HomeNews and EventsFord debuts built-even-wilder Bronco racers

Ford debuts built-even-wilder Bronco racers

King of the Hammers combines high-speed desert stretches and rock-climbing challenges


Ford is entering its new “Built Wild” Broncos in the King of the Hammers off-road racing event this week at Johnson Valley, California, but these Ultra4 4400 unlimited-class race trucks aren’t quite like the Broncos available at Ford dealerships.

“King of the Hammers inspired us to ensure every production Bronco model delivers the capability, durability and high-speed off-road experience this growing off-road enthusiast community has been trying to create on their own,” Bronco marketing manager Mark Grueber is quoted in Ford’s pre-race announcement.“These Bronco 4400 race trucks underscore our commitment to the Bronco Built Wild capability and innovation in the red-hot off-road racing scene.”

The 4400 race trucks have custom-built tubular chassis, long-travel shocks, and large off-road tires. Without sharing details, Ford said the trucks have a custom 4×4 drivetrain and “high-power” engines. 

“These 4×4 vehicles are modeled after the all-new Bronco two- and four-door production SUVs with their combination of high-speed desert running and rock crawling agility,” claimed Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports.

Lest you think about taking a new 4×4 from the showroom floor to the rock-climbing boulders, also consider that Ford’s drivers for this event include three-time King of the Hammers champions Loren Healy and Jason Scherer and versatile driving star Vaughn Gittin Jr.

“This is a killer opportunity to bring a new flavor of Bronco to the Hammers and push the Bronco brand deeper into the competitive off-road scene, while also building the foundation for future Bronco off-road racing vehicles,” Gittin Jr. is quoted in the Ford announcement.

In addition to racing in the event, Ford will have a vehicle display that includes the Bronco R Race Prototype, which served as a test bed for production two- and four-door SUVs, and recently finished the grueling Baja 1000; the Bronco Sport that posted a class victory in the 2020 Rebelle Rally; and the debut February 3 of a new model.

The King of the Hammers challenges entrants with 90-mile courses that feature high-speed desert sands and traction-testing rock crawling. 

The event begins February 2 with qualifying, with the racing starting February 6. As many as 450 teams are expected to compete in modified stock and extreme off-road categories. 

The event will be livestreamed on the Ultra4Racing website.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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