The Internet may love the manual gearbox, but the take rate when it comes to actually purchasing a car is gradually decreasing and in many cars, it’s usually a single-digit figure. It’s the main reason why the three-pedal setup is slowly but surely dying, although some automakers are trying to save the manual by continuing to put a stick shift into their cars.
When Ford brought back the Bronco, enthusiasts were happy to see a seven-speed manual transmission with crawler gear. However, a closer look at the specs sheet shows you can only have it with the smaller 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine and you can’t get the clutch pedal with the Sasquatch Package. While Ford spokesman Mike Levine said the company is “open to feedback for those that feel otherwise” regarding the auto-only Sasquatch, for the time being, the manual has limited availability.
A new petition on Change.org aims to persuade Ford into offering the do-it-yourself gearbox across the range. At the time of writing, nearly 4,300 people have signed it, in the hope that they’ll be able to row their own gears in a Sasquatch-equipped Bronco and/or a version equipped with the beefier 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine.
As a refresher, there are a total of six trim levels available for the 2021 Ford Bronco, plus the sold-out First Edition. You can order the seven-speed manual only with the Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, and Badlands flavors, with Outer Banks, Wildtrack, and First Edition offered exclusively with the ten-speed automatic gearbox featuring Trail Control. The latter is effectively a cruise control system for slow trail driving.
The petition was started three weeks ago and it’s likely only a matter of time before 5,000 people will sign it. Whether Ford will take notice of it remains to be seen, but we’re hoping the Getrag-supplied ‘box will be added to more variants of the reborn off-roader.
As it stands, Ford has racked up more than 150,000 reservations at $100 a pop for the new Bronco and will begin to take orders in December ahead of next spring when customer deliveries are scheduled to commence.