‘Really Wild’ Ford Bronco Designs Were Considered For The SUV Reboot

The vehicle above is a concept that many people may have overlooked. Ford unveiled this Bronco Concept at the 2004 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. By this time, the Bronco had only been gone for a few years and this had created great excitement among Blue Oval off-road fans. It took 16 years for the outline of this concept to come true, but a very different Bronco could have been reborn from the ashes of the concept.

That’s the word of Bronco’s design director, Paul Wraith. Muscle cars and trucks spoke with him recently about the 2021 rebirth, and while there is clearly a strong similarity between the new SUV and the concept, other designs were on the table. In fact, Wraith states that the new Bronco is not derived from the concept despite sharing squat and boxy proportions. Short overhangs, a flat roof, straight pillars; these are staples of the off-road formula and a side effect of creating something to conquer rough terrain. So while the concept had a retro off-road design, it also had definitive futuristic overtones.

The new Bronco wasn’t meant to be futuristic, and for a while at least it wasn’t meant to be retro either. Wraith says some models were considered to have no retro flavor. Unfortunately, there are no photos or sketches to visualize this approach, but Wraith describes the alternatives as “really wild” and a “bubbling drop”. Take this however you like, but to us it looks like organic designs similar to the Ford Escape.

It’s been just over a month since the boxy, retro-tastic Bronco officially debuted and frankly, it’s hard to imagine the off-roader. do not be square. And with over 165,000 deposits for the Bronco and Bronco Sport already on the books and a possible 18-month wait for delivery, it’s safe to say we’re not the only ones feeling this.

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