Petition Asks Ford For Manual Transmission For All Broncos
You can’t make everyone happy. That’s certainly the case when it comes to product launches in the automobile industry. But, as I’ve written about, Ford did an amazing job with the launch of the 2021 Bronco.
The interest was immediate and high, so much so that the order bank got flooded and overloaded the server. And rumors have swirled that pre-orders of the two and four-door Bronco have gone over 250,000. More realistic numbers hinted at by Ford were closer to 150,000.
Still, if that’s the case, it’s safe to say the Bronco is an instant hint.
A petition was started on the website change.org to implore Ford to include the seven-speed manual transmission on all engines, all trims and all packages. As of now, the seven-speed manual transmission is only available on the 4-cylinder 2.3-liter engine and not available on the popular Sasquatch trim.
Here’s what the petition, started by someone named Kevin Flynn says:
“Off-road enthusiasts everywhere were thrilled with Ford's new Bronco unveiling - the pre-order website crashed and the First Edition version sold out within hours. Ford truly knocked it out of the park with features and design that calls on the decades of heritage.
However, many people have been shocked to find out that the touted 7-speed manual transmission option is NOT available with the off-road Sasquatch package OR the higher output 2.7 V6 engine. You can only get the manual transmission with the 4 cylinder without Sasquatch package.
We believe Ford is missing an opportunity to both honor the heritage of the vehicle and to also give enthusiasts what they want. Ford should offer the manual transmission with any combination of engines or packages. Ford has said they are open to the community's feedback, and this is our feedback: save the manuals!”
The petition is available here to sign.
What Trims On The 2021 Ford Bronco Have A Manual Transmission?
In both the two and four-door versions of the Bronco there’s a seven-speed manual transmission option. I thought that would be enough to placate the old schoolers who feel in love with the 70s and 80s Bronco with a manual transmission.
As I said, you can’t please everyone all the time. The seven-speed manual transmission is only available on the 2.3-liter engine and is available on all trims of the Bronco, except Wildtrak.
Where the originator of this petition take offense is that if you add the Sasquatch package, you must forego the 2.3-liter and thus the manual transmission, and opt for the 2.7-liter Ecoboost with the 10-speed automatic.
First off, I love this trim name for the Bronco. In fact, all of the Bronco trim names are fun and jive with the fun, whimsical side of Bronco life.
My colleague Marc Stern did a nice story on the Sasquatch trim. This package should be incredibly popular with enthusiasts as it comes with 35-inch all-terrain tires, electronic-locking front and rear axles, high-clearance suspension, Bilstein shock absorbers and high clearance fender flares.
To get all that, you must also forego the manual transmission in favor of a 10-speed automatic transmission.
I guess the creator of this petition doesn’t want this Sophie’s Choice-like decision and wants a manual transmission for all trims and all packages.
This all makes sense to me, somewhat, but I do also admit that there was some confusion on Ford’s website regarding what trim(s) did and didn’t have the manual transmission. Ford’s PR department helped me figure it out.
I know a thing or two about creating petitions for Ford, as I was the originator of the #NotAMustang petition begging Ford not to call the all-electric Mach-E a Mustang. While that petition got great attention nationally, it accomplished almost nothing. Sure some Ford execs likely heard our voices, and that’s ultimately the point of a petition, the Mach-E is going into production with the Mustang badge and name on it. Whether I like it or not, and whether the 50,000+ people who signed it like it or not.
As for this Bronco petition, I admire your spunk and your gusto, but I think it will fall on deaf ears. Ford spent a lot of time product planning the Bronco and they have their reasons for excluding the manual from the Sasquatch package and the Wildtrak trim. What those reasons are, are likely financial and related to engineering costs. Just be glad they didn’t slap the Bronco logo on a car!
Keep in mind that less than five percent of the car-buying consumers are even interested in a manual. So catering to such a small buyer doesn’t make a lot of financial sense. And hey, at least Ford offered up a manual transmission for most of the new Bronco.
I'd love to hear who is ordering a Bronco with a manual transmission. My guess is, despite the excitement and interest that the manual transmission orders will still hover around five percent. Leave me a comment and tell me if I'm wrong.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.