The differences between the upcoming Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler were almost fewer than they are currently as the original plan called for the new ute to have a folding windshield.
However, Ford designers and engineers scuttled the plan because they were concerned about the impact it would have on the rigidity of the A-pillar on the new SUV. Instead, they made the fixed pillars as thin as possible.
The new Bronco is definitely and open-air vehicle and that feeling would have certainly been enhanced with the Jeep-like windshield, but instead they went for open-air feel over air blowing in the driver’s face.
“We looked at that,” John Wraith, the chief designer on the Bronco, told the Ford Authority, an online site that writes about the automaker. “In the original vehicle, you could do that, but it brings with it some problems.
“It does provide the user with a fairly rare event since you start getting into things like flat windshields, which is a compromised construction around pillars.”
Wraith said the designers thinned out the A-pillars and put airbags in the “sport tubes,” which are the rollbar-like structures that support the Bronco’s roof, to give the vehicle an open-air feel. Adding to the “open-air feel” is the fact that the top is removable on the Bronco and neatly stows away in the back.
“That provided people a very safe envelope for people to sit within. So when you look at tradeoffs, we think we made the right one – but it’s very safe, very open, and a good experience – and I think we made the right tradeoff.”