Patent Hints at 2021 Ford Bronco’s Novel Removable Roof Design
More of the Bronco’s lid will be removable, making it more complicated than the one on the Wrangler.
It's no secret that the 2021 Ford Bronco will sport both removable doors and a removable roof. The upcoming 4x4's targeted rival, the Jeep Wrangler, can be field-stripped to a naked state sans doors or roof, after all. Thanks to a recent patent submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office by the Blue Oval, though, we now know a little more about how its roof-removal setup might work—and boy, is it zany.
Simply titled "Removable Roof Structure", the patent shows the body structure of a Bronco-esque four-door SUV with a detachable roof structure "that includes an upper B-pillar extending from a longitudinal roof rail that extends between a pair of transverse roof bows." In other words, it appears the all-new Bronco will include a roll-cage-like structure that supports the formal overhead roof, much like a Wrangler. The only difference is, when removed, the roof's pillars appear to go with it, leaving only the windshield rising above the vehicle's beltline.
Of course, there's no guarantee this patent submission signals production intent. One of our renderings of what the new Bronco might look like, above, depicts the SUV with a basket-handle roll hoop left in place even with the roof down, for example. Yet, it seems reasonable for Ford to pursue producing a removable roof structure like this in order to give the Bronco a unique edge over the Jeep Wrangler in the marketplace.
Whether buyers take to it or not is an entirely different story, as the patent details a number of bolts that appear to require manual labor to loosen and free the roof from the body structure. In other words, removing this much roof could be more hassle than it's worth, although keep in mind that taking the Wrangler's simpler hardtop off takes a decent amount of wrenching. We'll know more about the 2021 Bronco and its roof design when Ford takes the wraps off of it this spring. If this patent, as well as recent spy photos of the SUV playing in the snow and wearing a hardcore Raptor-like off-road kit, are anything to go by, then the new Bronco is sure to give the Wrangler its first real taste of competition in years.