The instructor, clutching a grab bar said: “Squeeze the throttle. A little more. … There you go.” Immediately, the bottom dropped out of my stomach as the Ford Bronco Raptor took air over a small mound on the new Bronco Raptor course at the Off-Roadeo just outside of Las Vegas.
Though I end up driving off-road often, this is the first time I’ve taken some serious air. And it was fun. Like I’m still grinning just thinking about it fun.
And I really can’t wait to do it again!
Unfortunately, since this was an abbreviated media junket, we only got to run the course once. The good news for Bronco Raptor owners, however, is they get a full day of driving with three full runs on each of the two courses designed specifically for the Bronco Raptor.
The idea is to educate, build confidence and then build more confidence – and have fun while doing it.
The short answer: Buy a Bronco Raptor.
Built into the purchase of every Ford Bronco (yes, including the Bronco Sport) is the opportunity to attend the Bronco Off-Roadeo, which is a full-day off-road experience in one of four locations: Moab, Utah; Gilford, New Hampshire; Horseshoe Bay, Texas; and Mt. Potosi, Nevada.
The Raptor Off-Roadeo is only located at the Nevada location, and it is only open to Raptor owners.
The idea is you get to drive the same kind of vehicle you own (though not your own vehicle) in challenging situations so that you can learn the limits and true capabilities of your own vehicle – with the help of experienced instructors who know your vehicle better than you do.
The experience is for the owner only, but the owner can bring up to two guests for $995 each.
We should point out: Though the experience is free, transportation to the event and accommodations are not. But, make it a part of a larger vacation, and it’s totally worth it.
Other than have a shit-ton of fun? The Raptor Off-Roadeo is specifically designed to challenge the Bronco Raptor – which is meant to be driven hard. It has a Raptor HOSS 4.0 race-ready suspension system, fully boxed high-strength steel frame and standard 37-inch all-terrain tires.
All that means is the Bronco Raptor is meant to be jumped as well as driven fast over rocky terrain.
And we did all of that during our time at the Bronco Raptor Off-Roadeo.
Leaving from basecamp, we hit a series of trails that included both silty and rocky terrain. We had some rock climbs, moments of articulation, a quick turn through a box canyon and lots of pointy sharp rocks that thankfully didn’t pierce any tire walls.
And that was just getting to the even funner stuff.
The folks at Ford have specifically designed two private courses with Ultra4-inspired obstacles and high-speed driving opportunities. And that’s when you get to jump the Bronco Raptor.
Through it all, I couldn’t help thinking how smooth the ride was. Even when we were going 35 MPH over rutted rocky trails.
It was all just so much damn fun.
If you have bought a Bronco – any Bronco – you’ve got to head on over to the Bronco Off-Roadeo website and check out the available experiences. The site allows you to register, makes hotel recommendations and even offers suggestions on how to turn this one experience into a full-blown outdoor adventure.
You have the Off-Roadeo credit, and if you don’t take advantage of it, you’re a fool.