Ford promised to listen to Bronco customers calling for its seven-speed manual transmission to be paired with the Sasquatch off-road package. One publication thinks Ford is doing just that, and the evidence is intriguing.
(Updated Monday, September 21, 1:50 p.m—Ford confirmed Monday morning that the company will offer the Bronco with both a manual gearbox and the Sasquatch package)
Ford Bronco fever swept the nation two months ago as the long-awaited SUV made its multimedia debut to the masses. The hype seemed justified, but there was one problem: Ford had no plans to let customers pair the manual transmission with its epic Sasquatch off-roading package.
If you wanted to climb rocks to get out of the dealership lot, it seemed an auto was your only option. Naturally, shock and horror rippled across car twitter and much lamentation was heard in the comments of Jalopnik’s multiple Bronco posts. But lift your tear-filled eyes towards the heavens for there is reason to hope. Bronco Nation reported Wednesday that it spotted a Bronco test mule rocking 35-inch tires as well as other signs that this is a manual Bronco with the Sasquatch package:
Bronco Nation was on the ground for durability testing in Moab, UT several weeks ago where a 2.3L manual Badlands Bronco was used. We were able to ride in that Bronco, but at the time it was running on 33-in., non-Sasquatch tires. Since then, Bronco Nation has obtained additional photos of this same testing unit now equipped with 35-in. tires and what appears to be the Sasquatch package. We are able to confirm that it is the same unit based on the vehicle I.D. (Vehicle 301W412) number found on the yellow sticker at the top of the windshield.
In addition to the larger tires, new bead-lock wheels (right) now take the place of the multi-spoke wheels we saw on the 33inch tires (left). Furthermore, the fender flares have been removed on the Bronco that sports the larger tires and new wheels. With this information, our technical team has concluded that testing is underway for what we believe to be a manual option for the Sasquatch package.
It’s pretty rare for a company to react so quickly to consumer demands, but when it comes to a money-printing machine like the new Ford Bronco, it is wise to give the rabid enthusiasts of your product what they want.
Besides officially eradicating polo in Africa and the Hamilton musical appearing on Disney, the Bronco is the only good thing to happen in this crap year so far. The lack of a manual with the Sasquatch package was the only thing that sullied it, but now it looks like we might have a reason to slide the Bronco firmly back into 2020’s vanishingly small ‘win’ column.