Ford Patents Cool New Picnic-Ready Retractable Roof

Another cool patent from Ford could mean that the upcoming Bronco is getting a retractable cloth roof.

Don’t take too much from the body shown in this new patent filing, uncovered by Motor Trend. After all, engineers aren’t always stylists, and drawing something simple and boxy where it’s not important is just plain easier.

What this drawing appears to be isn’t just a boring old removable soft top like you might find on it’s biggest anticipated competitor, the Jeep Wrangler. This one looks to stay installed underneath the removable hard top. And it has a couple of different layer options. So you can keep the hard roof on. Or you can remove it and have a soft-top layer that keeps the wind and the rain out. Or, there’s a third option. Well, a fourth, because all-open is always an option. A mesh roof that will keep the worst of the sun off the top of your head, but still allow the wind (and some sun) in.

Even cooler, both soft options look to be stored inside a case much like the cargo-cover tonneau we’re already used to in SUVs and pickups. So it can be removed.

Finally, the patent shows that the cover can cover more than just the roof. It can be pulled in the other direction and used as an awning. Perfect for trailside picnics on nice days.

Now these are just patents, which means no guarantee of them being used on a real vehicle. But that won’t stop us from hoping.

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