2020 ALL STAR | DESIGN
Chief designer, Bronco and Bronco Sport,
Ford Motor Co.
Back when there were offices to commute to, Paul Wraith would be greeted at his desk each morning by a poster of an ad for an early-model Bronco.
The slogan above the turquoise-colored SUV read: “Bronco leads the field with ... Better ideas.”
That’s the mantra that guided Wraith, 49, as he designed arguably the most anticipated vehicle of 2020.
Although it’s been out of production for more than two decades, the Bronco retains a cultlike following of enthusiasts.
Wraith had to balance the vehicle’s rich heritage while modernizing it for the 21st century. His team came up with ideas for new features including removable — and storable — doors, mirrors attached directly to the A-pillar and an open-air roof without the typical crossbeam.
“We pushed ourselves on this project,” Wraith told Automotive News this year.
That included skipping the traditional design step of crafting small-scale clay models. Instead, the team crafted life-size prototypes out of foam and cardboard that could be quickly updated.
Not only did Wraith have to design a Bronco, he had to design the smaller Bronco Sport crossover — and he had to differentiate it from its big brother and from the Escape crossover with which it shares a platform.
Early indications are that Wraith hit two home runs.
The vehicles were lauded after virtual introductions this summer. Although Ford has not revealed Bronco Sport reservation figures, officials say they’ve booked roughly 190,000 reservations for the Bronco.