By on April 16, 2020


The upcoming Ford Bronco and its baby sibling, Bronco Sport, have been inspiring a lot of dreaming around these parts.

We’re even dreaming of a Bronco that dances.

No, that’s not a quarantine-inspired fever dream. It’s inspired by a new report from Motor1 that suggests that the next Bronco will, indeed, be able to two-step. So to speak.

Seems that yesterday, the folks over at Motor1 reported on a trademark application from Ford for something dubbed “G.O.A.T modes”, as in “greatest of all time” – a phrase sports fans will be familiar with, especially if they’ve ever argued with New England fans (like Sully from Southy) about Tom Brady’s place in football history.

The description in the application details “drive systems comprised of automatic controls for vehicle chassis and powertrain controllers, integrated as an integral part of a passenger vehicle.” Apparently that dry-sounding technical speak has a deeper meaning.

A patent application from Ford that refers to active suspension parts could be related to the trademark filing. It dates back to last June and it’s named Systems and Methods for Vehicle Dynamics Assignment. Bronco isn’t mentioned by name, but there are references to off-road driving, as well as to controls that engage and disengage four-wheel drive, lower or raise the vehicle’s ride height, and allow the driver to disconnect the anti-roll bars. That last element pertains to off-road situations requiring greater suspension articulation, similar to how Jeep offers the ability to disconnect sway bars on the Wrangler and Gladiator.

So even if the name Bronco isn’t mentioned, this system seems tailor-made to the upcoming off-road-oriented SUV.

Sounds like standard modern off-road tech so far. Here’s where the “dancing” part comes in. Sentences in the patent filing include this description of a “Music” mode: “To dynamically adjust a suspension height of the vehicle to achieve a target suspension height computed as a function of characteristics of a music tone or beat that is desired by the vehicle driver.”

And there’s also an Entertainment Suspension Mode described thusly: “…triggered by a vehicle driver’s desire for non-traditional performance inputs, for example, entertaining.”

Other possible modes sound like standard fare – one for hauling a load, another for adjusting to the terrain. Most modern off-roaders and soft-roaders have some sort of drive mode meant to manage terrain. So now we’re back in the world of the mundane, until we see this: Daredevil Mode.

One can only hope an image of Evil Knievel on the dash or mode-selector marks the choice, because here’s what the filing says about it: “the vehicle’s suspension height may be mapped to the target suspension height such that the vehicle can be driven on, for example, two and/or three wheels without overturning to achieve the daredevil driving experience.”

As noted by the forum that first reported on this, that mode may just be meant to get you out of an off-road jam.

It’s not a given these modes will make production, but for the sake of hope for a post-pandemic future that embraces the fun we’ve been robbed of so far this year, we sure hope so.

[Image: BroncoSportForum]

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