Ford Won't Be Making a V8 Bronco -- But Hennessey Performance Will
While we applaud Ford for its efforts to introduce electric drivetrains into its lineup and present models like the Mustang Mach-E, we're still traditionalists at heart. So, when Ford announced the legendary Bronco's return, we immediately anticipated that one of the engines offered would be a thoroughbred 5.0-liter Coyote heralding from Ford's F-150 and its current Mustang GT. After all, assuming that there would be V8 power underneath the hood would not only be a logical assumption, but also historically correct, since all previous Bronco generations offered V8 power as an option.
However, Ford decided to go a different route and present the 2021 Bronco and Bronco Sport with smaller, more fuel-efficient engines that leverage modern technology. There's no doubt that those units deliver more than enough power and torque -- especially the larger, 2.7-liter, twin-turbo V6 -- we'd still like to hear that good-old V8 rumble coming out of the twin exhaust it would up the awesomeness level of the 2021 Bronco even higher than it already is.
Ford Wanted to Put a V8 in the Bronco
Although the guys at Ford were originally thinking precisely the same thing, current federal emissions regulations stopped the V8 Bronco project dead in its tracks. Apparently, governmental standards pertaining to CO2 footprint are pretty stringent for an off-road vehicle with a relatively short footprint, the very designation that the Bronco falls into.
This means that Ford would have had to modify their existing V8 in order to bring CO2 emissions down to these standards, which further complicated things and raised expenses. So, Ford took the logical next step and opted for emission-compliant engines that (nearly) matched V8 power and torque figures and put the Bronco in production.
Ford's executives found that market research showed people who wanted V8 did so mostly for its power and performance, and since the 2.7-liter V6 offers similar figures, they wouldn't necessarily miss the V8. Of course, those customers who want the ultimate Bronco with a high-performance engine can always wait for the upcoming Bronco Warthog, which will be probably be released as a 2023/4 model.
Being limited by emissions standards may have kept Ford from offering a V8 option in their 2021 Bronco lineup, but it left an enormous space for aftermarket specialists, small companies, and tuners to fill. We can already see that future SEMA shows will be filled with numerous V8-powered new Broncos produced by notable names in the business.
In fact, before the 2021 Bronco deliveries had even started, you could order a V8-powered example from Hennessey Performance. If you're a car enthusiast, you probably already know about HPE (Hennessey Performance Engineering), wizards in turning already fast cars into land rockets with incredible power ratings and performance. These are the guys behind the gravity-defying Velocity Raptor and Raptor 6x6 creations.
Hennessey VelociRaptor V8 Bronco
As one of the most revered names in the tuner car world, Hennessy is well-respected among automotive performance fans and industry professionals alike. That's how they managed to get their hands on the 2021 Bronco before anyone else. Behind the Hennessey VelociRaptor V8 Bronco name lies the most extreme 2021 Bronco you can get at any price.
At the heart of this beast is a specially-prepared supercharged 5.0-liter V8 cranking out an unbelievable 750 hp. Properly installing such a big engine wasn't without its challenges, but Hennessey managed to get it done without any potentially distracting aesthetic alterations -- the custom hood they fabricated provides the additional clearance the supercharger requires and blends nicely with the rest of the car. This engine will be equipped with an intercooler, high flow induction system, unique exhaust, and a custom ECU. The only available transmission is Ford's 10-speed gearbox.
Installing this beast of V8 was just the beginning, and Hennessey needed to strengthen the chassis, install necessary suspension modifications and bigger brakes, as well as bigger tires and custom wheels. Over the years, this company had performed numerous conversions on second-gen Raptors, where owners swapped the stock twin-turbo V6 for a supercharged V8, so the experience and know-how really helped with this project.
Hennessey states that only 24 VelociRaptor V8 Broncos will be built for the 2021 model year, with prices starting at $225,000, which includes the cost of a brand new 2021 Bronco base vehicle. Additional customer-selected options will up the price, and the package is available on both two and four-door Broncos.
Apart from all the mechanical modifications, every VelociRaptor V8 Bronco will come with numerous custom touches, including interior and exterior details, unique paint jobs, and serial number plaques to confirm authenticity.
As would be expected, given its performance-centric heritage, Hennessey will dyno tune and road test every one of their creations to make sure that it will deliver a full 750 hp to all four wheels and that 4.5 seconds (est.) to 60 mph time is achievable. As a further testimony to the confidence Hennessey has in their workmanship and engineering, every Hennessey V8 Bronco will come with 3 years/36,000 miles limited warranty.