Just yesterday, we reported on a curious trademark application from Ford. It was for something called G.O.A.T. Modes, which was further described in the application as “drive systems comprised of automatic controls for vehicle chassis and powertrain controllers, integrated as an integral part of a passenger vehicle.” Now, we have a patent application from Ford that could be related to that, as well as the forthcoming Bronco. The application talks about active suspension components, but according to speculation at Bronco6G.com, this tech could actually make the new Bronco dance. Say what?
The patent in question actually has a date of June 11, 2019. It’s called Systems and Methods for Vehicle Dynamics Assignment, and though the Bronco isn’t specifically mentioned, the lengthy patent description makes several references to off-road conditions and uses for active controls to engage or disengage four-wheel drive, raise or lower the ride height, and disconnect anti-roll bars for greater suspension articulation. There’s nothing saying such a system couldn’t be fitted to any Ford vehicle, but at the very least, it sounds like a perfect fit for Ford’s reborn off-roader.
Now, what about this whole dancing thing? The patent mentions several suspension modes with specific – and colorful – names. One is called Music Mode, and the patent describes this as a configuration “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.” Another setting called Entertainment Suspension Mode adds fuel to this dance-floor fire, suggesting the active components could “be triggered by a vehicle driver’s desire for non-traditional performance inputs, for example, entertaining.” Yes, these are actual terms and descriptions mentioned in the patent.
Other settings such as Freight Transporting Suspension Mode and Terrain Target sound a bit more normal, but then we get to Daredevil Mode. Again, that’s the actual name and given the description of this mode, it’s an apt one at that. According to the patent, “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.” All we can say at this point is holy crap.
Gallery: 2021 Ford Bronco Two-Door New Spy Shots
As Bronco6G points out, the dancing aspect could actually be an off-road suspension function designed to help the vehicle get unstuck from sand or mud. Of course, if you’re not fender-deep in a mud pit, the same kind of suspension articulation could well be entertaining for a crowd of people in a parking lot. Of course, there’s no guarantee that any of this will ever see the light of day – patents are filed all the time to protect ideas for possible future use. It’s likely we will see some kind of active suspension system offered for the Bronco, though having a choice of Daredevil, Music, or Entertainment modes for the undercarriage could be a stretch.
Source: US Patent and Trademark Office via Bronco6G.com