true pass-through muffler design that improves sound quality. Customers can configure four sound level modes – Quiet, Normal, Sport and Baja.
Durable steel front and rear bumpers are built for the rigors of off-roading, with the rear bumper retaining the high-clearance design that tucks the dual exhaust tips high up against the truck.
Ford boasted of the ground-clearance of that design when the truck debuted.
But a more interesting design would’ve been something like the retractable tailpipe Ford filed a patent for in 2021, according to Motor Trend. Moving parts introduce points of failure, however, and I’m unsure it’d be worth the trouble of convoluted design for vehicles that are off-road focused.
Automakers might think it’s worth it because pipes built into bumpers appear on other trucks like the Ram 1500 TRX, too. It’s a small thing, but it’s just funny these trucks need big pipes so badly, they’re integrated into the thing that’s meant to absorb impacts. Just tuck the pipes! Thank you, Bronco Raptor, for calling it a day instead of worrying about tailpipe bragging rights.