We have two of the most hardcore off-roaders in this head-to-head: The Jeep Wrangler 392 and the Ford Bronco Raptor.
Here in Colorado, we love every opportunity to head out into the wilderness to tackle the terrain and take in the fantastic scenery. That’s the case for pretty much any vehicle we can feasibly take off-road, though obviously some vehicles are much more limited in their ability to get you anywhere you need to go. Not so here — today we have two of the most capable (from the factory) off-road SUVs you can buy. Tommy takes the Jeep Wrangler 392 with the Xtreme Recon Package up above 12,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains. Not only that, but fellow YouTuber Ben Hardy joins the journey in none other than the brand-new Ford Bronco Raptor.
Now, Ben actually owns this Wrangler 392, in the limited-run Tuscadero Red no less. At its heart beats a massive 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 with 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. It’s worth mentioning you can get the Xtreme Recon (yes, that is how you spell it) package with the 2.0-liter turbo engine or the good old 3.6-liter V-6. But, if you’re going to go with the most hardcore factory setup, why not get the most hardcore engine?
On top of the normal Wrangler Rubicon, the Xtreme Recon package adds in 35-inch tires (LT315/70R17C), for a start. You also get 17-by-8-inch beadlock-capable wheels, a higher 4.56 rear axle ratio, upgraded brakes, a heavy-duty Dana 44 front axle, a reinforced hinge gate for the larger spare, a CHMSL relocation kit and wheel flare extensions. What we have here is by no means a cheap option — think around the $90,000 ball park to get your hands on one, depending on the dealer — and you have Jeep’s most berserk attempt yet to fend off the Ford Bronco.
Is the Ford Bronco Raptor actually better than the Wrangler 392?
In so many ways, the Jeep Wrangler 392 Xtreme Recon is just insane. That doesn’t mean Ford is just going to lie down and accept defeat, though. So, we have another berserk off-roader to crush the trails in the Bronco Raptor. You can’t get a V-8 here, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get some serious power. With a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V-6 under the hood, this Raptorized off-roader gets 418 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque. Blow for blow, the twin-turbocharged engine could actually dominate in this off-road challenge, especially at the high altitudes we’re talking in the Rockies. In fact, the Bronco has a better power-to-weight ratio than the more potent F-150 Raptor, even with its smaller displacement.
To that, Ford’s bringing the same BFGoodrich KO2 tires, though this time we’re talking about 37-inch A/Ts. Those come mounted on 12.5-by-17-inch wheels, while you also get Ford’s most advanced HOSS 4.0 off-road system with Fox Live Valve 3.1 shocks. Like the Jeep, you get chunky skid plates and fender flares aplenty, though this SUV has a different sort of character and intent to it out of the box. While Jeep’s been keen on slower speed off-roading, the Bronco Raptor borrows from its truck cousins in its ambition for high-speed desert running. To wit, you get a dedicated Baja mode (in addition to the Bronco’s plethora of other drive modes) specifically for that purpose.
Provided you aren’t hit with the markup sledgehammer, you can also nab a 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor for about $70,095 before options. That’s significantly less expensive than the V-8-equipped Wrangler 392 Rubicon Xtreme Recon — though good luck actually finding a Bronco Raptor for that price right now. Or maybe ever.
So, which off-road SUV is the top dog here? Find out in Tommy and Ben’s epic video below: