Ford Bronco Sasquatch Package Could Get Manual Gearbox After All

  • Thursday 17th September 2020

In general, auto buyers in the US don't want a manual transmission. The new Ford Bronco isn't a typical vehicle, however, and it came as a welcome surprise when Ford fitted its off-roader with a seven-speed manual. Subsequently, there was disappointment in the Bronco ranks when Ford said it wouldn't be available with the beefy Sasquatch Package. Perhaps Ford is rethinking that decision.

There's evidence to suggest that this is the case. Several weeks ago, a fleet of Ford Bronco test vehicles was sighted at Moab, Utah for some extreme off-road evaluations. Bronco Nation was there as well, and some of the members even rode in a Bronco Badlands model with the 2.3-liter four-cylinder / manual transmission combo (below right). It didn't have the Sasquatch Package, but sleuths at the website discovered something very interesting later on.

Ford Bronco Sasquatch Package Prototype
Ford Bronco Sasquatch Package Prototype

Photo Credit: Bronco Nation

They obtained photos showing the same Badlands model (above left) riding on the larger 35-inch tires and Beadlock wheels from the Sasquatch Package. The fender flares were also removed, and it's believed there are some suspension changes as well. How do they know it's the same manual-equipped Badlands model? Ford places a yellow vehicle ID sticker on the top of the windshield of its prototypes, and the numbers for the Badlands model and the modified version match up.

Ford Bronco Sasquatch Package Prototype

Photo Credit: Bronco Nation

Is this a smoking gun that a manual option for the Sasquatch is coming? Not really – these are test vehicles after all, and the whole point is to test various configurations. However, Ford is aware that Bronco buyers are quite interested in expanded manual shifting options, both with the Sasquatch Package and the twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 engine.

The automaker certainly has time for a change of heart. The new Bronco won't reach dealerships until the spring of 2021 at the earliest.