Removable hardtop panels are awesome, but they can be a bit of a headache if they can’t be stored somewhere in the vehicle when they’re removed. GM came up with a clever solution for the Hummer EV, using its massive motorized frunk to store its four removable roof panels in a stack of “pizza box” holding bins. Ford also made it a priority to store the roof panels of the Bronco onboard as well. The frameless doors, too. Meanwhile, Jeep offers similar functionality with onboard storage for the Wrangler and Gladiator for its roof panels. However, engineers have figured out a way to take things a step further.
In the case of the JT Gladiator, Jeep appears to be working on a method to store the truck’s set of roof panels onto a hardtop tonneau cover that would affix itself onto the truck bed. This in turn would keep the bed of the truck functional, and open for storage of gear, groceries, and so forth.
Jeep Gladiator Hardtop/Bed Cover Patent Details
A patent filed to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on May 19, 2021, and published on September 2, 2021, shows a diagram of a JT Jeep Gladiator with multiple hard top components being removed from the roof, and locked into position atop of the truck bed onto a solid tonneau cover. The roof panels are locked into position manually with a rotating lever.
While we may never see this patent go into production, we’re willing to place a bet that we may see something like this from Mopar by the 2022 SEMA Show, one of the Overland Expo events, Detroit 4Fest, or another event that celebrates the modularity of the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator. Of course, this storage solution is unique to the Gladiator due to its truck bed. For the JL Wrangler SUV, you’ll just have to stack the roof panels in the back for now.