To call the 2021 Ford Bronco ‘hotly-anticipated’ is an understatement. Fans have been scouring everywhere for any kind of information on the upcoming SUV. The hype was raised to new levels when rumors of a potential Bronco pickup popped up. Then came patent images detailing a removable roof and doors. Now, a recently published patent depicts a pickup truck with a removable hardtop that can be stowed in the bed. It’s beginning to look like the Jeep Gladiator may have a new competitor: a Ford Bronco convertible pickup truck.
What We Know About the Ford Bronco So Far
Originally, the 2021 Bronco was announced as a Ranger-based SUV. Not the current Ranger, but the next-gen unibody Ranger. The Bronco would be available in the middle of 2020 as a two-door and a four-door. Ford dealers, when they got a sneak peek at Bronco prototypes, also alleged there would be a “baby Bronco” crossover. Additionally, the dealer sneak peek allegedly also included an unnamed unibody pickup.
The dealers also claimed the 2021 Bronco’s doors and roof would be removable like the original Bronco’s. These claims were supported by patents describing these features. These same patents also detail a soft-top or roll-out mesh for use when the hardtop is removed.
Then, both automotive forecaster AutoForecast Solutions and magazine Automobile reported a Bronco pickup was in the works. The former claimed the truck would reach production in July 2024. The latter claimed a different source mentioned a production date as early as 2022. Muscle Cars and Trucks, in covering this news, reported that several “Bronco” related names had been trademarked, such as “Bronco Sport” and “Bronco Scout”. All this pointed to a potential family of Bronco vehicles.
Ford Bronco Convertible Pickup Patent?
Although Ford has not confirmed anything about a Bronco pickup, a recently published patent adds strength to the rumors. The patent, as Muscle Cars and Trucks reports, shows a pickup truck with a removable hardtop roof. This roof can then stored on a special bracket mounted in the pickup’s bed.
Both Muscle Cars and Trucks and Jalopnik feel this patent doesn’t prove a Bronco pickup is on the way. And to be fair, the patent could be for the next-gen Ranger, which is already a pickup. However, considering both the 2021 Bronco and next-gen Ranger share a platform, a Bronco pickup is at least feasible. In addition, alleged Bronco test mules have been spotted with what appears to be pickup bodywork.
Should the Jeep Gladiator Be Worried?
Let’s assume, for a moment, that the Bronco convertible pickup is a possibility. If that’s the case, Ford would have a direct competitor to the Jeep pickup.
The two vehicles would have a lot in common. Both pickups would be based on very off-road-capable SUVs: the Gladiator on the Wrangler, and the Bronco pickup on the Bronco. Both trucks would also have removable doors and removable roofs. Both would also come with four doors. Finally, both would enjoy an extremely passionate fanbase.
Although nothing is confirmed, these patent drawings demonstrate just how strong the demand is for the new Bronco. That 2020 release date can’t come soon enough.