Why Designer Frank Stephenson Is a Huge Fan of the New Ford Bronco

He gives it an 8.9 out of 10 for the way Ford managed to evolve the Bronco’s original design language.

byMáté Petrány|
Ford News photo

The development of Ford's already highly popular body-on-frame Bronco began back in 2015, and rather unconventionally included the laser-scanning of VP of Design Moray Callum’s mint condition 1966 model. With the new parts taking shape based on these classic lines, the team featuring Program Chief Designer Paul Wraith, Design Manager Robert Gelardi and Bronco R Exterior Lead Daniel Kangas didn't use scaled clay models either. Instead, they storyboarded, with the doodles and sketches going straight to the digital space and foam-core inducting. Five years later at the Bronco's launch, Ford is already offering over 200 factory-backed accessories for the two-door and four-door Broncos, as well as its crossover Bronco Sport.

Rumor has it that there's un upcoming pickup version as well, all building on the legacy of Ford's much-loved boxy truck from 1965, penned by Donald N. Frey and Paul G. Axelrad. Now, we have Frank Stephenson, designer of the original BMW X5 have a look at what's easily 2020's most exciting off-road vehicle, and thus the more traditional Jeep Wrangler's worst nightmare.


Stephenson disapproves of using the term "retro" when describing the clever evolution of a familiar design language. He is also a huge believer in working with a plain piece of paper and a ballpoint pen, so it's no wonder he likes an SUV born from the Ford team's enthusiastic doodling.

The Bronco has plenty going for it. With its utilitarian yet rounded-off surfaces, large wheels and short overhangs, it's a 4x4 with the right proportions and clever solutions such as the precision-engineered removable doors, and the body-mounted mirrors that make that feature practical.

With Frank Stephenson also waiting for your design ideas on the Hayabusa-powered Darkside three-wheeler, here's why the 2021 Ford Bronco is an 8.9 out of 10 in his book.

Did you catch the mk2 hand grenade on his shelf next to his McLaren bike helmet? That's a U.S. design originating from 1918.

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