Several fans are anticipating the release of the new Ford Bronco, but will it be safe? As a cult classic, the Bronco was loved from 1965 to 1996 before being discontinued. Now to many consumer’s delights, the little SUV that could is coming back as a daily driver and off-roading vehicle, despite the safety issues that impacted older models. So, will the 2020 Ford Bronco be safer?
Updated Safety Features For The Ford Bronco
The Ford Bronco was first introduced as a half cab truck to compete against the CJ Jeep. At first, it’s Spartan design sported a barebones truck that meant business before later models with more comfortable features were introduced.
However, safety wasn’t one of those advancements made. When the Second Generation Ford Bronco came out, it was larger and top-heavy, giving it a high rollover risk. Due to the number of deaths associated with this truck, it was quickly discontinued, with less than a year in production.
An estimated 260 people died in Bronco II rollover crashes. This created expensive lawsuits for Ford and public safety concerns that lead the lighter and smaller Third Generation Bronco. Also, major safety advancements for the Fourth Generation Bronco were made, including the addition of rear antilock breaks.
The Fifth Generation Bronco sports safety features such as front crumple zones, three-point seatbelts, and a driver’s side airbag. It kept O.J. Simpson safe during his famous police chase, and sales increased.
However, production ended to focus on larger vehicles like the Ford Expedition as interest in four-door SUVs increased.
So, will the new Ford Bronco be safe?
Speculation suggests that the new Ford Bronco will have safety advancements made that could make it a safer option compared to the new Jeep Wrangler. Once you remove the doors from a Wrangler you’re left vulnerable during a wreck, but the Bronco may incorporate technology to keep drivers and passengers safe with the doors removed.
The deployable telescopic assembly may allow airbags to move from a stored position to a deployable one. By having inflatable airbags stored at particular points in the vehicle, air is allowed to flow throw a tube and inflate them. As a result, they will stretch across the doors to provide padding and protection during accidents.
While the crushing or breaking of limbs could be a concern with this design, it would ultimately protect people from flying out of the vehicle when the doors are removed. This is an innovative feature that Wranglers do not possess.
However, this is just a patent and it’s unclear if Ford will move forward with this technology or not. This is a rumor that was leaked.
Another rumor suggests that the Ford Bronco’s body will be made of aluminum because the vehicles are being manufactured in the same Michigan plant as F-150s.
Aluminum bodied vehicles are safer than those manufactured with steal bodies because they have enhanced energy absorption and larger crush zones that fold more predictably. Aluminum also reduces the weight of vehicles. It’s more expensive to use but could pay off by substantially increasing vehicle safety.
Ford Bronco fans will have have to do a little more waiting to see it’s official safety ratings and features. In the meantime, you can look for images and videos of the Bronco being tested on trails. Although, the Broncos have been wrapped to conceal their appearance.