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Latest Ford Bronco Patent Means Trouble For Jeep

Off-Road / Comments

The only thing better than a removable roof is a removable roll cage.

The last few years have been all about comebacks, with nameplates like the BMW 8 Series and Toyota Supra making a comeback. But one of 2020's most hotly anticipated comebacks hails from Detroit, and the excitement is ramping up for the revival of the Ford Bronco. Seeking to do battle with the Jeep Wrangler, the Bronco is shaping up to be one hell of an off-roader, especially if the latest Ford patents are any indication. According to FullSizeBronco, Ford has patented a removable seatbelt post and a removable roof mechanism, and the patent documents also suggest the Bronco will be receiving a removable roll cage, too.

FullSizeBronco
FullSizeBronco
FullSizeBronco

While the patent documents don't specifically mention a roll cage at all - instead they focus on the removable seatbelt pillars - the accompanying figures show the seatbelt pillar is integrated into the roll-cage structure. We already knew the Bronco would be receiving a removable roof, but many expected this to just be the removal of fixed roof panels and the possible inclusion of a canvas top, not unlike what we've already seen on the Jeep Wrangler. The patent images show that after the roof has been removed, the roll cage itself can be removed as well, and with it, the primary seatbelt posts.

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FullSizeBronco
FullSizeBronco

But you can't have a car without seatbelts, right? That's why as part of the patent, Ford has detailed a secondary seatbelt post. With the roll cage and roof structure removed, a secondary standalone seatbelt post can be bolted onto the body structure and secured against the same supports as the roll cage, thus equipping the Bronco with seatbelts but without the roof and roll cage overhead.

The removable roll cage is likely to be an attempt on Ford's part to make the Bronco as versatile as possible, giving buyers the option of a true 1960s-feel off-roading experience. It's also the ideal way to one-up the Wrangler, which can be had without a roof, but not without a roll cage. This is just the latest in a series of patents that suggests the Bronco will have a retractable cloth roof option, removable roof panels, and removable doors and impact beams.

We'll have to wait and see which of these is implemented when the Bronco is revealed, an event we believe to be happening in November.

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