A patent filing may have revealed new details about the 2021 Ford Bronco's active suspension technology.
After several leaked photos showed the highly anticipated off-roader undisguised, it looked like the wait for the new Ford Bronco and its smaller Bronco Sport sibling was nearly over. Ford was originally planning to present the reborn Bronco at the 2020 New York Auto Show this month, but the event has been postponed until August in response to the coronavirus pandemic. We're hoping Ford will show the new Bronco to the world online before then. But in the meantime, Motor Trend has potentially discovered some intriguing new details about the new Bronco's terrain-response system and active suspension.
A patent submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Ford describes a unique hardware and software setup that links an electronically adjustable suspension system to a monitoring setup that automatically adjusts the ride height and suspension in response to traffic, weather, terrain, and even music.
Alternatively, the driver can also select different suspension modes. In the patent filing, this system is called "Anomaly Mitigation Suspension Mode," but Ford also trademarked the term "G.O.A.T Modes," which is described as "drive systems comprised of automatic controls for vehicle chassis and powertrain controllers, integrated as an integral part of a passenger vehicle."
The technology isn't linked to the Bronco, but it seems to be designed for off-roaders. To make driving on rough terrain easier, the patent describes how the nose can be lowered when the SUV climbs up steep terrain to give the driver a better view. Other modes listed in the patent include Entertainment Mode, Music Mode, and Daredevil Mode.
Entertainment mode monitors the driver's "non-traditional" inputs to control the Music and Daredevil modes. Music mode will adjust the ride height to match the tunes blaring out of the SUV's speakers, so it sounds like you can make your Ford Bronco dance in sync with your music collection if you really want to.
Daredevil mode, on the other hand, "the vehicle's suspension height may be mapped to the target suspension height such that the vehicle . . . can be driven on, for example, two and/or three wheels without overturning," which could be useful in certain off-roading situations. No doubt someone will try to use this mode to try and perform wheelies. It all sounds very intriguing, but we'll have to wait for the official reveal to find out if this tech will be applied to the 2021 Ford Bronco.