your move, wrangler
The Ford Bronco’s Folding Roof Could Be Way Better Than Jeep’s
Ford is coming after the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator with its next generation of rugged trucks and SUVs — most obviously, the new Ford Bronco and so-called “baby Bronco.” Judging from some of FoMoCo’s patents, the company’s strategy appears to be beating Jeep at its own game. We’ve seen Ford patents for Jeep-like removable doors and for making those removable doors safer. And now, a new Ford patent, found by Ford Authority, reveals Ford plans to let some truck/SUV owners remove the roof as well.
The patent is for a removable pickup hardtop. Latching assemblies would allow removal of a roof cap and rear window architecture. But it’s apparently superior to the one on the Unlike the removable top on the Jeep, Ford’s would have a self-aligning mounting system, making it easy for one person to replace the top.
If Ford were to implement this feature in the Ranger, for example, it would be a direct overture to the Gladiator fanbase. One of the Jeep truck’s unique offerings over pickup competitors is its Wrangler-like convertible roof. While the Ranger has earned positive reviews, it has been slow to establish itself in the midsize truck segment.
Ford could apply a similar latching mechanism for other vehicles. We’ve known for some time now that the new Ford Bronco plans to implement a Wrangler-like modular hardtop roof system to let in the open air. Given that Jeep offers hardtop and softtop options for its iconic off-roader, it’s not hard to imagine Ford doing likewise.
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