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New Wrangler rear window?

by Patrick Rall on

A new Chrysler patent application shows a unique full folding back glass design, and while this patent isn’t officially related to the Jeep Wrangler, it is used for the illustrations, and there is no vehicle in the current lineup that would accept a design like this as well as the Wrangler.

DSC_1775

The lengthy patent application shows a new backglass design for a vehicle that has a very flat rear face, a flat roof, an angle of roughly 90 degrees where the body lines meet, and backglass that opens independently of the surrounding body work – all of which suggests that this Is the next generation Jeep Wrangler.

The current generation of the Wrangler has backglass that opens away from the bodywork with struts that hold it up high enough to access the entire opening for easier loading and unloading. On the 2014 Jeep shown here, the spare tire swings out of the way and the backglass opens upwards.

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This new patent application shows a similar design, with backglass that is hinged the same way, with similar struts and a similar shape. However, this backglass folds all of the way up to the roof, with clips built into the roof that allow the driver to open the backglass of the vehicle, pin it down, and drive away with a great deal more airflow (or just have it further out of the way for cargo loading). This design also has clips inside of the vehicle where the driver may clip up the struts after disconnecting them to swivel the glass up onto the roof.

full folding backglass 1a

The patent application states that the reason for including this system is to allow Jeep Wrangler owners to enjoy the open air feeling while the roof is attached, while allowing owners to be able to haul large cargo, such as lumber. Imagine pulling off the front roof portion of the current Wrangler, cranking down the windows, and folding the backglass up onto the roof – you would have almost as much of the open air feel as you would with the entire roof removed.

full folding backglass 3a

There are some objections on the Allpar forums. As an example, note the  amount of mud on the back glass of the Jeep shown above. If that window hadn’t been there, the mud would have ended up inside; and driving with rear glass open could cause the vehicle to pull in exhaust fumes if the front windows were not also open, or while idling at a halt.

full folding backglass 6a

Even with these  downsides, there are likely people who would love to be able to lock the backglass of their Jeep Wrangler open while driving with the top on, so the next generation Wrangler may include this as an optional package. There is also the possibility that this backglass design is intended for a fixed roof model that would offer the option to drive with the backglass open because the owner cannot remove the roof altogether. It could also serve as another “look what we have” item that will never get used.

The company may build in safeguards, such as position sensors, to ensure that drivers don’t leave the rear window open with the front windows shut and the full roof in place.

full folding backglass 9a

Chrysler may also simply have patented it to prevent other automakers from using it. This could be something that we may see on the next generation Jeep Wrangler, but it could also end up being an accessory item feature or nothing more than a protected design that we will never see on the road. Join the discussion.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.


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