2023 Ford Bronco DR Has a 5.0L V8 Coyote Motor

2023 Ford Bronco DR Has a 5.0L V8 Coyote Motor

Ford's factory-built desert racer is ready for Baja 1000 entry

  • Factory-built to tackle the Baja 1000 off-road race
  • Desert racer built by Ford Performance features Multimatic suspension tech
  • Most powerful production Bronco ever, with a 5.0L V8 making over 400 hp
  • Part of the sixth Bronco generation introduced for 2021

What is the Ford Bronco?

The Ford Bronco returned this year in its sixth-generation form with the promise of an exciting, off-road-focused SUV that would live up to the iconic nameplate. Bronco-mania feels as if it has started to wane amid manufacturing issues and tough competition from Jeep's Wrangler, which seems to add a new variant every few months to steal Ford's thunder. Ford has responded to the former with assurance that factory teams are ready to accelerate improved production procedures that should alleviate any issues with the hardtop Broncos. But, when it comes to the competition, we are delighted to report that Ford's response is to go racing, as is tradition for the American OEM.

Enter the 2023 Ford Bronco DR, or Desert Racer. While most off-road trims in SUVs and pickups add bits like new shocks, all-terrain tires and tough skid plates, the Bronco DR is essentially a race truck. With its sights set on competing in the SCORE Baja 1000, the Bronco DR comes off the factory assembly line turnkey-ready for the grueling, high-speed desert venue. In the words of a Ford PR rep, "just slap some stickers on it, and you're ready to roll."

The Bronco DR will initiate production with a limited run of 50 vehicles in late 2022. The number 50 was chosen to pay homage to the brand's racing heritage and 1969 Baja 1000 overall victory, achieved by a 4x4 Bronco, which still stands today as the only outright Baja 1000 win by a 4x4. It also hints at the displacement of the engine underhood.

What's under the Bronco DR's hood?

The Bronco DR's powertrain produces the immense power you'd expect of a dedicated off-road racer. Rather than stick with the range-topping turbo V6 from the standard Bronco, Ford has stuffed a 5.0L Coyote V8 — the same engine used in the Mustang GT — under the hood. It makes over 400 horsepower, and sounds righteous while doing it. Because the Bronco DR starts life as a four-door Bronco frame, this could potentially foreshadow bringing the Coyote V8 motor to a large-volume Bronco model. This is a factory-installed Coyote, after all, and if the mechanisms exist and the response is strong enough, why wouldn't they? Ford was coy over bringing V8s to their modern SUV and truck lineup, but with an F-150 Raptor R on the way next year (rumored to be driven by the Mustang GT500's supercharged V8), a Bronco Raptor or Bronco Raptor R seems like a realistic scenario to consider.

The factory modifications to the Bronco DR are far more extensive in its suspension and chassis categories. Being a desert racer, the truck is reinforced to handle the rigors of a full-length Baja race and aims to meet the demands of any hardcore off-road enthusiast. Starting with the suspension, Ford taps Multimatic to bolster the Bronco's High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension by adding trick DSSV dampers. We won't bore you with the numbers, but Ford is targeting 50% more front and rear travel compared to a four-door Bronco Badlands. It also sports 37-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 tires, 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels and upgraded brake pads at each corner.

Cap it off with a 10R80 transmission and transfer case borrowed from the F-150, electronically locking front and rear differentials, huge air intakes, and a 65-gallon fuel tank resting below the cargo area, and you have a properly hardcore desert racer.

2023 Ford Bronco

2023 Ford Bronco

How's the Bronco DR's interior?

It will comes as no shock that the Bronco DR's interior is just as specialized as the rest of this desert runner. Beneath the resin transfer molded fiberglass body panels is a race-prepared interior that replaces the niceties of the road car with a safety cage, race seats, a MoTeC C187 display and a CAN data acquisition system. Naturally, the rear seats are replaced by a rear radiator and spare tire.

How much is the Ford Bronco DR?

Ford hasn't named an official price for the new Bronco DR but has mentioned that pricing should expect to start in the mid-$200,000 range. That's about four times what you'd pay for a well-equipped standard Bronco, but the cost to build a Baja 1000-ready truck can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. A turnkey racer straight from the factory, even at this price point, is likely to be a hugely attractive solution for a number of prospective racers.

Edmunds says

We're finally getting a Ford Bronco powered by a V8 — too bad it will be limited (for now) to the 2023 Ford Bronco DR. To start, only 50 units of this ultra-exclusive desert racer will be available, but we imagine Ford will answer the call if more buyers are interested. Check out our Instagram to hear a clip of this beast revving those 400 American ponies.

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