Ford Unveils the Desert Racer, a Race Concept Bronco, at SEMA 2021, But How Fast Is It?

SEMA is a time for car manufacturers and specialty parts companies to showcase their original and creative designs. It’s an opportunity for companies like Ford to try out concept cars and SUVs. They can also gauge whether there might be interest in a potential design. Sometimes car manufacturers use shows like SEMA to bring back a fun design from the past, to both celebrate it and learn from it. This year, Ford brought the Ford Bronco Desert Racer back to SEMA. The Desert Racer isn’t roadworthy. So how fast is the Ford Bronco Desert Racer?

A red and black SEMA Show Ford Bronco Desert Racer parked in a desert at night.
Ford Bronco Desert Racer | Ford

The Ford Bronco SEMA-ready model is the Desert Racer

The Ford Bronco Desert Racer is, as its name suggests, ready to race. Ford is calling it a “race concept vehicle.” It’s a two-door modified pickup truck built by both Ford Performance and Multimatic. To make the SEMA Ford Bronco Desert Racer speed-worthy, the duo put in a 5.0-liter Coyote V8 engine normally reserved for the Ford Mustang, that makes up to 400-hp.

Autoweek lists the Desert Racer’s modifications. The Desert Racer will have “a full Multimatic safety cage optimized using finite-element analysis; Ford’s High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension (HOSS) system with Positional Selective DSSV dampers; Multimatic billet lower control arms; and 37-inch BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 tires on beadlock wheels. The DR will have 15.8 inches of front suspension travel, 55.1 percent more than the Badlands Bronco, and 17.4 inches (58.6 percent more) travel in the rear.” They also note that the race weight will be about 6,200 pounds.

Is the Ford 5.0 Coyote a good engine?

The 5.0-iter Coyote engine that’s typically in the Ford Mustang is a very good engine. It’s also in the Ford F-150, so it’s a pretty powerful engine. In the 2021 Ford Mustang, the 5.0-liter V8 Coyote engine makes 460-hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. The 2021 Ford Mustang can go from 0-60 in 4.2 seconds.

In comparison, the 2021 Ford Bronco comes standard with a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder, though you can also get a 2.7-liter V6. Car and Driver tested various Broncos and found that the Bronco Sasquatch could go 0-60 in 6.3 seconds.

The Ford Bronco Desert Racer is likely to have a 0-60 time somewhere in between. It should be faster than the Bronco Sasquatch, but heavier and therefore slower than the Ford Mustang. However, the Desert Racer is built for the Desert, not the roads, so it would be difficult to fairly compare these vehicles. In fact, the Desert Racer isn’t even road legal.

The Desert Racer isn’t only a concept truck

While the SEMA Ford Bronco Desert Racer sounds to be good to be true, it actually is going into production. The Desert Racer will be produced in 2022, and will be available for purchase by the end of 2022. If you’re torn about whether you want to buy a Desert Racer, you can wait and see how it does in the Baja 1000 in November of 2022.

The Ford Bronco from the SEMA show isn’t going to come cheap, if you decide to buy it. The Desert Racer will be somewhere in the mid-$200,000s. Autoweek took a look at the Desert Racer outside of the SEMA show. It found it to be a worthy pickup truck. In comparison, the regular 2022 Ford Bronco starts at $27,265 and the 2022 Ford Mustang starts at $42,895jj.. If it’s worth paying roughly ten times the cost of a new truck to have the Desert Racer, you’ll have your chance in 2022.

The SEMA show gives us a lot of cool new designs and the opportunity to see concepts that may never otherwise see the light of day. Sometimes, it gives us something like the Ford Bronco SEMA show Desert Racer. This is not only a pickup truck worth admiring at SEMA 2021, it’s a truck you just might want to drop a couple hundred thousand dollars on to own.

RELATED: Ford Is Forcing 2021 Ford Bronco First Edition Buyers to Convert Their Trim or Lose Their SUV