With the arrival of the 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor, the off-road segment has welcomed a new title contender. And while it’s easy to get caught up in the Ultra4-inspired SUV’s incredible suspension or its massive 37-inch tires, the Braptor has a lot more to offer than your eyes might suggest. Take the truck’s 3.0-litre EcoBoost V-6, for example, which features an anti-lag turbocharger system with technology taken straight from the Ford GT race cars. To better understand how this system works, Road & Rail sat down with Bronco Raptor Powertrain and Chassis Engineering Manager Pat Morgan.
An anti-lag system for turbocharged vehicles helps reduce the amount of time it takes the turbos to boost. There are different approaches to what these systems look like and how they work. That said, any anti-lag system requires some form of air bypass. Notably, the 3.0-litre’s anti-lag setup uses a gas bypass, leveraging the proprietary technology Ford previously used on its GT race cars. According to Morgan in an interview with R&T, this system works by opening the electric throttle when the driver’s foot is off the pedal, allowing enough air through to run the compressors. Since the turbos are already moving at a high speed, the time to boost is significantly reduced once you step on the accelerator again. Unlike other systems that use spark and excess fuel to keep everything motivated, the Bronco Raptor’s injectors remain inactive during the process. This provides benefits in terms of thermal management, which is always important for a vehicle destined for desert exploration. It also benefits the life of the turbos and the engine as a whole.
Speaking of turbos, Ford also completely redesigned the turbochargers fitted to the 3.0-liter for use in the Bronco Raptor. While the compressors themselves remain the same size as in other applications, the Bronco Raptor gets a unique set of blades with a custom profile. These new blades are designed with the intention of improving the overall efficiency of the system, which in turn improves performance. According to Morgan, improving the efficiency of the intake and exhaust systems was an important part of the truck’s development. Ford thinks we’ll get at least 400 horsepower out of the 3.0-litre through this fiddling.
Now it’s important to note that the Bronco Raptor doesn’t always use its anti-lag capabilities. The engine calibration that allows the system to operate is linked directly to the truck’s Baja GOAT mode, which itself is designed for high-speed desert driving. That’s probably for the best, as immediate delivery of a boost isn’t ideal in every situation. Of course, there’s really nothing stopping owners from putting the truck into Baja mode every time they start it. Either way, it’s exciting to see this kind of transfer of motorsport technology taking place in the off-road segment. Most of all, it’s a great reminder of why we go racing to begin with.
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