- simply put, ford cares so much about the look of the new 2021 bronco that it actually made two different badges—one for the u.s. and one meeting international rules.
- ours is bigger, or at least it sticks out a few millimeters farther.
- this kind of attention to detail bodes well for the new suv as a whole. plus, it's funny.
buckle up for a wild ride, because we're about to talk about international badge homologation regulations! settle down, settle down. keep it to a dull roar, and we'll explain why our bronco badge is better than everyone else's.
it comes down to pedestrian impact rules, and the difference between ours and those in other markets (namely, europe and china). other countries say that if a badge protrudes five millimeters, the edges have to be radiused 2.5 millimeters. that presents a problem with the bronco badge, since there are details—particularly the mane—that don't look as cool of they're flattened out. and, as you may have noticed, ford cares very much about making the bronco look cool. all the way down to the badge. "we had heated meeting about the tips of the hooves, and getting those right," says paul wraith, head designer for the bronco project.
usually, a car company will design one badge for the whole world, so the differing united states homologation rules don't matter. but for the bronco, ford cared enough to homologate two badges. and, simply put, ours pops.
does that mean ford is flagrantly disregarding pedestrian safety? well, as you may have noticed, that reared-up stallion (chrome or black) isn't actually on the front of the truck. it's on the tailgate, between the external-mount spare tire and the passenger-side taillight. but pedestrian impact rules apply to the rear of a vehicle, too—you might back up into somebody.
that's fine, but take a look to the left of that badge and you'll see that, even in the case of an errant reverse maneuver, an unlucky pedestrian would likely get hit by the spare tire, which protrudes a lot more than five millimeters. hey, nobody said homologation rules all have to make sense.
it seems like we're usually wishing we could have some forbidden automotive fruit from other countries, but in this case, it's advantage u.s. and the finer points of a plastic horse mane might seem like a minor issue, but if ford spent that much time and money sweating a detail that small, that bodes well for the big stuff, too.