Ford says it almost happened, but didn’t make the cut because of safety concerns

Although the Ford Bronco checks most of the boxes, and then some more, there are a few rather noticeable things that are missing. One is the V-8 engine, which looked like it could feature somewhere in the future, but Ford confirmed that’s not happening.

The second one is the foldable windshield. When the Bronco was unveiled, it came with almost all the stuff that is offered on the Wrangler as well, but it was conspicuous by its absence. Ford has now thrown some light on it citing compromised construction as the reason for it not being offered.

Ford Dropped the Foldable Windshield In Favor Of Safety

Would You Have Preferred The Bronco With A Foldable Windshield? Exterior Wallpaper quality High Resolution
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Speaking with Ford Authority, Bronco’s Chief Designer, Paul Wraith, noted that the foldable windshield compromises the structural integrity around the pillars. He said, “We looked at that. 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.”

But, understanding how important an open-air experience is for the customers, Ford tried to fill in for the lack of a foldable windshield by working on other things, like slimming out the pillars and offering removable doors and roof, to give that experience. Wraith further added, “So what we actually really wanted to do is to provide a very open-air feel, thin out the pillars as much as we could, which is why we have the airbags in the sport tubes. 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.”

The 2021 Bronco Features Removable Doors and Roof, Though

2021 Ford Bronco
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Both the two-door and the four-door Broncos feature removable doors and roof.

Unlike the Jeep Wrangler’s doors that need to be left behind, you can safely stow away the smaller Bronco’s doors in the cargo area.

On the four-door Bronco models, Ford provides protective door bags for you to store the doors. Although folding down the windshield is rather easy on the Wrangler, the same is not the case with the doors. The Bronco features frameless doors that make the process of removing them easier. The Bronco’s wing mirrors are mounted on the cowl instead of the doors, so they stay where they are when the doors are removed, unlike the Wrangler.

Would You Have Preferred The Bronco With A Foldable Windshield? Exterior Wallpaper quality High Resolution
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The removable roof setup is different on the two-door and the four-door models. The two-door Broncos are offered only with a hardtop and come with a standard three-panel roof system – two over the occupants and one large panel for the rear. The smaller panels can be stored in the cargo area, but the bigger roof panel will have to be left back at home. If stowing it in the vehicle is absolutely necessary, you can opt for a premium painted modular top, which is a four-section system with similarly sized smaller roof panels.

Would You Have Preferred The Bronco With A Foldable Windshield? Exterior High Resolution
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The four-door models feature four removable panels as standard, but is not the same as the setup on the two-door Bronco. There are two panels over the front occupants, a full-width center panel, and a rear section. Although the arrangement seems quite similar to the Jeep Wrangler’s, Ford says that the roof panels on both the Bronco models can be removed by one person by unlocking the latches from the interior. Well, do the removable roof and doors make up for the missing foldable windshield?

Final Thoughts

Would You Have Preferred The Bronco With A Foldable Windshield? Exterior
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In case you didn’t know, sport tubes are the bars in the roof that run from the windshield to the trunk of the off-roader. While the long-wheelbase four-door Bronco is not as vulnerable as the two-door model when it comes to rollover accidents, the risk is still present. So, it’s good to see Ford choosing safety over missing features that could draw some flak from people who don’t know the reason behind it. Do you think Ford did the right thing here? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Source: Ford Authority

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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