How Ford Bronco Designers Solved The Wrangler's Door Problem

Off-Road / 17 Comments

An unlikely source sparked the idea.

A common complaint among Jeep Wrangler owners regarding the removable doors is where to store them. Without adequate storage space, spur-of-the-moment door removal is a challenge. Having to decide whether to remove the doors before the journey begins can be annoying. It's a design flaw that was overlooked by Jeep and we're sure the next-generation Wrangler will correct that. In fact, it'll have to because the all-new Ford Bronco not only has removable doors but also a place to store them (for the four-door model). This brilliant yet shockingly simple idea didn't come from Ford but rather a 21-year-old Wrangler owner from Los Angeles who works as a nanny.

Speaking to Automotive News, the Bronco's design chief, Paul Wraith, revealed that after design team members spoke to this young woman the light bulb came on.

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Front View
Side View
Forward Vision

"For her, the difficulty of taking the doors off a regular truck and lack of anywhere to put them seemed like an inhibiting factor," he said. "It led to a good idea."

The story goes is that she wanted to go to the beach after work but because she worked at someone else's house all day there was no place to store the removable doors. Designers then conceived the idea of a frameless, mirrorless door that could be both removed easily and stored within the SUV. This proved to be quite a challenge. Not only did the team have to design a wide enough trunk that didn't interfere with the Bronco's departure angle, the doors had to be light but not too thin.

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Trunk Space
Back Seats

But that wasn't the biggest challenge. The design of the side mirrors truly made them earn their paychecks. Placing them on the doors was obviously not possible so the A-pillars seem like the best solution, right? Kind of.

The interior grab handles or the A-pillars themselves would end up blocking the driver's view if they were positioned there so the solution was to place those separate unit mirrors at the exact point where the A-pillars meet the hood. The door removal process itself has been made easy thanks to the included tool kit. Each door even has its own cover.

Take note, Jeep.

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Top View
Forward Vision
Cargo Capacity
Source Credits: Automotive News

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