The new Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler are the closest of rivals and while Ford set out to match and surpass many of the Wrangler’s features, one thing the Bronco doesn’t have is a foldable windshield like the Jeep. Now we know why.
During a recent interview with Ford Authority, the Ford Bronco’s chief designer Paul Wraith said the automaker investigated making a foldable windshield but decided against it, citing safety concerns.
“We looked at that. In the original vehicle, you could do that,” Wraith said. “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.”
While Ford wasn’t keen on making a foldable windshield, it did want to provide the Bronco with a very open-air feel so opted for an innovative removable roof design that doesn’t require the same horizontal roof support of the Wrangler that connects the B-pillars.
“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 (the tubes running from the windshield to the trunk),” Wraith added. “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.”