It’s no secret that the 2021 Ford Bronco shares a few similarities with the new Jeep Wrangler, the most popular of which is the addition of removable doors. But according to recent reports, the Blue Oval almost included another Wrangler feature: a folding windshield.
Ahead of its big reveal, the revived Bronco was rumored to carry a foldable windshield just like its rival. However, the final production version showed a permanently fixed front glass instead.
In an interview with Ford Authority, Paul Wraith, chief designer for the Bronco, explained why they opted to do away with the foldable windshield.
“[A folding windshield] brings with it some problems,” Wraith said. “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.”
He added, “What we actually really wanted to do is to provide a very open-air feel, thin out the pillars as much as we could. So when you look at tradeoffs, we think we made the right one.”
With the folding windshield off the table, Ford instead went with the removable doors, while the airbags are placed within the tubular structure in order to maintain passenger safety. This decision also gave the four-door variant enough cargo space to accommodate the doors. Plus, the pillarless architecture allows the windows to be rolled into the doors for compact storage.
Ford has started the production of the 2021 Bronco SUV, with the first few samples expected to arrive in spring next year.