The 2021 Ford Bronco is the most exciting enthusiast-vehicles to come out in a long time. Two pillars of its coolness are its seven-speed manual transmission option and Sasquatch Package that lets you add front and rear lockers, a 4.7 gear ratio, and big tires to any trim level. But now I hear Ford won’t let you buy both? This is an outrage.
First of all: Big shoutout to @oliverdueck on Twitter who thought to ask a question that didn’t even occur to me and Road Show for spotting the tweet. The way the Bronco’s spec sheet was laid out on Ford’s various websites dedicated to it, I was sure you could pair the Sasquatch Package with a stick shift Bronco. But as you can see from Ford North America Product Communications Manager Mike Levine’s response here, that ain’t the case.
The Sasquatch kit elevates the Bronco from “good platform” to “righteous off-roader” regardless of what trim level you spec it on, and you’re supposed to be able to order it with any of the Bronco’s trim levels. That’s a huge deal, because being able to pair extreme off-roading equipment like locking differentials (that help you get traction in severe terrain) and a super-short final drive (that will effectively make the truck feel more powerful at low speed) on the base model gives the Bronco a real edge over Jeep Wrangler, which makes you step up to the expensive Rubicon to get features like that.
But you can order a Wrangler Rubicon with a stick shift.
I understand Ford’s decision to not offer a manual transmission with both the 2.3 and 2.7-liter engine options, as that represents some mechanical complexity and significant cost. But to make a super cool off-road-focused manual with a dedicated extremely low crawler gear, but then not sell that with the other off-road equipment I mentioned a paragraph ago, I mean, what the hell!?
At least the Sasquatch parts will be available with both engines, but that just makes it even more ridiculous that Ford would even consider restricting it from being paired with the stick shift!
At least Ford’s guy has also been tweeting that the company’s “open to feedback” on the matter, so maybe by the time the Bronco hits Ford stores the Blue Oval will have changed its tune and let us spec a proper bare-bones manual-shift Bigfootmobile.
(Oh, also, Jason really wanted me to remind everyone that he was way ahead of the curve on using “Sasquatch” as a naming convention. He nailed it, as usual.)