Baja Ford Tough | Stock Off-Roaders Clinch Victories

Nov 21, 2023

Customers can roll out of showrooms with Bronco or F-150 Raptor vehicles nearly identical to the two race-prepped winners in their respective stock classes at this year's Baja 1000. The Bronco Raptor and F-150 Raptor R retained the stock engine, transmission and driveline of the production models while winning one of the most grueling off-road races on the planet.

How the Baja 1000 helps Ford product development

This year’s edition of the race included a nearly 1,200-mile run through the Baja Mexico peninsula from La Paz to Ensenada. The victories, which came in the stock mid-size and stock full-size classes, underscore Ford’s continued commitment to vehicle development under the most stressful conditions. The technology and know-how from the punishing test will be used to develop consumer models. 

“Ford is a family company with not only a goal to win, but to also further develop our street Raptors for customers around the world to enjoy,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. 

The Baja 1000 not only served as a testament to all the hard work from people on the ground and those in Dearborn, Michigan, but this event also emphasizes our continued global commitment to the sport and making better products for our customers.
Mark Rushbrook
Global Director, Ford Performance Motorsports

How the customer model compares

Both vehicles maintained near stock setups, with only special modifications made for racing performance and safety and to meet class regulations established by SCORE-International, the sanctioning body of the Baja 1000. The F-150 Raptor R included a modified version of the FOX Dual Live Valve Shocks found in the production version, with custom internal valving included. The truck’s front and rear coil springs were also tailored to match the challenging terrain of the course. 

The pickup is powered by a 5.2-liter supercharged V8 capable of producing more than 700 horsepower. Its pairing with a 10-speed transmission is nearly identical to the production version of the vehicle, with the exception of minor modifications made to the intake system for the race.

The Bronco Raptor was equipped with Baja 1000-specific FOX Live Valve shocks with custom internal valves designed for the race. Those were paired with bone stock front and rear coil springs. The SUV was powered by a 418-horsepower 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine and 10-speed transmission. 

Each Ford entry also had custom front and rear bumpers, as well as safety equipment including a safety cage and fuel cells required for the race. High-intensity LED lighting for nighttime racing and custom wheels were also included on both vehicles.

“We are so proud to be able to get these trucks across the finish line,” said Brian Novak, Ford Performance off-road racing supervisor. 

Baja is one of the most difficult races in the world, and that is why we use it as a proving ground for our technology. The team is proud to show again this year how capable the Raptors really are.
Brian Novak
Ford Performance off-road racing supervisor

Added benefits for Ford

In addition to the technology transfer and other learnings from the race, Ford is making connections to off-road enthusiasts through its sponsorship of the SCORE World Desert Challenge Series, which includes the Baja 1000. Ford is also the official truck and SUV of SCORE-International Off-Road Racing.

In an update to the old “win on Sunday, sell on Monday,” the Baja 1000 victory adds up to “win in the desert, sell in the suburbs (and the cities, and around the globe...).”