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Via Car and Driver
  • A pair of patent applications filed by Ford with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office appear to involve features for the upcoming Bronco's roof.
  • The first patent is for a removable roof structure that gets rid of the B-, C-, and D-pillars as well as roof rails and crossbeams, providing a true open-air experience.
  • The second patent is for roof-rail-mounted airbags that can be repacked to retain driver visibility after an accident.

2021 Ford Bronco removable roof structure patent.png

Both patents have to do with a removable roof, which will be a key feature of the new Bronco. The first patent covers a single-piece removable roof structure that includes the upper portions of of the B-, C-, and D-pillars. With this design, a portion of the upper B-pillar would slide into the permanent lower B-pillar. It's unclear if this structure permanently carries the roof and upper body panels, or if those panels would be removed separately. We also don't know if this frame is the only rollover protection, or if it requires a secondary roll-cage-like structure similar to the Jeep Wrangler's. The patent does claim that structural rigidity of the vehicle is minimally affected by this roof design, which makes sense for a body-on-frame vehicle like the Bronco.


2021 Ford Bronco side curtain airbags repackable patent.png


The second patent is for side curtain airbags that can be repacked after deployment. In the text of the patent, Ford notes that side curtain airbags can obstruct the driver's view after firing, which could be a problem in an off-road environment or isolated area in which emergency assistance is not readily available. The idea is that once the airbags are deployed, they could be manually put back into the cover, and the driver could maneuver the vehicle to a spot where emergency vehicles could assist.





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jimbo92

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Just stopping by to laugh at people who think Ford is actually designing the rollbar to be removed for "open air driving"
 

chtucker

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They are not floating- They are being blow around by the wind from hitting 88mph
 

OX1

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New bronco airflow is "that bad" ;-)
 

Rogues Gambit

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Regardless of all that, definitely glad it can go topless
 

Fordboi

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yo hopefully they just made up that design for the patent *sarcasm*sarcasm**
 

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Just stopping by to laugh at people who think Ford is actually designing the rollbar to be removed for "open air driving"
I'm thinking this would be more for providing rollbar options than just going without one. I think this will give individuals the option to stick with a factory hydroformed design or switch to some aftermarket tube options. I believe Ford also had the patent of a rollbar with integrated roll out top or screens.
 

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Regardless of all that, definitely glad it can go topless
No question about it going topless now, but for those of us who prefer a permanent, hard-shell top, will this be an option? The same question applies to doors: granted, the new Bronco will almost certainly have removable doors, but will they leave us an option of permanent, hard-fastened doors? I ask from the perspective of someone who does not like doors that come off, roofs that come off, roofs with holes in them, etc. (Am I the only one?)
 

Rogues Gambit

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No question about it going topless now, but for those of us who prefer a permanent, hard-shell top, will this be an option? The same question applies to doors: granted, the new Bronco will almost certainly have removable doors, but will they leave us an option of permanent, hard-fastened doors? I ask from the perspective of someone who does not like doors that come off, roofs that come off, roofs with holes in them, etc. (Am I the only one?)
Yep, basically just you and a few other freaks who wanna it welded shut
 

Jook13

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No question about it going topless now, but for those of us who prefer a permanent, hard-shell top, will this be an option? The same question applies to doors: granted, the new Bronco will almost certainly have removable doors, but will they leave us an option of permanent, hard-fastened doors? I ask from the perspective of someone who does not like doors that come off, roofs that come off, roofs with holes in them, etc. (Am I the only one?)
I'm with ya. If there is an option for a solid non removable roof, that's the one I want. And no sun/moon roof. If it has the removable hard shell like the old ones, that's fine but I will never remove it. It will be my hunting rig and it regularly gets below zero and snows where I go.
 

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