How come no one thought of this before?
The Ford Bronco Sport is the Jeep Cherokee's worst enemy. There's no question about it. It's now up to Jeep to respond and it won't be an easy task. Ford did a serious amount of homework when designing its new Bronco Sport, especially for the SUV's interior. Enter John Carl Faust, the vehicle's design team leader. He was tasked with coming up with all sorts of cool features, such as the bottle opener in the rear hatch. He also worked with the materials team to make sure the instrument panel, doors, and floor console don't reflect too much light into the driver's face. Details such as these matter.
The Detroit Free Press recently caught up with Faust and he revealed some cool insider stories from the design process. One particular thing caught our attention the most: the SUV's durable straps. Faust has a military design background, working at General Dynamics for over a decade.
He fully understands the psychology regarding human abilities and limitations relevant to design. Faust was also part of the pit stop engineering team tasked with designing vehicles that can be patched up quickly and sent back into battle. He brought that knowledge to Ford. Those interior straps, originally military gear called MOLLE, or Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, were adapted for civilian use.
"I'd seen it everywhere while I was working at General Dynamics Land Systems," Faust said. "All over their military gear, all over their clothing. I used to wear it myself when evaluating a vehicle. I would put on an armor vest and a fighting load carrier and make sure whatever we were designing would work for a soldier when they were in the vehicle."
Faust's name is even included on the patent Ford filed. The straps allow owners to carry and store a wide variety of items, such as flashlights and water bottles. They can also be used to hook gear into place with carabiners. The design process, however, wasn't easy.
"We had to keep refining the idea," Faust added. "The first iteration didn't work so well. We found we had to have a flexible backing on the seat and the straps - both had to give. The seat team found the materials for the strap and the backing that allowed the flex."
Faust and his team designed the straps to last for the long haul, as well as the equally cool zippered pouch above them that's been "carved" into the seats.
Your move, Jeep.