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JEEP WRANGLER COULD OFFER ‘DONUT DOOR’ DESIGN THAT THE FORD BRONCO WON’T

An FCA Design Patent Shows A Rather Curious Door Shape

2021 Ford Bronco Accessories Concept
2021 Ford Bronco Accessories Concept. Image via Ford.

Say, remember those slick-looking “donut” doors shown on the two-door Ford Bronco, at the time of its reveal back in July, 2020? Worn by a gussied-up tangerine-hued Bronco wearing a whole catalog’s worth of upgrades, those doors were expected to be among the slew of official Ford accessories available for the sixth-generation Bronco. Sadly, the Blue Oval promptly doused our hopes in cold water shortly after the SUV’s reveal, saying that the doors weren’t ever intended for sale. It’s a crying shame, too, because they’re a rather fetching, sensible alternative to the aftermarket tubular-steel doors (or half doors) sometimes fitted to off-road vehicles.

Jeep Wrangler donut door design patent
Image via USPTO

Jeep Wrangler Donut Door Patent Image Discovered

But the donut door concept might not be entirely dead; it just probably won’t be the Bronco that offers them. As The Drive reports, a recently-published design patent from Stellantis (then FCA) depicts a four-door Jeep Wrangler wearing eerily similar doors in the front and rear. The patent application was actually filed in May, 2017, but was only recently made available. Notably, that means that Jeep’s application came just a month after the JKU Wrangler “Switchback” concept (pictured below) was unveiled with essentially exactly the same donut doors that are depicted in this design patent application.

Donut doors like these would, in theory, provide essentially the same free, open-air-driving experience as a set of tubular steel doors for the Jeep Wrangler, but with a bit more safety, a clean factory look, and maybe a bit more door storage.

Jeep Wrangler Switchback concept. Photo via FCA.

It’s important to note that a design patent would in no way preclude Ford from making its own donut doors for the Bronco; design patents only extend to very specific product designs, and as far as we know, Jeep’s parent company has not been granted a utility patent on the donut door concept. But by the same token, just because Stellantis holds a patent does not necessarily mean that the company has any intention of ever offering such a thing for sale.

Still, we can hope.

Ford Bronco Donut Door Doors Accessories
Image via Ford Motor Company.

Written by Aaron Brzozowski

Aaron has held multiple positions in the automotive industry, from magazine videographer to dealership sales. And because his background isn't diverse enough, he's currently attending engineering school at University of Michigan Despite his expertise in covering the American performance vehicle industry, he's a devout Porsche enthusiast.

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