Ford and Multimatic are partnering up to make the most powerful Bronco ever, dubbed the Bronco DR, short for Desert Racer. Its model name isn’t a slapdash exercise in badging; the V8-powered Bronco DR is intended for off-road use only. So, you could buy the Ford Bronco DR if you shelled out $250,000 or so for a build spot, but you’ll have to tow it to the desert before doing any racing.
The Bronco DR is based on a Bronco four-door model. Most of what makes the production platform livable is stripped away and replaced with a cage for two. There’s no A/C, no interior amenities, nor any factory glass. The resin molded fiberglass shell has a livery that looks like that of the Bronco 4600. The shell covers the cage and a 65-gallon fuel tank below the cargo area.
The Desert Racer will need all those gallons of gas to power its 5.0-liter V8, which Ford claims will make over 400 horsepower. The Bronco DR will weigh about 6,200 pounds, all in. And because the DR is meant to be a dune-runner traveling at high speeds, Ford focused a lot of the upgrades on the suspension.
Ford says that the Bronco DR adds 15.8 inches of front suspension travel and 17.4 inches in the rear when compared to a Badlands-series Bronco. It achieves that using a custom setup from Multimatic, per Ford:
While final specifications will be shared closer to the on-sale date, Bronco DR packs a long list of hardware specifically for off-road desert racing. Longtime Ford Performance collaborator Multimatic has enhanced the Bronco brand-exclusive High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension (H.O.S.S.) system, adding Positional Selective DSSV Dampers with 80-millimeter bodies with finned fluid cooling channels, as well as Multimatic-designed billet aluminum lower control arms
The Bronco DR also has revised geometry. According to Ford, the angles are the following:
- Approach: 47 degrees
- Departure: 37 degrees
- Breakover: 33 degrees
The front and rear track widths are 73.7 and 73.3 inches, respectively.
The Bronco DR rides on 37-inch tires from BF Goodrich. But the brakes are surprisingly not that much of an upgrade. They’re the same as those of the production Bronco with bigger pads. The transmission in the Bronco DR is the same as that of the current F-150, a 10R80 automatic. The locking front and rear differentials will have 4.70:1 final drive ratios, and the front half-shafts get upgraded, too.
Multimatic will build the limited edition Broncos in Ontario, Canada, and there will be 50 build spots. These spots are open to both enthusiasts and motorsport competitors, but Ford didn’t provide exact pricing yet. The carmaker says it’ll fall somewhere in the mid-$200,000 range.
The 2023 Bronco DR is expected to go on sale in late 2022 after its race debut. Ford plans to race the Bronco DR in next year’s Baja 1000 by SCORE International.