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Ford patents retractable exhaust outlet

Tall tail: The technology could also be used to indicate if PHEVs are operating on combustion or electric power.

Retractable exhaust tip aims to improve off-road clearance in Ford's 4WD vehicles

26 Oct 2021

FORD Global Technologies has filed a patent for a retractile exhaust tailpipe for off-road vehicles that the manufacturer suggests could improve off-road clearance and capability for its 4WD models.


Mounted at the rear of the vehicle, and in place of the existing exhaust tip, the system allows the exhaust pipe to be effectively shortened by retracting the last 150-200mm of pipe inward via an electronically-controlled actuator. 


The telescopic retraction of the tailpipe could improve vehicle clearance and departure angles, Ford suggests, while also making the exhaust system less susceptible to damage.


Ford’s retractile exhaust technology has been patented in both Germany and the US but the company has stopped short of listing which vehicles the system suits.


“The system comprises an exhaust tube mounted to an underbody of the vehicle, an exhaust tip slidably mounted to the exhaust tube, the exhaust tip having a plurality of extension shafts fixed on a second end, and an exhaust tip retract module positioned on the exhaust tube circumscribing an outer surface, the exhaust tip retract module having an actuator, a gear, and a plurality of bearings that mate with the plurality of extension shafter on the exhaust tip. In one example, the system reduced a probability of vehicle tailpipes contacting a ground surface in an off-road condition”, the patent application says.


It’s suggested Ford’s retractile exhaust technology could also be used on hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles as an indicator of whether the vehicle is operating on combustion or electric power.


It’s understood the mechanism, including its actuator, gears, and bearings would all be engineered to withstand excessive heat, dust, water submersion and ground contact.


Likely candidates for the new exhaust technology include Ford’s Bronco, F-150 and even the upcoming Ranger Raptor.

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Model release date: 25 October 2021

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