A series of new patent applications filed by Ford may give us yet more insight into what the Blue Oval has planned for the revived Bronco 4x4.
The filings, first spotted by Motor1.com, detail a handful of potentially key exterior giveaways, including a removable roof rack, removable roof panels, and a modular grille system. The last, which may seem like little more than an afterthought, makes way for a potentially game-changing accessory upgrade—an integrated front-bumper winch.
The roof rack drawings give us one of the better looks at what might be the Bronco's exterior design, complete with a Hummer-esque hood line and beefy rear fender covers. The roof panel patent, which bookends nicely with previous patent filings that describe a completely removable roof frame, gives us a little more of what may be the new Bronco's profile.
So far, patent drawings have been our best source of speculation as to what Ford's new 4x4 will look like. Photographs of Bronco mules have revealed nothing, as Ford has been using chopped-up truck bodies on shortened-wheelbase frames.
This roof system patent appears to more closely resemble the "My Sky" panel found on Jeep's baby Renegade than part of the removable roof system seen in patents previously associated with Ford's new 4x4, though it throws in removable windows as an added bonus. Removing things seems to be a common theme in Ford's recent patent filings.
Our third patent is where the fun happens. Not even Jeep's off-road-ready Wrangler Rubicon comes with a factory front-bumper winch option, but if the features of this patent end up translating to production, the Bronco may get a modular grille system that allows for a factory- or dealer-installed accessory winch.