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Ford Patents a Split Rear Hatch for SUVs

This is a week for patent news, apparently. Yesterday we reported on a GM application for a pickup bed extension system; we now learn that Ford has also filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), this time for a horizontally split tailgate or hatch for SUVs. 

This is nothing new; other vehicles in the industry offer this kind of rear opening. These include the Land Rover Range Rover, the BMW X5 and, more recently, the Rivian R1S. 

Deployment is straightforward: the upper section opens upwards, the lower section downwards. Is that an advantage? Some will think so, other might not. At least, the top section would be lighter to lift, and the bottom section would extend the cargo space, if necessary. 

At the same time, it's a feature normally seen in luxury models. A two-piece hatch is more expensive and can be more complex.  

Is Ford serious about this approach for future vehicles? We won't know until we see a model with it. Patent applications don't always result in the on-paper ideas becoming reality. 

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