Nice Paul writes on the bronco chief designer.
And yeah, I've been brought up my accent.
I haven't always been in North America and actually spent quite a lot of my career in Europe where I was working on passenger cars and commercial vehicles.
Ebikes racing cars, all sorts of things.
But yeah, when I came over here, I had this amazing opportunity to start scratching away this thing called a bronco.
And it's just become my whole world.
So how does that feel getting tasked with, you know what's no less than an American icon you're obviously coming at it from a unique perspective.
So I think a unique perspective might have helped a little bit because it enabled me to handle got a lot of emotional resonance with it.
And I was like it was all about learning.
And actually one of the interesting things at the beginning of the project was when we were really early days Meetings would form and at the beginning of the meetings we'd have these like mad moments where people were sort of, waiting for things to kick off and I'd say my team Broncos should be poor.
And I would come to cell phone with all the pictures and I would come the wallet with the pictures and I would come down Hot Wheels cars.
And that those messages all over the place, but Fascinating.
We had everything from the trucks that the guys were looking to buy on.
Bring the trailer all the way through to the pictures of themselves in their dad's trucks when they were kids.
It was fascinating to see that and it became a little bit overwhelming actually are getting a sense of what we were trying to honor I was gonna ask you Did you have the sense of the gravity of that vehicle and the name and the history when you got into this and or was it something you figured out piecemeal over time?>> It was it was a little bit it well, we it's been a learning process throughout and we're still learning But yeah, it felt like a very steep climb initially, but we just got on with it.
So Paul, one of the things that really struck me when we saw some of the presser materials was how you all scanned 19 was it a '66?
1966 Bronco, to get the proportions?
76, I think Was it 76?
Yeah, it was my it's my boss's truck actually, Marie Callen, who's our vice president design.
Yeah, we needed a reference point.
So we borrowed his truck.
And he was kind enough to let us play with him.
So how did that inform you all when you were trying to get to proportions of the vehicle because You know, good design is always about all of the proportions and and this is really very true to the original Bronco.
I mean, were you guys able to just kind of take that and scale it up or down as you want it to?
It was a really interesting process actually.
Just by way of description normally when you when you start a program Everyone's got a big margin for error.
We've got these big boundaries and that an object or a line or a surface or a component can be in any one of 200 millimeters with a variation in any direction and then as you develop through the project You narrow things down to the point where, it's plus or minus, you know, 0.0 millimetres, it's, it's fixed.
And with this one we got into the millimetres single digit millimetres really fast.
And suddenly we were moving things around.
So within our campus systems, we're able to bring in vast amounts of data So we had elements that we were going to bring forwards from our from our platform and from our future component tree.
We had desirable attributes to deal with approach angles and break over angles, all that stuff, all that multiplicity tires that we're going to be working with.
And all of the legal zones, everything applied.
I mean, it was just it's Bedlam to look at it's chaos and, and in the middle of all of this drops in this this original generation Bronco, looking like this interloper from another galaxy.
And it was very helpful not as an effort to try and copy it, but to help.
As quantify the sort of steps that we were going to have to take to get the vehicle where we needed to be.
So in attribute terms, I think it what we've got is really strong because it's got an unusually aggressive approach angle and break over angle and the stance is great and all that stuff that That seems sort of natural if you're in this space is really hard to do.
And that original scan was really helpful in getting us going.
Yeah, I was gonna ask you about that because on paper, something like the Big Bronco is a very simple design.
It's a boxy form.
Dictated by history on some level but and you've kind of pared it all back and gone for an essentialist look at it.
But on the other hand, it's a really complicated product because it's got so many different environments that it has to work in and look good in.
And there are a lot of different configurations with the roof panels, doors off that sort of thing.
How does that inform your design process and does that make it harder to do than a normal car?
Simple is hard.
That's the that's the weird the weirdness of it all.
If you want to do a really simple body size for example, you just need one element anywhere within that that overall global surface.
To change and everything's screwed up.
If you're doing a kinda a muscular car with lots of sort of styling features on it, you could maybe just put a bump over this this element when it comes in right.
You know, modern contemporary road cars are quite complicated to look at the Simpsons very, very exciting.
So simple as hard.
And what helps you keep simple is discipline and sort of knowing what's what's right.
And that that sort of redacted quality of just making sure that we're, we're not just adding but we're taking away all the time and cross examining everything that's there and making sure it's all there to perform a function.
Was critical in in disciplining us to keep things really simple.
But then you're right, then we were ambitious and we were doing all these these other things that we wanted to do that were unconventional in terms of our normal way of working right so like the doors and the roof and the the way that our structure on canopy works The fender flares coming off all of this stuff and laying the vehicle out in a way that it's provisioned.
I think quite well for the customer to come in and play with it and modify it and change it and make it their own and personalize it.
That creates an exciting challenge.
Yeah, it's maybe a different mindset to To give somebody a basic building block and say here go do with this what you will customize it.
You can't be too precious about the design that you've created saying don't touch it.
I've got it exactly the way it's supposed to look.
Yeah, absolutely.>> We even said in the presser that you could take apart the bronco with a wrench in an hour.
Is that a five 16th wrench or a 10 millimeter, like, what are we talking about and how much of the truck can I actually take apart in an hour?
So I think what we're trying to say is that with simple tools and not a special tool that you need to get from a dealership, right?
Just a simple tool that you'll have in your toolbox.
That you can engage with this vehicle and you can do it easily.
It doesn't require any sort of talented engineering or mechanics or Voodoo, you could just do it.
So as well it takes an hour now, I don't think it's complicated.
So I could do it and we've spent quite a lot of time working on Making the process as simple as possible.
We don't want people to be intimidated about doing the things that they hope to do with the vehicle.
Because it's complicated, we need to make it as simple as possible.
We also need to make it super durable, not fourth pieces accidentally, you know, really good quality and all of those things as well.
So there's a little bit of attention there, but To use an example of the removable doors, we have to bolt the doors on because we can't have them flying off those reasons, obviously.
So we use a bolt to secure the door onto the hinges, but after that, you know there's no check on to remove separately.
The check on is integrated into the door.
So that's easy because when you lift the door, check on comes with the door.
That's for me is like a nice step in the right direction and the electrical coupling to the door isn't a complicated thing where you got to lie in the footwell,
And Muck about with a cable.
It's all of the electrical connection is hidden in the door jamb, and it's just a simple plug.
It's like pulling something out the back of your computer at home, so Hopefully we've made it easy.
We've made something very complicated, actually very accessible.
I think I would not know exactly what you're talkin
I have done that way too many tim
[LAUGH] I would personally like to thank you for the fact that they went the mirrors are on the body of the bronco and not on the doors.
That's always been a. Big problem with me with the Jeep Wranglers.
I love driving the car without the doors.
I mean, it's amazing, right?
How often do you get the opportunity to do that?
And then suddenly you're like, I gotta change.
Wait, I can't see behind me.
That that is a lot harder than it seems.
Can you explain like why is that difficult?
So throughout the human centered thinking we arrived at the conclusion that the mirror is needed not to be on the doors any longer.
And that's okay because vehicles of old had been there is somewhere else.
They had them on the fenders all the time, radical and reinvention there, but they didn't have the rules and regulations that we have to go with.
So near is our Usually the last bit of code that you end up finishing the design on because they are so intensely complicated, you know, we have these fields of view that we've got to honour for both sides of the vehicle
and then you just need one change.
Everything's thrown into disarray again.
So one of the things that makes the field of view harder to achieve is placing the mirror lens further forwards.
And that's really what we had to do to get the mirror ahead of the door.
So it was a it was a very tough challenge.
And then we had the tension also in between.
Being able to see the the passenger side mirror across the vehicle and clear the instrument panel and all the ceiling and all the other things we had going on.
But it was definitely worth the pain.
We had a lot of soul searching to try and try and try and finagle a solution but it's a good solution and I'm glad to appreciate it.
Was there ever a moment where you were, it's too hard, we just gotta put them on the doors?
There were points where we thought God this is really very, very difficult.
We're right on the edge here of being able to pull it off.
But there was no point where we thought was just kicked off.
We o not give up we just keep on going.
Was that one of the harder design challenges or what would you say that the the most difficult thing to either develop or fight for to get through all the bean counters to make happen on the production vehicle?
The bean counters.
The famous be counters that the bean counters have not been a problem.
I think the most difficult thing is the volume of ambition that we have actually.
Each one in themselves, each item in itself if it was manageable with a lot of talent and effort and energy and commitment put against it but when you put all of the ideas together With a collective team sense of you know, we're going to do this.
I thought that that's if you like was the hardest challenge but actually it's been the most satisfying thing to see play out.
How long has this design process taken?
Expect, it's a very difficult question.
That question is always hard because the design process doesn't have a hard start and it doesn't have a hard finish either.
And so it's very difficult to exactly say it's this long.
Gone it's on a basic but that's that's the sort of nature of it.
We hadn't really put pen to paper, when Mark Fields announced it nice 2017 But we were gonna bring the vehicle behind us coming back.
We hadn't really started at that point.
I think that that's the thing that gets everybody because we've been hearing rumours about a bronco for so many years, and then it was confirmed then we're like just looking at our watches going, when is this gonna happen?
When is this gonna happen?
And yet the design process really started at that point and.
You know, we've all been hoping since the early 2000s that you guys would bring one back when you had that great looking concept and was Adele for that timeframe.
And so, I guess we're we're very eager And we feel like it's been taking forever.
But the reality is, is it's the development time has actually been pretty compressed.
Yeah before the designers pick up their pencils, I mean, there's vast amounts of work that go into the sheer logistics of getting getting the full global system to have enough factories and enough space in factories, which of course, is interdependent upon what's happening all the other vehicle lines, I mean, there are so many variables that we've just been Beyond baffling.
So to get all of that straightened out, and have that commitment that we're gonna go, is a body of work which happens before than I get there.
I get the opportunity to start scribbling things.
And so, then when we start, it's flat out, absolutely flat out.
And in my design is will will recall this a lot but I talked about, you know, I use a lot of Formula One references and so for me every day is a qualifying lap.
We're always on a qualifying lap and then sometimes.
You know, we've got two wheels in the grass and it's looking a little bit sketchy.
But the object of exercise is to always be on the limit.
And it's only through being like that we can take on so much, yeah Well there's qualifying an off road to so you can move your f1 references to offroad
I will do that.
Bronco largely has been a North American thing as we talked about right at the beginning of this interview.
Is it going to be sold overseas and as a result of that, if it is, did you have to make any design changes to accommodate either the different tastes or the regulatory environment?
Yeah focuses on the Northeast.
American markets and so we're not intended to sell in Europe for example that liberates us to push the vehicle to even more extreme lengths.
Europe's got some particularly stringent Entire coverage and industry impacts criteria they're specifically tuned to that market.
So, we've got provisions within the design, but actually without that has a burden we can focus on doing what we think is explicitly right for Bronco and explicitly right for the US market.
Paul, what is your favorite design element on the big Bronco and on the sport because we haven't really talked a lot about the sport and the sport looks.
I had low expectations for the sport and I'm, yeah, it's a lot better than I thought it was going to be.
So like what's your favorite design element on each.
Well, first of all, the sport is fantastic.
I have to say I understand the perception that it's going to be someone else but actually when we have had their, I think I explained before but we know everyone wants to express an opinion on what they think of bronco and everybody that comes through the studio for the last few years has been expressing opinion about which one is for them.
And it's a three way split Tudo Bronco.
Ford Bronco, Bronco sport.
So for those people, you really like the sport.
I think they're going to be delighted about how capable the Greek really is.
And I'm not as good at driving off road as you guys, but I've done a bit.
But it flatters me it makes me.
As good as our for test drivers in leading competitive vehicles put it that way, it's just seems to be a very accomplished car and the way it moves and how solid it is not your average vehicle is a serious bit of kit but it's also super comfortable.
It's really cute when I'm driving the prototypes at the minute on the street people run down their drives and wave at me as I go past them and it's a it's a phenomenon in its own right.So I'm really pleased with it.
What What am I particularly pleased on the sport I think I think the the rear area of the vehicle the cargo space is really clever.
It's just super clever.
It's so relevant anybody who's ever gone camping or you know, try to make a wrestler mountain bike out of the back of the.
Have you have a vehicle and then you've lost some bits and you're gonna have to do some mechanical work before afterwards knows the problem state is narrow state.
It's a thing gone wrong So, I think we've done a good job at setting the back of the vehicle up to be a great base station or for that activity, and that's an activity that frankly, should have been, you know, a long way away from the road, because it's just so good off road.
In terms of the bigger Bronco, the $2 photo was my favorite feature on that.
There is a lot actually I think we can all take a great deal of pride actually in a boat.
[LAUGH] So, so, the, the we have these little Bronco bolts and they're fitted all over the interior and the exterior and each each one has got Bronco flashed into the head of it We spent a lot of time dealing with people who are not used to designers being concerned about the appearance of bolts and the accuracy of the font that's knocked into the head of it, which was fun of itself.
And each one of these little Bronco bolts is an invitation to do something with the vehicle There is a little bit of a giveaway.
So where they exist, you would set the vehicle up to have things attached to it, whether they are lights or racks or mounts for all sorts of things whatever it is, whether it is we have those on the grab handles on the instrument panel and on the console as well.
So it is an invitation to add things take things off, play, invent creates things.
Which is really cool.
So I love the ball.
So that's sorta an Easter egg.
And you know telling thing that we know now every time we see one of those balls that we can take something off or add something to it, what other easter eggs are in there that you can maybe that haven't been developed yet?.
Well, the point of an Easter egg is so that you find it not that you ask the designer to tell you where they are.
Yeah, you got it, you got it.
We're stuck at home, we're in coronavirus, I can barely get my hands on one of these things for a little while, so give me something here.
Now, throw us a single bone.
So we have got Easter eggs but In a slightly what bothers me with with some other ystos you'll find on products and other manufacturers is that they're, they're playful or bit jokey.
And I don't think that art should be that I think art should be quite purposeful and instructive, actually.
So we've got a few there we got some in the glass, which isn't very typical places to put them but we've gotten them in other places.
Too we have them in the load area and actually, I'm quite pleased that when it gets down to it, some of them you probably have to spend some time lying in the dirt with a wrench to find I mean, that's your new assignment.
I Know, I was like, I can't wait.
Going back to Broncos sport for a moment was that vehicle always part of the plan and was the vision for Bronco as a brand, always part of the plan tonight if that's the case or one way or the other, I imagine that affects the way you approach design.
When I started the bronco sport, we were already started on the bronco.
And, we had a little bit of a sketch project.
And I and the winning theme came from one of my Bronco designers.
And so we had to sit down and say, I really loved your Bronco thing.
By really, really lovely Bronco school thing.
And so what I really like about that is how that he'd managed to distill the sort of essence of Allanco into the very different platform and it, and it was just such a fit.
So that was a really nice part of the journey that we till we kicked off really fast with it.
And the movement into three news was really fast as well.
So I'm not sure if that answered your question.
We talked about briefly about the 2004 concept and how long we've been waiting for any Bronco and all that was There ever a moment where you decided that or thought that maybe you would go in a different design direction was something more modern?
Or was it always we're going in this reductivist historically aware direction?
I think is anything anybody have an appetite to create a spaceship?
You know we're playing to the sort of contemporary tricks of a really fast windshield and and swoopy roofline and loads wedge in the belt and all that stuff.
Because we had a sense of we wanted to ground the new vehicle in and respect its heritage, but actually when you get into the needs of both The use of the vehicle you start having to make the vehicle It's not a question of styling it to look like the original vehicle while other elements of the style, of the original in the new one, actually when it's when you when you want to make the vehicle really slim hit.
When you want to flatten the body sides off, so that you clear stuff through narrow gaps when you want to make the approach angle as aggressive as it is means you shorten the front overhang which means you flatten everything out when you want to make the visibility folds really good.
You bring the pillars back, you make them more upright, you know, one by one, you start automatically Making a vehicle has that sort of very square root architecture just through sheer function.
And if that looks a little bit like vehicles used to be where there's a reason why because you still look like that.
I think the the newness and the maternity actually and in the Bronco is the fact that there is just there's very few things out there to look like that would play those play.
So that that story as strongly as we are, and it's different, it will really stand out on the road because of it.
But that profile is not styled that's reasoned and rationalized to become.>>Did you learn anything or prioritize anything based on The later Bronco designs the you know, the late 70s and on into the 80s.
Because, for me when I look at this model it It feels in very much the way that like the Porsche 911 has been a steady evolution.
And it's beautiful and it's modern, but you can tell exactly where it came from.
And it feels like Bronco is all you look at the new model and it feels like this has already existed this entire time on this continuum.
But it kind of goes away from the F 150 based models and I think that was the right decision, but I am curious to know if you drew any inspiration from those.
I thought there is a few things going on.
So a couple of my designers drive a late model bonkers.
So they they are really passionate about them anyway.
So we had themes that Connect to this.
So that time so they were on the wall we looked at them.
But I think the purest interpretation of Bronco is comes from the original.
The later models did share things with other vehicle lines And I think we all felt that that was too muddy.
We wanted to do something that was explicitly Bronco and its form.
And actually, in terms of the scale of it, we talk about the full size Bronco.
Actually, when you park the new Bronco next to an original one, [LAUGH] it feels fairly full sized.
It's not a small vehicle, it dwarfs the original.
So I think we've got the scale of some lighter vehicles on question, but we've got the spirit.
And we saw the bronco are run the Baja 1000 this past year and it was, I mean it was camouflaged ish, did you have anything to do with those those body panels that were out there to fool all of us?
Yeah, the same team that delivered the Bronco sport the same team did the Bronco styling and design we actually put a lot of the same methodologies to Two simple things like I think you've had a ride in it, right?
Yes.>> So did you get to sit in the backseat or the front?
I sat in the front.
Well, you know, so we put time into making sure that when someone like yourself was getting into the vehicle that they'll be able to do it.
Without necessarily needing a really long ladder, that we put footholds in the right places.
Yeah, no,we worked hard on actually sort of thinking through the process of,clamoring into it so we actually had designers climbing on the clay models in the studio.
In an effort to try and reason out, really we did.
So that some of the sort of human centered methodology went into that truck as well.
That was a really fast process.
We wanted to do a few things with it.
We wanted to reintroduce the sort of two books profile.
Which we did, we didn't know we sort of have to slightly 2 door look but over a 4 door wheelbase.
We wanted to introduce some real key graphic elements.
Very simple square opening and the front we didn't put around lights in.
But if you actually look back at those original images or the images of the Bronco, you'll see there's a light bar that goes from coast to coast right across the middle, which is not dissimilar to the bar that will have on the new vehicle.
And then there were three light bars above that bar and three light bars below it.
And they are positioned to mimic.
Specifically one of the grills that we'll be launching with the bronco.
The toe hooks on the front, they will look very similar to something that you see and we could walk away to the rest of the vehicle and I could identify things that we drew, drew out of the production car.
The trick for the balance for us was making sure that none of it was.
but yeah, it was a strong truck.
It was a really fun project.
And it was just, it was the other job as well.
We did it as well as everything else.
I imagine you're taking delivery of one of these vehicles.
So if that's the case, I want to know how you've optioned yours, what trim and what color.
What does it look like?
Because we've done ours, and we know exactly the one that we would buy if we could buy one, so I wanna know what yours is.
[UNKNOWN] But yes, yeah.
Yeah, okay, so I haven't specced mine yet.
[LAUGH] And it's definitely either a two door or a four door, and it's almost certainly in one of theree colors.
And it could quite possibly be a bass spec or a black diamond.
Or it might be another one.
But it's definitely got 30 fives on it.
So I've really narrowed it down.
I have spent a lot of time over the last few years trying to work out what the ideal spec is and I still haven't pulled it off.
The good news is you can probably make up your own ideal spec, I would think,
Well, yeah, you can't blame a developer sitting in idle moments with a pen and a piece of paper dreaming.
So we never rest.
We never stopped where we're constantly moving.
So, who knows, maybe my ideal spec is one that we haven't done yet.
Well thank you so much for your time.
We are very, very excited to get behind the wheel this vehicle.
And he's very excited to see it in person.
I fortunately have seen it already.
And it's, I think you guys have done an amazing job.
We're genuinely genuinely excited about this vehicle.
So we [LAUGH] were very proud.
Thank you so much for your time.
Hey ,thank you guys.>> Well, as you can see, we're super excited about this Bronco and I hope you are too.
Let us know in the comments, what your favorite feature is.
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