Ford’s technology division outlined an idea for a removable hardtop that would go on a pickup truck in a patent published Thursday and filed back in 2018. Neat!
It’s important to note before you get too excited that the publication of patent is no indication that this is something Ford will actually produce, nor are the drawings contained in it necessarily indicative of future vehicle designs.
But, still, we now know folks at Ford are at least pondering the possibility of introducing a new droptop pickup truck to the market, which would be pretty cool and different. Besides the new Jeep Gladiator, convertible trucks haven’t really been a thing in the mass-market.
The only other example people might be able to cite would be the Dodge Dakota Convertible of the late 1980s which, uh, is rarely remembered with much reverence. Hagerty says less than 4,000 were sold between 1989 and ’91.
Ford’s new concept seems to use a hardtop, rather than a vinyl rag like the Dakota droptop had. The patent basically lays out the fact that it could be taken off to create “an open air experience” for passengers, and go on and off using guide rails and clips.
It’s not particularly likely that this concept is intended for the next Bronco SUV, since the patent specifically includes language that mentions a “pickup truck,” but it’s not unreasonable to imagine Ford might be thinking about how to offer a convertible version of the next generation Ranger to compete with the Gladiator once the Bronco does hit the market.
I did reach out to one of Ford’s PR reps for some more insight, but they declined to comment on future product, as company comms people typically respond to such questions. So we’re left to speculate for ourselves. Is a convertible truck something Ford should dig into or not?