We met out at Johnson Valley the next morning, and it’s important to point out that it’s no joke out there. Particularly in the summer. Scorching heat would test the cooling system, rock-strewn paths would test the suspension, sand and silt would test the tires and all-wheel-drive system, and certain downhill areas would test our sphincters. Surprisingly, though, that last bit didn’t come until much later and beyond the steep sandy, rocky drops and rock crawling that required concentration, strict throttle control, and precise tire placement. It’s why Ford’s performance team developed and tested the Bronco Raptor out there. It’s a place that will shine a massive spotlight on even the tiniest weakness and break things. And now, Ford was handing over the keys to journalists with varying degrees of off-road experience. Spoiler Alert: We all survived, and the medical team following wasn’t needed, even for bruised egos.The first noticeable thing was the ride quality on dirt tracks at moderate speeds of 30-40 mph. The shocks didn’t quite even out the rough and stony tracks as much as our high expectations demanded, but later on, at high speeds in rougher areas, it didn’t get any worse.