The vehicle above is a concept that many people have forgotten. Ford unveiled this Bronco concept at the 2004 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. At the time, Bronco had only been gone a handful of years and that created some serious excitement among Blue Oval off-road fans. It took 16 years for the basic account of that concept to become a reality, but a completely different Bronco could have risen from the ashes of the concept.
That’s the word from Broncos design director Paul Wraith. Muscle cars and trucks recently spoke with him about the 2021 rebirth, and although there is clearly a strong resemblance between the new SUV and the concept, other patterns were on the table. In fact, Wraith says that the new Bronco does not derive from the concept even though they share chunky, boxy proportions. Short overhangs, a flat roof, straight pillars; these are basic elements in the terrain formula and a side effect of creating something to conquer robust terrain. So while the concept had an off-road retro design, it also had definite futuristic overtones.
The new Bronco was not meant to be futuristic, and at least for a while, it was not intended to be retro either. Wraith says some designs were considered to have no retro flavor at all. Unfortunately, there are no photos or sketches to visualize this approach, but Wraith describes the options as “really wild” and a “bubbling lump.” Take it as you like, but to us it sounds like organic patterns similar to the Ford Escape.
It’s been over a month since the boxy, retro-tastic Bronco officially debuted and honestly, it’s hard to imagine an off-roader not to be square. And with over 165,000 deposits for Bronco and Bronco Sport already on the books and a possible waiting time of 18 months for delivery, it is certain that we are not the only ones who feel that way.