Ford didn’t expect this to be an issue.
The four-door-only Ford Bronco Raptor has been one of the most highly anticipated new vehicles of the year. Set to arrive in US dealerships this summer, the feature-packed hardcore off-road SUV will carry a starting price of $69,995. Compared to the base four-door Bronco, the Bronco Raptor is 9.8 inches wider and thanks to upgraded axles, track width is up by 8.6 inches. Its 13.1-inch minimum ground clearance is almost five inches over that of the base version. Oh, and it has a set of 37-inch tires, the largest-ever tire package directly from an OEM factory.
Yes, the Bronco Raptor is a big beast, and that posed a problem for the assembly line at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant near Detroit.
Per an interview with Automotive News, the 2022 Bronco Raptor was too big for the assembly line. It was way too late to alter any of the SUV’s design aspects ahead of launch, so another solution was necessary. It really needs no explaining why Bronco Raptors coming through the line could not afford to get stuck.
“The easy-button answer would be to restrict travel, but the team didn’t accept that so we found a fairly unique solution,” said Derek Bier, Ford Performance’s vehicle engineering manager. Production experts realized that adding two bolts on a bracket at the bottom of the axles allowed assembly line workers to use them to hold the axle higher.
For the full story, check out this article from Car Buzz.