The Bronco has been finally confirmed by Ford after years of rumors. The SUV will use the same platform as the Ranger and likely a very similar powertrain. However, there will be some differences. For starters, the Bronco will feature a modern-classic look, and it will be specifically aimed at those looking to use it in off-road. The Ford Bronco is going to feature some fascinating features. Ford confirmed that it would boast removable doors and quite a few off-road specific features.
On top of that, not that long ago inside sources revealed another really important piece of information about its roof.
Ford Bronco – Improvements and News
Will the new Ford Bronco get removable “Air Roof” panels?
This rumor started a few days ago after an online publication revealed that the Bronco would not get a removable roof. Instead, the SUV will get removable roof panels which will be stored inside the car. This online publication didn’t reveal its source, but they did say the source known this for a fact.
What are these “Air Roof” panels?
Due to the current safety regulations, SUVs can’t feature a fully removable roof, similar to that of the original Bronco. This would ruin the car’s structural rigidity, and it would make it really unsafe in the case of a crash. In order to still offer their customers an open-air experience, manufacturers turned to other methods. One of this methods is the “Air Roof” panel. This will allow the Bronco to feature a solid roof but with two removable panels that will store inside the trunk.
These will open up the roof in a similar fashion to the Renegade’s My Sky roof. However, it is worth mentioning that Ford didn’t officially say anything about this rumor. We would tend to believe it, though, especially since this approach will likely be taken by Jeep with their new Wrangler as well.
Advantages and drawbacks over a soft-top
The main disadvantage of this system is the fact that it doesn’t really make the Ford Bronco a convertible. Instead, it will act a lot more like a large sunroof. This is still considerably better than not having it at all. Another small drawback over a soft-top would be the rigid panels which will take up valuable trunk space. If we get past these though then it becomes a really good solution to this safety problem.
The “Air Roof” panels will not take away from the safety provided in the case of a crash. On top of that, it will be really useful in off-road where people will be able to get in and out of the Bronco through its roof. The panels will also make it easier for Ford, and aftermarket companies, to develop roof-mounted accessories because the roof rails will always stay in place. Another big advantage would be the considerably better headroom inside the cabin.
This has also been proven on the Renegade where these panels do offer considerably more room than not having them. Ford may also provide glass or solid panels which would further elevate the comfort of their passengers without having to spend much more on research and development.