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Ford Bronco Has Jeep Wrangler Firmly In Its Sights

Truck / 9 Comments

Ford's taking a leaf out of the Wrangler playbook.

There's more to a recreational off-roader than a strong and torquey engine and four-wheel drive. Off-road ability might be the largest ingredient for enjoying some overlanding, but the rest of the vehicle has to be fun and adaptable as well. Most of the old-school off-roaders that emerged after World War II had easily removable roofs and doors, and Jeep has kept the traditions alive on the Wrangler and Gladiator. In the face of increasing safety regulation, it also looks like Ford is finding a way of having removable doors on the new Bronco.

Autoguide's "patent department-trolling investigators" have found a patent application suggesting vehemently that the next Bronco will, indeed, be able to go doorless.

via Autoguide
via Autoguide

The patent isn't for a system to take the doors off, but rather "special inflatable safety devices," or, as you and I know them, airbags. More specifically, "… a deployable assembly that transitions from a stowed position to a deployed position."

The language used in the patent is typically obtuse, but the general gist is that Ford has designed a collapsible rod that sits across the open door space and, in the event of a crash, will deploy the attached airbags. Anyone that's been in an off-roader that's extended horizontally beyond its point of balance will be hoping they deploy once the vehicle goes beyond a certain angle as well upon impact.

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via Autoguide
via Autoguide
via Autoguide

Also demonstrated is Ford's solution to routing the high-pressure gas through the tubular structure, allowing the inflator module to be mounted remotely from the airbag. Not only will that help packaging to make sure the tubular assembly isn't unwieldy, but also keep the igniter and propellent away from the occupants and reduce the risk of burns when an airbag goes off.

We still know so little about the new Bronco that almost everything is speculation at this point. However, insights such as this give us the idea that Ford is taking this model very seriously indeed.

via The Fast Lane Car
via The Fast Lane Car
via The Fast Lane Car

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