Next-gen damper technologies launched on Ford Bronco DR


The Ford Bronco DR has been developed to be the ultimate production desert racing vehicle, with Multimatic developing and supplying innovative dynamics technologies that help the car cope with the harsh driving conditions. Multimatic will also build the Bronco DR at its site in Ontario, Canada

The long-travel suspension is designed around bespoke Multimatic Positional Selective DSSV Dampers, which have been specifically engineered, calibrated and scaled for the impacts and loads of long-distance, high-speed desert racing. Multimatic says the Bronco DR specification represents the largest and toughest evolution of its proprietary spool-valve dampers to date, comprising an 80mm diameter main-body tube, a pair of high-capacity finned fluid returns located at the valve exits to maximise cooling, and five spool valves per damper, selectively creating a range of positional damping control.

The rear dampers feature 22mm shafts and 70mm pistons in a package measuring over 1,000mm in length, with a stroke of 425mm. The front dampers include the same size shafts and pistons in a more compact 842mm package, with a stroke of 260mm. Running in parallel, the primary monotube DSSV dampers on the rear and coilovers on the front operate through two spool valves each, for a total of seven per corner, controlling suspension motion.

The spool-valve dampers, developed exclusively for the Bronco DR, provide three distinct damping levels, or zones, in bump, and two in the rebound stroke. The boundaries between each zone are precisely defined and the stroke position at which the different damping forces engage is unrestricted and selectable, giving this DSSV damper the ability to handle off-road terrain with control.

close-up of the damper suspension component on the Ford bronco dr

The long-travel suspension of the Ford Bronco DR is designed around bespoke Multimatic Positional Selective DSSV Dampers

The demands of desert racing, and of Ford Bronco DR owners and drivers, will require the car to offer the ultimate in rigidity, durability and occupant protection. With this in mind, Multimatic also performed extensive analytical simulations in the engineering and optimisation of the Bronco DR’s SCORE-compliant roll cage and highly modified chassis-frame structure. The final design retains the production Bronco’s Multimatic-manufactured, blow-form-hardened Boron Steel ACCRA roof rails.

“After working with Multimatic on such successful programs as the Ford GT road and race cars, the Ford GT Mk II track car and every iteration of competition Mustangs, they are the natural partner for our new entry into off-road motorsports that builds on our desert racing heritage with the Ford Bronco. Multimatic’s long-standing reputation for delivering winning results in some of the world toughest endurance races, and high build quality of performance vehicles ensure that competitors will find Bronco DR both thrilling to drive and competitive,” said, Mark Rushbrook, Ford Performance Motorsports global director.

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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