This latest patent design is insanely cool.
Jeep is about to face its most formidable competition to date with the upcoming reborn Ford Bronco, due in 2021. Built on the same body-on-frame chassis as the midsize Ranger pickup truck, the Bronco SUV will go head-to-head against the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. Like the Wrangler, the Bronco also has a history and legions of off-road fans. But before Ford could totally spoil the party, the Jeep Gladiator arrived and it's selling like hotcakes. Meanwhile, the Ford Ranger continues to sell well but it does lack the Gladiator's "cool factor." That's about to change if these patent designs are given the production green light.
Published last week by PatentSwarm.com, this Ford patent application shows a pickup truck with a removable hardtop. It appears the truck shown in the drawings is a Ford Ranger.
We also wouldn't be totally surprised to see the Bronco receive this same feature, along with the previously patented removable doors. This latest patent displays a top with clamps that attach it to the main body. The patent states the top also has a windshield header, a rear body structure, and a removable roof cap. The patent information adds that the removable cap features self-aligning mounting systems to make it easy for a single person to install and remove, unlike in Jeeps where the process requires more effort.
Also interesting is that these drawings reveal two versions of the removable roof, one with a sliding window and one without. There is one thing, however, these patent images do not address: storage. Where would this removable roof go when not in use? Well, the truck's bed is certainly one option but only if it's lacking other payloads.
Leaving this roof in one's garage may turn out to be a fairly small price to pay, in all honesty. If this does make production, then chances are we'll see it on the Ranger first, considering the patent details continuously mention a "pickup truck." But given the Bronco's expected popularity and its need to further lure away Jeep Wrangler customers, we wouldn't be surprised to see this removable roof be offered on both vehicles in the future. This also brings up another possibility: a two-door Bronco? After all, a removable roof on a four-door vehicle may not work very well.