Ford Bronco patent for removable roll cage!?

Nickp

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Holy COW this would be cool.


BroncoRoofPatentfig1.jpg

https://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2019/10/ford-bronco-to-one-up-jeep-get-removable-roll-cage.html

A new patent application filed by Ford could be the best hint yet as to how the roof of the upcoming Bronco will come off. And that’s not all.

The speculation has long been that the upcoming Ford Bronco will have a removable top to compete with the Jeep Wrangler. Although the Jeep’s roof can be removed, its roll cage does not.

This new patent, though, shows a vehicle with both a roof and a cage that can be removed, “to provide an open-air driving experience.”

Effectively, the B- and C-pillars are both bolted to the car at the window line. Remove the bolts and the pillars slide out of the body.


BroncoRoofPatentfig4and6.jpg


While this patent allows for some excitingly ‘60s, wide-open driving, it’s still 2019, so three-point belts are a requirement. To solve that issue, Ford has essentially given the car shorter B- and C-pillars that can be slid back into the body and bolted back on.

These shorter pillars will hold the third point for the seat belt: a removable belt post, as Ford calls it. Ford is allowing for belt posts that attach to both the vertical, side of the body alone and for posts that attach to the vertical side and the floor—which would presumably afford the posts more strength.

BroncoRoofPatentfig7.jpg


Although the idea of driving a truly open-air SUV is appealing in the best circumstances, this patent does leave us with a few questions. First and foremost, what happens in a rollover?

Not only does Ford have to comply with federal standards, it seems like anything that goes toe-to-toe with the Jeep would have to be able to handle a rollover because of all the off-roading people like to do in it.

Granted, there are systems that don’t require a traditional roll hoop, like the Germans’ extend-a-hoop systems, but that could be an expensive solution.

Having an ace up its sleeve, though, could be exactly what allows the Bronco to challenge the Jeep’s dominance in the segment.

Unfortunately, it’s still too early to be making conclusions about the Bronco’s design but with all these patent applications, whatever ends up making it onto the final product should at least be interesting.

BroncoRoofPatentfig3.jpg



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Carolina Jim

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Holy COW this would be cool.
MUCH funner than the presumptive removable panels on sides & top. In fact, this has broader positive implications about other things Ford might do to make Bronco a blast
 

Stampede.Offroad

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That would certainly be an interesting twist. It would also imply less bulky ROPS to begin with. And possibilities for "easy" swaps of a personalized or customized cage.

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ROPS BroncoRoofPatentfig1.jpg

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ROPS BroncoRoofPatentfig7.jpg

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ROPS BroncoRoofPatentfig8.jpg

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DaBoss

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So would something like this be an option? An accessory you'd order from the factory/dealer? Or would it come with all of the vehicles it is designed for?
 

Stampede.Offroad

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So would something like this be an option? An accessory you'd order from the factory/dealer? Or would it come with all of the vehicles it is designed for?
¿Yes?

Being a fairly large structural component and requiring holes etc. in the sheetmetal it would probably be a feature to some degree in all versions if it existed. That wouldn't preclude the possibility of options though, like larger diameter or thicker wall tubing, different paint colors, versions with extra mounting points for accessories, etc, etc.
 
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Nickp

Nickp

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All these leaks and patents we are seeing makes me so damn excited.

I think all you technophobes need to realize that while the Bronco will be inspired by the past we are getting the Bronco of the future and I’m hyped as shit.
 
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mikonrad

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This is fascinating. I do like seeing the mud thrown at the walls here as there has been a bunch to chew on lately. Though I'm unsure of how to look at this in regards to a 2021 model year vehicle. In other words, this seems like a fairly substantial departure from a conventional roof/roll bar system. Would this patent even be relevant on a 2021? Seems like this particular patent dropped late in the process.
 
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They haven’t really dropped any Bronco patents until fairly recently... my guess is that they are filing patents only once necessary to keep everything under wraps until the last possible moment.

Or maybe they are pie in the sky pipe dreams. I have said this before but my takeaway from these patents is at least ford GETS it, and they’re thinking way outside the Jeep box for this crazy beast.
 

The Pope

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So would something like this be an option? An accessory you'd order from the factory/dealer? Or would it come with all of the vehicles it is designed for?
My take on this would be....

Fig. 1 would be an accessory. It would be installed after the Hard Top was removed.
Fig. 7 would also be an accessory, but most likely only available in countries where the Roll-Over Rules aren't as strict as in the USA.

We have to remember that Ford is a Global Company. What isn't allowed here within the USA, "might" be allower elsewhere in the world.
 

Idahorocks

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I’m curious about the body in this patent rendering. It doesn’t look like something existing. So what if it is a tip of the cards? Those look like small wheel arches in the back. And what are the things at the bottoms of the a pillars?
 

78CreamBrownie

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That would certainly be an interesting twist. It would also imply less bulky ROPS to begin with. And possibilities for "easy" swaps of a personalized or customized cage.

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ROPS BroncoRoofPatentfig1.jpg

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ROPS BroncoRoofPatentfig7.jpg

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ROPS BroncoRoofPatentfig8.jpg

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This looks like a recipe for disaster. Allowing someone to remove the only thing keeping them alive in a roll over is a terrible idea. I understand they are going with a modular approach to make things very customizable but this might be a bit too far. If a Bronco or any vehicle can be driven without it, lawsuits and deaths will be on the way.
 

Stampede.Offroad

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... It also looks like it could be a mechanism to lower front windshield.
I really hope not. That 'feature' is more trouble than its worth.

Avoiding the folding windshield gimmick that Jeep is tied to is one way Ford could have significantly beat Wrangler's NVH problems. Not doing that would also mean Ford could use slightly more curvature as well to improve not just NVH but aero and fuel economy, constant windshield repair, etc.
 

78CreamBrownie

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I really hope not. That 'feature' is more trouble than its worth.

Avoiding the folding windshield gimmick that Jeep is tied to is one way Ford could have significantly beat Wrangler's NVH problems. Not doing that would also mean Ford could use slightly more curvature as well to improve not just NVH but aero and fuel economy, constant windshield repair, etc.
I have owned 4 Wranglers as an adult, including my current JL where it's the easiest it's been on any of the Wranglers to fold down, and I have never folded it down. I know Jeep purists demand this but most of us Wrangler owners don't care about it.
 























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