Will the New Ford Bronco Have a Removable Roof?

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Ford Bronco Concept Renderings_4

With all the Ford Bronco talk recently, thanks to a new round of enthusiast renderings, people have been wondering what to expect from the new vehicle. What type of engine will it have? Will it look retro, or be thoroughly modern? Will it have a removable top?

The removable top question is an interesting one, and one that I’d like to take a look at. Of all the off-road vehicles that are currently on sale today, only one of them has a removable roof. That, of course, is the Jeep Wrangler. The Wrangler is one tough brute, and can be virtually disassembled without much effort. That includes a removable roof, easy-to-remove doors, and even a fold-down windshield.

Ford Bronco - SaddleBronze-028

The roof itself can be either a soft top, or a removable Freedom Top, which is made from fiberglass. Many people opt for the Freedom Top, since it has removable panels that let the weather in without having to remove the entire roof. Plus, it makes the Wrangler easier to live with all year round when it has the hard top.

None of the renderings we’ve seen have included a removable roof for the Bronco. Of course, as we’ve mentioned earlier, most of the renderings we’ve seen so far are fan renderings, and do not have the official blessing from Ford. In fact, as of this post the official comment from Will at Ford is still, “We do not comment on future product speculation.” And believe me, I bother Will at Ford about this subject A LOT.

So, will the new Bronco have a removable roof?

1974_Ford_Bronco_LAMBORGHINI_GREEN-23

Our own Seth Parks says that the removable roof is happening. He wrote an excellent piece right here on FTE about what to expect from the new Bronco, and it’s worth the read.

But could there be a reason why it wouldn’t happen?

Sure, and the reason comes in the area of crash testing. While we can all admit the Wrangler is getting a little long in the tooth, it actually does pretty well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing. In fact, it scored the highest rating of “Good” in the company’s notoriously difficult small overlap test. But if you look at the side impact, it’s “Marginal.”

Wrangler 4 Door IIHS Crash

Part of that rating is surely due to the doors that are designed to be lightweight and removable. But surely another part of the relatively low score has to do with the lack of a roof structure to absorb more of the impact.

Yes, there are roll bars and other structural enhancements in place to help save you in an accident, but more roof is always better, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the Wrangler was offered with a fixed, non-removable roof that the vehicle would fair better in a crash.

Many of you want to see the new Bronco, if it even happens, have a removable roof. Heck, I’d like to see it myself if I’m honest. But there are some additional factors at play that may cause Ford to pass on the roof option, even if that’s what the enthusiasts really want.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments or over in the forums!

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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