Ford Bronco to One-Up Jeep with a Removable Roll Cage
Modern Jeepers who live in sunny states from Florida to California knows how much fun it is to drive open-air, top-down, flying free in our Jeeps. How about driving without a roll cage on those sunny pavement days?
We are curious to hear your thoughts on this “buzz.”
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.
Yes, you can dress up a Ford Bronco for off-road fun.
The folks at AutoGuide.com reported speculation that the upcoming Ford Bronco will have a removable top to compete with the Jeep Wrangler.
Even old-timer flat-fender Jeepers are very familiar with windshield down, top-off and flying free. But although as all ModernJeepers know, the Jeep’s roof can be removed, its roll cage can not.
New Patent for Removable Cage
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.
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.
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.
Now this pony looks like a good ride…
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.
Open-air, flying free TJ Wrangler
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.
In Spite of the Rules…
We know there are plenty of other types of “convertibles” out there with little or no real roll-over protection. But sometimes in spite of the “government” telling us we need to wear helmets for this or that, or knee/shoulder pads, or safety glasses, there is a part of a lot of us that wants to be free – feel the breeze of open-air driving not surrounded by technology or “cages.”
Classic vintage “flattie” taking on Wipe-Out Hill in Moab, Utah…would you?
Old school early days Bronco — flying free, no cage.
What are your thoughts? Open-air, removable roll-cage for your Jeep?