Frank Stephenson is back and his opinion matters.
Frank Stephenson is one of the most talented and well-known automotive designers whose past projects include the first-generation BMW X5, McLaren P1, and the Maserati MC12. He knows what he's talking about and his opinion matters. Recently, he gave his opinion on the new BMW 4 Series and its massive front grille. He also has a fundamental disagreement with Bugatti's design philosophy, which now includes the use of computers taking over from the human touch of sketching.
And now Stephenson has turned his attention towards a very different type of vehicle, the all-new Ford Bronco. He doesn't believe the 2021 Bronco has a retro design (because he dislikes the term "retro), but rather one that is evolutionary. We previously learned Ford laser-scanned a 1966 Bronco owned by its VP of Design, Moray Callum back in 2015 when design work got underway.
The goal was to work with the original Bronco's classic lines and evolve them for the modern era. Ford's design team also created an endless amount of sketches as they batted ideas back and forth for several years until the final designs for both the two-door and four-door Broncos were finalized. Their work also resulted in over 200 factory-backed accessories for owners to select from.
One of Stephenson's remarks is about the new Bronco's "softness," in that it doesn't look like a chainsaw or a military vehicle, but rather some you'd want to approach. Its finely detailed surfacing also deserves high praise. The combined effect of the Bronco's large tires, tall ride height, and short front and rear overhands truly make it a standout.
It's very much a purpose-driven design. One area, in particular, Stephenson describes as "quite a feat of engineering" is the Bronco's removal doors. In typical vehicles where the doors are not meant to be removed by their owners, a great deal of design and engineering go into them to make sure there are smooth lines while also adhering to safety standards. But for the Bronco, designers went above and beyond here. Overall, Stephenson gives the new Bronco an 8.9 out of 10 rating.
Check out the entire video for his complete evaluation that includes other cool styling details only a professional and experienced automotive designer can point out.