The Ford Bronco Sport has a tough job on its hands. It needs to live up to the expectations of the Bronco name, but stand alongside the two and four door Bronco as a separate product in the family. Much of how people perceive the Bronco Sport comes from its styling, where it needs to sit alongside its older brother, but not hide in its shadow. Ford recently filled us in with some details about how that was accomplished in the design process, along with some early sketches from 2017.
The sketches come from the Bronco Sport’s chief designer, Brian Paik. The Ford senior exterior designer actually began work on the two-door and four-door Bronco in 2017, but was chosen to lead the Bronco Sport project, located across the design studio. The Bronco’s lead designer, Paul Wraith, and current Ford CEO Jim Farley both agreed the Sport was lacking some Bronco DNA. Farley challenged the team to come up with two words to describe the SUV’s philosophy, and they ended up with “Honest” and “Robust.”
At this point, Wraith decided to appoint Paik to the Bronco Sport program. He began with some new sketches that focused first on function. If a design element didn’t have a purpose, it didn’t belong. This was seen in the initial sketch’s short overhangs, upright pillars and safari roof. Design leadership liked the design so much they promoted Paik to lead the program. Paik said he was initially nervous about leaving the arguably more exciting Bronco, but he felt he had to deliver on his sketches.
The final Ford Bronco Sport ended up closer to its bigger brother than first intended, and that’s a good thing. Both have similar signature headlight designs, upright greenhouses, short overhangs and a single piece grille with bold ‘BRONCO’ lettering. Although it certainly has its own design, the Bronco Sport unmistakably resembles its big brother. One detail we haven’t noticed yet: the slanted C-pillar is a reference to the Bronco’s roll cage.
“It was important for Bronco Sport to be undoubtedly a Bronco – a smaller Bronco, but not a baby Bronco,” said Paik. “It needs to be taken seriously and its off-road capability shouldn’t be ignored”