Before the Blue Oval took the veils off the two- and four-door Bronco, we all knew the Coyote V8 wouldn’t be available as an option. The off-road siblings feature a truck-based ladder frame that will be shared with the next generation of the Ranger, which is why six cylinders and a couple of turbochargers will have to suffice.
Not even the Dearborn-based automaker knows if the Coyote fits in the engine bay, which speaks volumes about the priorities of the engineering behind the Bronco. Speaking to Ford Authority, chief engineer Eric Loeffler said that he “hasn’t even looked” if there’s enough room for two more cylinders and a slightly longer block.
Eric Loeffler previously told Muscle Cars & Trucks that “CO2 implications” and “federal requirements” put any plans for the Coyote-engined Bronco to rest. “That EcoBoost V6 is damn good, and when you get out of it, you don’t say ‘I wish I had a bigger engine.’” Unfortunately for the chief engineer, the aftermarket begs to differ.
Two tuning companies have promised V8 swaps thus far, starting with the Hennessey VelociRaptor Bronco that cranks out 750 horsepower. For the first year of production, only 24 units are planned at $225,000 before options.
PaxPower took a more sensible approach in the guise of a free-breathing Coyote swap, which is expected to cost $30,000 or thereabouts. A blower can be added for $15,000 to improve the output to 758 horsepower, and with a bit of luck, the 10-speed automatic transmission will be ripped out in favor of a stick shift.
There is, however, another reason for the Blue Oval reluctance to eight cylinders in the Bronco. First and foremost, Ford is developing a plug-in hybrid V6 option with 450 horsepower on deck. Secondly, the performance-oriented Warthog may feature 3.0 liters instead of 2.7 and the same output figures as the Explorer ST.
In other words, Ford knows the Bronco doesn’t make too much sense with the Coyote because the V8 would overlap one or two engine options.