Ford’s latest patent filing is for a removable hardtop roof for a pickup truck that could mean a convertible F-150.
Or more likely it’s for the upcoming Ford Bronco, which is widely expected to feature removable doors, windows, and even a roof to keep up with the Jeep Gladiator. But the patent images seem to show a Ford pickup in them, so there’s no reason this same technology couldn’t be applied to the Ranger or F-150.
We've got Ford Authority to thank for grabbing these images from the USPTO showing what a removable hardtop might look like. The patents show a series of clamps that will keep the roof attached to the body, as well as a removable roof cap for when you just want to remove the most important part of the roof without also removing the rear windshield.
"The patent application says that the removable roof cap assemblies would have self-aligning mounting systems that make installation and removal easy to accomplish by a single person,” writes Ford Authority, noting that this aspect of the design will be especially attractive to Jeep owners. Removing the roof on a Jeep Wrangler or Gladiator is definitely not an easy task and is best done in pairs.
The last patent we saw was definitely for the Bronco as it went over how the vehicle could have removable doors but still have safety features such as deployable airbags. One of the patents described a telescoping bar that would deploy when the Bronco’s regular doors are removed that also be able to deploy an airbag in the event of a crash. If steel-tube doors are present, the patent also showed where an airbag system could be located to protect the driver and passenger.
Ford doesn’t provide any explanation on where the removable roof can be stored, but if it’s to be deployed on a pickup such as the F-150, then presumably it could be stored in the bed.
We haven’t heard anything about a convertible F-150, but we expect the Bronco to arrive later in 2020 as a 2021 model. It’ll be built on the Ranger’s platform and share the 2.7-L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, according to the most recent rumors.
(source: Ford Authority)