Last week, Bronco Nation got to see the completely digital 2022 Bronco Raptor cluster in its fully working state. The team has been experiencing the Raptor in person for nearly half a year, from a first look at it off-roading to its reveal and durability testing in Johnson Valley. Throughout that time, I’ve appreciated the power and capability of the SUV but told myself a 2-door Badlands would still be plenty of Bronco for me. However, sitting in the driver’s seat just days ago, internalizing the vehicle’s scale from that perspective and thumbing through the cluster’s unique elements ruined me, quite frankly –– even without putting it in drive. Ford has made a monster.
Let’s cover some of the tech and displays that will have you dreaming of the need to use them in a race across the desert. We’ll look at each G.O.A.T. mode animation and talk about Ford Power-Up software as well.
Performance View, MyMode, and MoreBase series Broncos have a cluster with both analog and digital elements. The F-150 Raptor’s cluster is all digital, making it an easy choice for Ford to outfit the Bronco Raptor with an all-digital cluster as well. However, the story goes deeper than that. Ford looked at the customer base associated with high-performance driving –– desert runners and racing groups –– and recognized all have gone to some sort of digital engagement. The benefit of a digital display is its customization. As much or as little information can be shared. Drivers can see what is important while decluttering the rest.
Ford has created an experience unmatched in Bronco thus far: a dynamic display in a fully customizable 12″ digital cluster that illustrates the optimization enabled by each drive mode. Ford says the 12″ display represents the next evolution of digital technology in the Ford lineup, expanding on the cluster of F-150 Raptor. Headlining this new feature is Performance View, which makes crucial information such as gear state and engine speed easy to read for hardcore off-roaders. Exclusive Performance View can be used with any mode, but is designed with high-speed, off-road racing in Baja mode in mind. In Performance View, you’re focused on getting the most out of the vehicle, which is why you’ll see choices like the tach readout front and center, with the speedometer smaller and off to the side.
“Performance View changes a driver’s impression of how to use the vehicle, with an intuitive layout that puts redline at the 12 o’clock position and uses a drivetrain avatar to really get the focus on optimizing the performance of the drive,” said Mark Sich, Ford digital design manager. “The entire focus is to provide the driver with important information as efficiently as possible.” Other cues, including shift lights, are meant to be read by peripheral vision. The view was developed with input by Ford’s Tier 3 and Tier 4 performance drivers as well as professional Bronco drivers, to make sure you’re getting the right information in the way that makes sense for throttling through the desert.
The 12″ infotainment center stack as standard is a high-end carry over from the base series, but with some interesting new features. Going with the 12″ screen instead of the 8″ was about more than simply having a bigger screen. It was a chance to add a secondary view full of information on demand, such as pitch and roll. “It creates a ‘we’ environment,” said Mark. “The driver can concentrate on the information in front of them on the cluster, and the passenger can pull up some of the information the driver sees. You’re no longer just a passenger; you can be actively watching.”
MyMode is another exclusive to Raptor in the Bronco lineup. It enables drivers to save all of their favorite steering, exhaust, and suspension settings. Start with one of the pre-exisiting G.O.A.T. modes, customize it, and keep it as your own customized setup. Access MyMode and save your settings by using the “R” button on the steering wheel. Turning off the engine will set you back in Normal mode upon keyup, like the way base series does, but hitting the “R” will put you right back where you want to be.
The Raptor Status screen will show you all your configurable settings –– what mode you’re in, Traction Control, exhaust, steering, damping, etc. You also get a view of your driveshaft and steering angle, as well as coolant temps, oil pressure, and more, depending on what you have set up under MyGauges.
MyGauges and Measurements
Choose what information you want displayed from the MyGauges screen. Up to two gauges can be selected at a time. The Measurements screen displays all in a list. This is where a digital environment shines: Customize to your heart’s content to give yourself the information important to you and then optimize your performance based off of what is displayed.
SYNC 4 and Ford Power-Up
Bronco Raptor has advanced SYNC 4 connected vehicle technology that learns customer preferences and improves experiences, such as automatically mapping to your favorite trail. Ford also can use this learning capability to improve the vehicle with more and more capability over time.
Ford Power-Up software updates offer this potential for an even smarter Bronco Raptor with plans for new capabilities and off-road features, as well as further evolving the FordPass mobile app to include unique functionality for off-road adventures. Much of the competition can only upgrade entertainment features.
Animated Bronco G.O.A.T. ModesFormer video game developers joined the Bronco Raptor design team and created animations for the seven G.O.A.T. modes. Besides adding to the experience, these animations tell the driver the mode they are in with a glance. The designers used cues such as color, speed of animation, and camera angle to capture the specific performance and personality of each setting.
Like in the base series of Bronco, drivers can change the G.O.A.T. mode with using the center console-mounted rotary dial. With Normal mode at the 12 o’clock position, the dial clicks left for three of the modes and right for the additional three modes. The modes are purposefully ordered for performance and muscle memory. Slippery, for instance, is on the far left. If driving conditions deteriorate due to rain or ice, you can enter the mode optimized for these by spinning the dial fully –– your eyes never have to leave the road. And Sport can be achieved by notching once to the left, easily giving you performance attributes as soon as you need them without having to look.
- Normal: The screen of the digital cluster uses a subtle blue to show the vehicle in an everyday driving scenario.
- Sport: One click left captures the feel of a more exciting drive experience, with the cluster using a red and white theme to show the vehicle in a track environment.
- Tow/Haul: To highlight the increased tow rating of 4,500 pounds, the cluster screen two clicks to the left includes a vehicle towing a trailer, with the gauges turning yellow in a subtle nod to construction vehicles at work –– i.e., be aware of what you’re doing, and maybe don’t take that turn so fast.
- Slippery: Optimized for use on slick roads or loose surfaces such as gravel, this mode, three clicks to the left, is replicated on screen using light blue to show a vehicle in rainy conditions.
- Off-Road: One click right brings animation of an off-road environment in shades of brown to illustrate that Bronco Raptor is ready for muddy, rutted, uneven terrain, and that four-wheel-drive lock is engaged.
- Baja: Getting to the heart of the Bronco Raptor persona, two clicks right delivers a cluster that uses orange highlights to show the vehicle driving across a desert scene.
- Rock Crawl: Three clicks to the right and the vehicle is optimized for low-speed, aggressive climbing maneuvers, with the cluster showing Bronco Raptor slow-crawling over rocks.
Steering Wheel Design and InteriorFor a close look at the buttons and shifters that differentiate Bronco Raptor, watch our walk-around video below. Jordan covers the MyMode, exhaust, suspension, and steering buttons as well as the magnesium paddle shifters, carbon fiber accents, Code Orange centerline marker, and more. Keep watching to see the upgraded seats, 12″ center stack screen, and additional interior features exclusive to this king of Broncos.
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