2023 ford bronco dr

V8 Ford Bronco DR Is a Race-Ready Reality, and You Can Buy It

Ford says the 2023 Bronco DR (Desert Racer) will be the most potent production Bronco ever, with a 5.0L V8 targeting over 400 horsepower. With beefy suspension upgrades and race-optimized everything, its off-road DNA draws from the platform’s history of Baja competition success.

The upcoming Bronco DR won’t be available until late 2022, but it will give Ford racing fiends plenty to think about in the meantime. Celebrating the only 4×4 ever to win the Baja 1000 outright, Ford builds the turnkey race truck to turn heads.

As such, it’s got no glass, no doors, three gaping air intakes, and a loud promo video.

But it’s also got plenty of hardware upgrades.

“It’s not just a Bronco with some stripes on it,” said Paul Wraith, Bronco chief designer. “We were inspired by extreme rally cars and then went all in. For this skunkworks project, the Bronco team quickly found a theme and developed CAD with heavy use of virtual tools. This is an off-road racing vehicle built out of a production vehicle. We’re so happy to have been involved.”

2023 ford skunkworks edition

For now, the brand keeps most final specs under wraps, but the Bronco DR packs a long list of hardware for off-road desert racing. The first run will include just 50 of the V8-powered, Multimatic suspension-equipped Broncos.

Ford Bronco Desert Racer Specs and Upgrades

The suspension gets multiple upgrades in approach/departure geometry and component travel for proper off-road terrain. It also gets aluminum billet lower control arms, Ford’s proprietary High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension (HOSS) system, and Multimatics’ patented Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) Dampers with finned fluid-cooling channels for desert temps.

Compared to the four-door Badlands series Bronco, the system adds 55.1% more front suspension travel (15.8 inches total) and 58.6% more at the rear (17.4 inches).

2023 ford bronco special racing edition front end

Independent, electronically locking front and rear differentials give a low-torque grunt, with final drive ratios of 4.70:1. Upgraded inner tie rod joints help articulation, and 37-inch BFGoodrich mud tires (loaded with unique compounds and design tech for improved grip) mount on beadlock wheels.

2023 ford bronco dr side view

Longtime Ford collaborator Multimatic engineers the safety cage with (conditionally tested) finite element analysis. It protects a cockpit dedicated to racing, with two bucket seats and multiple competition-specific data logging and acquisition options, including a Motec C187 display.

Sparco seats

Ford originally developed the 5.0L Coyote V8 for the Mustang GT and eventually adapted it to the F-150. It gives the current F-150, with the same 10-speed transmission as the Bronco DR, an even 400 horsepower.

The DR’s three aggressive intakes drive cool air to its rear-mounted radiator. We won’t know fuel economy numbers until Ford releases more complete specs, but the massive 65-gallon gas tank should give the DR plenty of range.

Ford skunkworks engine bay

Debut Details, MSRP

The Ford Bronco’s Baja racing history is robust. The platform won the Baja 1000 in 1967, ‘69, ‘71, and ‘72. More recently, Broncos claimed nine Baja 500 Class 3 wins from 2004 to 2015 and 15 Baja 1000 Class 3 wins between 2002 and 2019.

True off-road racing performance from Ford

The 2022 Bronco DR makes its race debut next September at the 2022 SCORE Baja 1000. MSRP is not yet finalized, but estimates land in the mid-$200,000 range. You can learn more about the most potent production Bronco ever, or make a purchase inquiry.

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson is a staff writer at GearJunkie, and several other All Gear websites.

He has been writing about climbing, cycling, running, wildlife, outdoor policy, the outdoor industry, vehicles, and more for 2 years. Prior to GearJunkie, he owned and operated his own business before freelancing at GearHungry. Based in Austin, Texas, Anderson loves to climb, boulder, road bike, trail run, and frequent local watering holes (of both varieties).