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Ford Authority

Jeep Wrangler Looks To Copy Ford Bronco With New Half-Door Option

Despite singing a very different tune, Jeep’s actions in recent months are a clear indication that it’s rather worried about the forthcoming 2021 Ford Bronco. First, the automaker revealed the Jeep Wrangler 392 Concept on the same day the Bronco was unveiled. Then, it released a doors-off mirror kit that relocates the side mirrors to the body of the vehicle, just like the Bronco. Then, it sent out a memo to dealers trying to reassure them that the Jeep Wrangler can compete with the Ford Bronco, and that they had nothing to worry about.

Now, it appears the Jeep is moving forward with yet another feature intended to counter the Ford Bronco – half doors. The 2021 Bronco comes equipped with pillarless doors from the factory, which aid the open-air experience when the top is removed.

However, the JL Wrangler comes equipped with doors that have pillars. Fans have been asking for half-doors for some time now, and yet, the automaker has remained hesitant to make them, despite offering them on the previous-gen JK Wrangler.

In recent years, Jeep has teased a few different half-door designs, including when the JL Wrangler was revealed back at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show. It also said at that time that half-doors would be available as an option beginning in the 2019 model year.

Then, it revealed the Jeepster Concept, which was wearing half doors, at the 2018 Easter Jeep Safari. And most recently, the 392 Concept was also sporting a set of half doors. And yet, Jeep has yet to offer them as an option for Wrangler buyers.

Now, we’ve spied a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited out testing while wearing yet another set of concept half-doors. It’s entirely possible that the timing is a coincidence since Jeep has been batting this idea around for a few years now, but it sure seems like the automaker might be speeding up the process since its forthcoming rival is applying some pressure to do so.

These new half-doors feature fabric windows with front quarter windows and a large opening in the center. They’re very similar to what we saw on the 392 Concept, and perhaps more notable, it’s the first time we’ve seen half-doors on a production model JL Wrangler.

But even though looks are subjective, we can’t help but think that these are a step back in the looks department for the JL. They just look cheap and somewhat of an afterthought, compared to the nicely integrated appearance of the Bronco’s doors. But as is always the case, buyers will ultimately decide which design they like the most and vote with their wallets.

We’ll have more on the Wrangler and Bronco’s renewed rivalry soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Bronco news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. Frank

    Not that I support the new Jeep’s but the are the original makers of the half doors from back in the 70s and 80s not sure if it was in fact if it was amc or Chrysler but the they were available with steel and or fiberglass half doors the top half slid out on steel rods I owned 4 Jeep’s from a 66 willys CJ 5 a 76 AMC cj5 and a 85 amc CJ 7
    and Chrysler Corp. wrangler YJ I had aftermarket half doors on both cj5s the CJ7 and Yj also both had half doors the yj came factory option with full or half doors
    Sorry Ford !

    Reply
  2. Darren Roos

    Haha! Copy Ford?! Do your homework Mr. Foote. Jeep has been using half doors for decades.

    Reply
    1. Brett Foote

      Clearly you read the headline but not the article.

      Reply
      1. Darren Roos

        An article with a false title is not worth reading Brett. Besides, considering everything Ford has done to create a vehicle that mimics the Wrangler, to call Jeep the copycat is pretty hilarious.

        Reply
        1. Brett Foote

          Since you refuse to use actual logic or facts to make a point, I’ll summarize it for you.

          1. Jeep said that it would offer half doors for the JL Wrangler for the 2019 model year back in 2017 when it was revealed.

          2. Jeep has not yet delivered on that promise.

          3. Now that the Bronco has been introduced and comes with frameless doors, Jeep is suddenly testing a regular, non-concept JL Wrangler with half doors for the very first time, a timeline that would insinuate they were motivated by what Ford did with the Bronco.

          4. Ford and Jeep have been copying each other since World War II, as we’ve written about many times in the past.

          Reply
          1. Darren Roos

            Even though I can very easily argue and discredit your point about the motivation and timing of the MOPAR JL half door, my original point was the false information in the title “Jeep Wrangler Looks To Copy Ford Bronco With New Half-Door Option.” Half doors are “not new to Jeep Wranglers.” Clearly the fact that Ford is using half doors on the Bronco is one of many examples of where Ford is copying previous Jeep Wranglers ideas in their new Bronco design.

            Reply
            1. Brett Foote

              Half doors were used on the Bronco back in the 1960s as well. The article isn’t about who made them first, it’s about the fact that Jeep is suddenly going to offer them again after Ford decided to. But you’d know that if you read it.

              Reply
              1. Darren Roos

                With that same logic, does that mean if Ford ever has a new V8 Bronco option in the near future (even though past Broncos have had V8 engines) it is “only” because the new Jeep Wrangler has a V8 option? I look forward to your article “Ford Bronco Looks To Copy Jeep Wrangler With New V8 Option” when that happens. 🙂

                Reply
              2. Darren Roos

                Have you looked at pictures/video of the new Jeep Wrangler at its unveil at the 2017 LA Auto Show? Pretty sure they show a new red Wrangler with half doors. So yes, the idea and design for half doors on the new Wrangler was already there in 2017 and not something they “suddenly offer after Ford decided to.” If you want to talk about not delivering on promises, let’s talk about that slippery Bronco Sasquatch availability date.

                Reply
                1. Alex Luft

                  Ok Darren. Darren ok. Riddle me this – why did it take FCA four years (FOUR!!!) to bring half doors to market? What’s the reason behind that? Could the reason be summarized as “pressure from the Ford Bronco”?

                  On a separate note, the implementation of what’s seen in the photos does not look great nor inspire confidence. So the fact that it took four frigging years to bring to market is almost embarassing.

                  Face it – the Bronco is putting pressure on Jeep. You should be happy that this it taking place. With competition, everyone wins.

                  Reply
                  1. Darren Roos

                    Good question Alex. Here is your answer: Anyone that knows anything about automotive sales and marketing know the value of releasing options in phases. New Jeep generations run for 10 years so why would they release every option on day one? Besides, I am sure that the EcoDiesel, 4xe, and 392 were a little higher on the priority list than 1/2 doors. Also considering that there are many options for aftermarket 1/2 doors and historically factory 1/2 doors never been high demand, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that they have been on the backburner. In fact, I don’t even see Jeep investing time or money advertising the release of the 1/2 door (proof alone that they aren’t released as “pressure from the Bronco”).

                    Riddle me this Alex, Jeep waited a year or two before releasing the adaptive cruise control option in the new Wrangler. Does that mean that by do so they have “copied” every other automobile that has advertised adaptive cruise between 2017 and now?

                    Ford fans want soooo bad for the Bronco to be a rival to the Wrangler that articles like this make me laugh.

                    Reply
  3. Brett Foote

    A comment on an article without reading it is worthless, and there’s nothing false about the title in the least bit.

    Reply
    1. Darren Roos

      Using a false title and then clarifying the truth buried in the article is called what, click-bait?

      Reply
      1. Alex Luft

        Are you upset about the headline, or about the fact that Jeep was forced to finally bring to market a feature it promised four years ago?

        Reply
        1. Darren Roos

          Not upset but yes, it’s about the headline. The word “copy” implies that someone had an idea first and then someone else used the same idea. The author used that word as click bait in the headline and then did a 180 in the article admitting that Jeep has a long history of using 1/2 doors and that the 1/2 door was part of the JL generation Wrangler debut in 2017. The only 1/2 door in the debut of the Bronco was CGI, Ford copied the idea of the viewport hole in the door, and still doesn’t have a Bronco on the road with a 1/2 door…so who “copied” who?

          To state the facts the headline should have said, “Jeep is street testing the 1/2 door they debuted in 2017 and will be probably be releasing it to the public as an option in the future.”

          Reply
  4. William Wolf

    hahaha, I love that the author is defending his super misleading title down here in the comments and just keeps digging deeper. I did read the whole article before I commented but had to wait a bit for my eyes to unroll themselves after the waste of time reading this. Trash “journalism” lost all credibility in my opinion.

    Reply
    1. Brett Foote

      If there’s one thing that’s abundantly clear here, it’s the fact that Jeep fans are obviously bothered by the new Bronco. Troll away, however.

      Reply
      1. Jason Cartmill

        Brett, the problem is that you are trying to say that jeep is attempting to mimic the bronco. Jeep isn’t.
        It’s the other way around.
        And half doors aren’t new to jeeps, not even remotely. ….as you admitted further down in your article.
        I understand your bias. It’s Ford Authority…you have to make it seem as though the Bronco is superior in every way and everyone else is just a copycat trying to keep up with Ford.
        Jeep fans aren’t worried about the Bronco. We welcome the competition and we can’t wait to see them out on the trails. We want to see them out there and find out what they can do. Of course, we’re probably going to be waiting for a while and you’re raving about a vehicle that people can’t even get.

        Reply
  5. Drewski

    I own an 05 LJ. I’m not a big fan of the swollen JK’s and JL’s, but I understand the marketing. I welcome the Bronco and will seriously consider getting one after a few years of production after they work all the bugs out. This article is pure incendiary clickbait. Competition breeds innovation. Getting one side riled up against the other is stupid and tribalistic. The Bronco coming out is a win for Jeep lovers too. Both companies will have to try harder to compete.

    Reply
  6. Jeremy Moore

    This doesn’t make me want a Wrangler over a Bronco. I’ll happily take Ford’s varied unreliability over Jeeps guaranteed unreliability.
    *I own a 2019, high roof Transit with 80k miles on it. It’s in for its third double manifold replacement🤦 My AWD Escape Hybrid is still kicking ass with 190k and has never needed anything but regular maintenance.

    Reply
  7. Stud Studly

    Did you really just say that Jeep is copying Ford on half doors?
    Jeep has had half doors almost since it’s inception during WW2.

    Ford is copying the Jeep half doors.

    Reply
  8. John

    Umm what?! Jeep has had half doors since the 80s. The current JL had a set on the promotional models back in 18. The previous JK even had them. What stupid headline is this?

    Reply
  9. Click Bait

    The headline is a perfect example of #fakenews. I had hoped that we left this kind of misleading journalism in 2020.

    Reply
    1. Keep calm and carry on

      I feel that your comment is inaccurate and demonstrates that readers are falsely labeling things they don’t agree with as fake news these days. So you part of the problem.

      Yeah the headline provocative but it’s not exactly untruthful or inaccurate.

      Reply
  10. Jeff Yowa

    Are you dumb?

    Jeep has had this for 40 years

    Reply
    1. Jeep fan

      Did Wrangler offer half doors for 2018? 2019? 2020? Math or logic isn’t a strongsuit, eh?

      Reply
  11. Dave P

    Brett, the title is false. It clearly implies that Ford came up with the idea. Broncos look like great vehicles, but you don’t need to lie to sell them. You’re being defensive and you come off like a fan boy. Just own up to it and change the title.

    Reply
    1. S. Lane

      Don’t get all upset just because a journalist calls you out in the comments for calling him out.

      To me it seems like the Jeep fanboys can’t stand the fact that Ford pushed Jeep into finally bringing out the half doors it promised years ago. Don’t think there’s any falsehood in that. Both are great vehicles but man the Wrangler fans can get defensive.

      Reply
      1. Just another troll

        They didn’t push anything. The date for launching the half doors was late last year since we’ll before the Bronco was even out running around in mule form. They got delayed due to removing the hole from the original design shown at the JL reveal. Ford then copied that and then quickly reported they aren’t actually making them. Probably for same reason lol

        Reply
  12. Sean

    I think the title is click bate to get Wrangler fans fired up. Then when someone commentes expressing their opinion, they get called a troll? I don’t think its a coincidence that everyone in the comments thinks the title is misleading.

    In reality you can order a Wrangler with half doors right now but the Bronco is nowhere in sight…

    Reply
    1. Alex Luft

      Let’s also point out the fact that “everyone in the comments” is a fanboiii of a certain competitor brand and is getting their panties in a wad.

      Just like you have your opinion, authors can also have theirs… especially when there is a solid amount of truth to the matter.

      Reply
      1. Sean

        Its clearly the click bait title. I think the “fanboiiis” you speak of are simply pointing that out. As Ford fans would if someone made an article titled “Ford looks to copy Jeep Wrangler with new body on frame off-road beast”. The Bronco is sick, honestly I can’t wait to get one in the household when we can finally order one… But to say Jeep copied them in any way is false.

        Reply
  13. Craig Mac

    Half doors have been in the Mopar parts catalog at least since I owned my first Wrangler JK in 2013. These are OEM doors, not aftermarket and they are still available for the current JL models today.

    Reply
    1. Jake from TN

      From what I know, half doors are NOT AVAILABLE for the Wrangler JL. This article seems to be pointing this out, so the headline and article are not false as there is some truth to the matter.

      Reply
      1. Reality

        They’ve been available to order since early November on the Wrangler

        Reply
  14. Charles

    I wouldn’t say the title is “false” but it is very much misleading. I will say this, it’s good Jeep has competition, it will bring out the best of both the Jeep and Ford and that’s a win win for anyone that buys them.

    It is although slightly sad the author has to get into arguments over the article written trying to explain off his ideals, there is obvious bias from both sides but that just seems childish, it’s an opinion based article not facts, everyone should see that.

    Reply
  15. Michael

    Congratulations!!! Your amazing research skills qualify you to write for any major news organization today. Just go ahead and quit your job because CNN etc are going to be blowing up your phone by monday!

    Reply
  16. Dylam

    My 1983 Jeep CJ7 had half doors so nice try with the “copy” crap. What a joke of an article.

    Reply
  17. Jmiklovic

    The original bronco was a Jeep knock off, this bronco is a Jeep knock off, the OJ bronco was a knock off of the blazer and ram charger… this bronco will come and go… I mean, if it ever actually comes.

    Reply
  18. Nate

    Jeep releasing the 392 on the same day as the bronco is one thing. Jeep half door article saying they copied bronco doors is a stretch. If Jeep made a frameless door with a roll down glass window (which what I hoped to see) I would agree. But they are just making an accessory for their current Jeep.

    Try again.

    Reply
  19. Garry Johnson

    This is proof that anyone can be a writer if you have a passion or interest. I own both Jeep and Ford. Why? Because I’m an adult and I don’t care about branding. I buy what I like. Also, real car guys don’t write articles about freaking doors. smh. Do better bro.

    Reply
  20. Joe

    Copy?! LMAO Jeep has had half doors since the military used them when they were first created! LMAO! EVVVVVVvvvverything Bronco is doing is a “copy”/“rip off” of the real and always will be the OG of off-road utility vehicles, the JEEP. Keep trying though, maybe one day the Bronco will earn at least a tad of the respect and history the Jeep has.

    Reply

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