Ford Explains How The Bronco’s Roof Addresses The Wrangler’s Problems
Looking at photos of the 2021 Ford Bronco, the triskey roof goes almost unnoticed. Yes, that’s a feature offered on the Jeep Wrangler – open-air off-roading is both SUVs’ strong point, but Ford engineers split it into three for easier removal. The design came after the misfortune of a Ford engineer with the Wrangler’s awkwardly bulky removable roof.
In an interview with Muscle cars and trucksFord’s global program director Jeff Seamen said the Wrangler’s “panel lever design” made it clunky and prone to tip over, which happened to it, cracking the part. The Wrangler’s roof is divided into two sections: a thin panel over the front passengers and a large panel covering the rear of the vehicle. The rear panel is large, weighing 63 kilograms and spanning the second row seats. Two people are needed to easily remove it.
The Bronco trisected roof places an intermediate panel between the one above the front passengers and the rearmost panel which houses the side windows and the top of the tailgate. This makes the rearmost panel lighter and easier to remove while eliminating the risk of tipping and cracking, which would be a pretty costly mistake that Ford doesn’t want its customers to go through. The second panel is located above the second row seats.
Sailors also mentioned the side mirrors, which are attached to the Bronco’s hood. They remain when the doors are removed, which is not the case with the Wrangler, which has the mirrors attached to the doors. You can bet Jeep is watching what Ford is doing with the Bronco, which could lead to some design changes for the Wrangler in the future, although we doubt they’ll happen anytime soon. There’s a new competitor in town that’s doing things a new way, and Jeep will have to respond, especially if Ford has come up with a better design solution.