The Ford Bronco Raptor's ginormous fender flares are still seared into my brain months after seeing them for the first time. Don't get me wrong—the rig drives as wild as it looks—but they take a minute to get past. Remove them, though, and you'll see why they're necessary. This thing is super wide.
It didn't take long for owners to start modifying their Bronco Raptors after deliveries began in early September. Matt Stanford, who works at Varsity Ford in Ann Arbor, tells me that he's color-matching the flares on this one for a customer; that's why they were removed in the first place. If you thought they were absurd before, just wait until they're painted Hot Pepper Red.
"We have a couple more that we’ll be paint matching," Stanford tells me.
Ford confirmed upon the Bronco Raptor's release that its track is nearly nine inches wider than a normal Bronco's, totaling 73.2 inches at the front and 73.6 inches out back. Pair that with the 37-inch BF Goodrich tires that also measure 12.5 inches wide and you've got a burly off-roader that's more than striking from a visual standpoint. I imagine we'll see a few aftermarket solutions that make the flares seem more, uh, integrated, but they'll still have to protect the truck from mud and stones that would otherwise be slung a country mile.
It's almost like the tires start where the front three-quarter panels end. Fortunately, Ford uses intelligently engineered suspension parts to make this happen rather than throwing on spacers like your cousin who works at Autozone does. It's worth taking an in-depth look at it all.
As silly as it seems, the Bronco Raptor is built this way on purpose. I'd say it's the most capable factory off-roader out there, and even with a starting price of $70,045, I'd say it's worth it—especially if you live somewhere with lots of wide-open spaces. It might not have a V8, but that twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 is no slouch.
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