Even before the resurrected Ford Bronco’s debut, we had conversations about those tie-down brackets on the off-roader’s hood here at Motor1.com. At the time, we weren’t sure about their exact purpose but eventually, it turned out they were made for people who want to strap oversized things, like kayaks and canoes, and transport them on the roof. 

A new patent that was initially filed with the USPTO back in May 2019 and was recently uncovered by the Bronco 6G forum hints the brackets could have another application. The brackets you see in the patent sketches below are slightly different in their shape than the ones that are already being installed on the Bronco. But, more importantly, they hide a little secret.

As Muscle Cars and Trucks reports, there’s an illuminated element attached to the brackets. According to the patent’s description, “the tie-down bracket includes at least one light” and “in this way, the tie-down bracket may function as one or more of a signature light, turn signal, cornering light, etc.”

Of course, a patent filing doesn’t necessarily mean what we see in the sketches will actually become reality. However, given the Bronco’s adventure nature and the fact that Ford will have hundreds of accessories for the off-roader, we believe we will see the illuminated tie-down brackets as an optional feature at some point in the future.

The 2021 Bronco is full of surprises - and some are even hidden to the naked eye. From the Sasquatch package to the ten interior draining plugs, to the countless customization options, the Wrangler’s biggest nightmare has something for everyone and we expect even more surprises to arrive in the future.

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