This wild-looking machine is the Bronco Ultra4 4400 unlimited class race truck that will compete in this year’s gruelling King of the Hammers off-road racing event in Johnson Valley, California.

“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. These Bronco 4400 race trucks underscore our commitment to Bronco Built Wild capability and innovation in the red-hot off-road racing scene,” said Mark Grueber, Bronco marketing manager.

Representing the original Ultra4 unlimited class that helped launch the King of the Hammers race event, the three Bronco 4400 trucks feature a fully custom tubular chassis with huge off-road tyres and long-travel shocks. Under the hood is a “high-power engine” and custom 4×4 driveline.

Race-prepped cabins are highlighted by the first-ever FIA off-road-certified Pro Pacer XL ORV race shells from Recaro. Designed in the theme of the Bronco R Race Prototype, Bronco 4400s represent the return of Bronco 4x4s to sanctioned off-road racing.

“With the Bronco R Race Prototype at the Baja 1000 and the Bronco Sport victory at the Rebelle Rally, the debut of the three Bronco 4400 race trucks shows Ford Performance’s growing commitment to Bronco in off-road competition. These 4×4 vehicles are modelled after the all-new Bronco two- and four-door production SUVs with their combination of high-speed desert running and rock crawling agility,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports.

Bronco 4400 series teams feature an all-star lineup of off-road racing veterans, including Fun-Haver teammates Vaughn Gittin Jr and two-time King of the Hammers champ Loren Healy each piloting their own custom-built Bronco 4400 race trucks, and Jason Scherer, a three-time King of the Hammers winner, driving a third Bronco 4400.

One of the most extreme off-road competitions in the world, King of the Hammers consists of 90 mile (145 km) courses across high-speed desert sands and rock crawling across tricky terrain. This year, they’re expecting 450 teams in both modified stock and extreme off-road vehicles. During the event, a pop-up city converges on the barren valley to watch the race, with millions more doing so online.

The perfect place then for Ford to sell some production Broncos. The Blue Oval’s off-road brand will have several vehicles on display, including the Bronco R Race Prototype, which served as a test bed for the production Bronco two- and four-door SUVs and recently finished the grueling Baja 1000. Also present will be the Bronco Sport that brought home a class win at the 2020 Rebelle Rally.

Ford is also promising “one never-before-seen Bronco model” that will debut live at King of the Hammers. Read more about the reborn sixth-generation Bronco and junior, less hardcore Bronco Sport.

GALLERY: 2021 Ford Bronco