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The Mustang GT’s engine and F-150’s transmission are a couple of upgrades that make for one mean race truck.

Ford is finally putting a V8 in a production Bronco. But hold your horses, because the 2023 Bronco DR (Desert Racer) is miles away from a daily driver with off-road capability.


The Motor City marque says straight-up that these 6,200-pound beasts are “intended for off-road use only,” like the 2022 Baja 1000 in which the Bronco DR prototype will make its race debut.


Road and Track reports that the powertrain is upgraded with a 5.0-liter Coyote V8 sourced from the current Mustang GT, as well as a transmission and transfer case from a Ford F-150. Output is unspecified, but the outlet says to expect over 400 horsepower.


That’s the start of a many more mods, including a rear-mounted radiator, a massive 65-gallon fuel tank, and Multimatic’s suspension-bolstering DSSV dampers and aluminum control arms. Compared to the standard four-door Bronco on which the DR is based, the front and rear suspensions boast well over 50 percent more travel at 15.8 and 17.4 inches.


BFGoodrich’s KM3 tires, which have already proven victorious on the Bronco R race prototype at the 2020 Baja 1000, will provide grip for approach angles of up to 47 degrees, departure angles of 37 degrees, and breakover angles of 33 degrees.


To save weight, the body panels are made of resin-molded fiberglass, side panels replace the doors, the bumper is made of tubular metal, and the cockpit’s been unburdened of an AC unit, though the factory instrument panel remains.


As for the red, white, black and blue livery, the colors honor the many Broncos that have won and competed in Baja races, from a first-gen stock model’s inaugural title in 1967 to the Bronco R prototype’s aforementioned win last year.

Only 50 2023 Ford Bronco DRs will go on sale in the fall of 2022 for somewhere in the mid $200,000 range. Click here to learn more.


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