Word Around the Campfire Is That the 2020 Ford Bronco Will Have 33-inch Tires and a True-to-Life Manual Transmission
This is as good as a shot of adrenaline for purists who weren’t sure if the Bronco will be offered with a manual transmission or notby Sidd Dhimaan, on
There is no denying that the upcoming Ford Bronco is the most anticipated vehicle at the moment. It has been in thr news constantly for almost a year now. The Corvette C8 kind of stole its thunder, but now that the mid-engined car’s hype has died down,the Bronco is back in the limelight in all its glory. From all the rumors and leaks surfacing online, it seems as though Ford is investing a lot in the Bronco so that it lives up to its credibility. When it comes to a hardcore off-roader, there are some things we purists can’t compromise on. And, it looks like Ford, too, knows this. This news will make a lot of you grin ear-to-ear. The new Ford Bronco could be mated to a manual transmission! Ford could also offer 33-inch off-road tires. Could our day get any better?
Third Pedal Is Welcome Any Day
Ford is expecting the Bronco to be a runaway success; rather, the company is giving its all to make sure it is a runaway success. The latest way – that has come to light – to make that happen is by adding a third pedal and a stick shift to the off-roader. This shouldn’t come as surprise because the Bronco’s primary rival, the Jeep Wrangler, is also offered with a manual gearbox in the Rubicon trim.
The next thing is the addition of 33-inch off-road tires wrapped around 17-inch wheels.
The source of the report is from a reader of TFLcar who was given these facts by a Ford dealer. For a dealer to confirm such details about an SUV, which no one has seen to date and exists theoretically as of now, needs to be taken with a grain of salt. On the flip side, I see no reason that Ford won’t offer big, off-road tires on the Bronco.
We Have Heard About This In The Past Also
However, as for the manual transmission, this news has surfaced before as well; in October 2018, to be precise. According to Jalopnik, sources have told them that Ford has asked Getrag to build a manual transmission for the new Bronco. Dubbed the MT 88, it will most likely be paired to the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine and may have seven gears. Getrag has been working on a new manual gearbox since 2015, codenamed the 6/7MTI550. According to the transmission company’s website, the new gearbox is rated for 405 pound-feet of torque and is capable of use in all-wheel-drive configurations.
|Engine||2.3-liter EcoBoost||2.7-liter EcoBoost|
|Horsepower||270 HP||335 HP|
|Torque||310 LB-FT||380 LB-FT|
|Fuel economy city/highway/combined||21/26/26 combined||19/26/21|
|Transmission||10-speed automatic||8-speed automatic|
Two EcoBoost Engines In The Lineup?
But, recently, we learned that the Bronco will come with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine under the hood that makes 270 ponies and 310 pound-feet of twist. Off-Road.com reported that they spotted a listing on a Canadian Tire’s website that featured a 2021 model year "Ford truck" named Bronco with engine size listed at "4-140 2.3L DOHC."
Since the Bronco will share its underpinnings with the Ranger, and that truck is powered by the 2.3-liter EcoBoost mill, we can be sure of it making its way in here as well.
Considering that the Jeep Wrangler comes with a six-cylinder engine, Ford could also offer the 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost mill. How many mills will Ford offer on the Bronco? Going by Ford’s standards and the king’s treatment that the Bronco is receiving, you will be left spoiled for choices. There will be at least a couple more mills that will be offered through the Bronco’s lifetime.
Yakima To Take On Mopar
I’ve mentioned it a couple of times before and I’m coming back to it again. Ford has decided to take the Jeep Wrangler down for some reason. The Wrangler held a few strong USPs until now. For starters, it enjoys a long legacy, is respected and adored by enthusiasts worldwide, and needed a legendary moniker to give it a tough competition. Ford has that covered.
The Wrangler is a customization-friendly SUV and comes with a lot of accessories on offer, thanks to the bible, Mopar. Turns out, Ford got that covered as well.
The Blue Oval has teamed up with Yakima, an aftermarket company, to develop accessories for the Bronco. Now, we hear that the Bronco will also come with a manual transmission – something that Wrangler offers on the Rubicon trim. Do you need more examples?
Ford Will Break The Wrangler If Its Own Welds Won’t
As if these attacks from Ford weren’t enough to cause worries, Jeep is now facing investigations from the NHTSA as well. NHTSA is investigating the Jeep Wrangler this time for poorly welded frames that could affect the structural integrity of the SUV in the long run. In fact, this is not the first time this issue has come to light. In fact, this complements another complaint on a similar line from last year.
Apart from this, Ford will also be introducing ‘Raptor’ on the Bronco. It gets better.
This Bronco could feature a V-8 mill! But, given that the 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote will be retired soon, we are not sure how this will play out. The new 7.3-liter, V-8 mill will not feature in here. Hope we get some more news on this bit soon. But, hold on, its’ not over. Ford is even planning a Bronco-based pickup truck. This means even the Gladiator is not safe and is already on Ford’s radar.
The Blue Oval Is Coming For The Gladiator As Well
Given Ford’s expertise in the pickup market, it could actually blow the Gladiator out of the water. Sometime back, I wrote an article on the same topic and here are a few points in a nutshell that Ford needs to keep in mind to take on – takedown, rather, seeing Ford’s aggression – the Gladiator:
- Ford needs to make the Bronco pickup as versatile as the Jeep Gladiator
- Target the Gladiator’s customers instead of finding its own USPs and co-existing in harmony with its rival
- Launch an electrified version before Jeep comes up with the idea
- Make sure the Bronco SUV dominates the Wrangler so that customers see the superiority in this case as well
- Nullify the legendary ‘Gladiator’ moniker’s advantage by giving the Bronco-based pickup truck also the ‘Bronco’ badge.
|Engine||3.6-LITER PENTASTAR V-6|
|Type and Description||60-degree, V-type, liquid-cooled|
|Displacement||(cu. in. / cc) 220 cu. in. (3,604 cu. cm)|
|Bore x Stroke||3.78 x 3.27 (96 x 83)|
|Valve System||Chain-driven DOHC, 24 valves and hydraulic end-pivot roller rockers|
|Fuel Injection||Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless|
|Construction||Aluminum deep-skirt block, aluminum alloy heads|
|Power||285 HP @ 6,400 RPM|
|Torque||260 LB-FT @ 4,400 RPM|
Ford Is Going Berserk With Patent And Trademark Filing
Another thing that’s keeping the Bronco is news is the number of patents Ford has filed for the Bronco. There are a few confirmed names and we have speculated what they could be:
Bronco Outer Banks
- It could be a package with a lift-kit, all-terrain tires, etc., so you can rip the Bronco on muddy surfaces.
- Ford sells the Ranger with the ‘Wildtrak’ nomenclature in a few countries. If the Bronco Wildtrak will take any cues from the Ranger Wildtrak, then expect it to be a trim in the lineup, and not a concept or package.
- As the name suggests, this should most likely be a performance-oriented trim or a package.
- The Badlands may actually be exactly what the name says – an SUV to hover over the bad lands. It comes without the ‘Bronco’ prefix. Could it be similar to the Trailhawk package that Jeep offers?
– We suspect this one to be for the two-door Bronco, and not for a trim or package on the standard Bronco. But, Ford has filed two ‘Scout’ patents, one with ‘Bronco’ and one without. The other one could be a trim or a package, perhaps.
– Nothing new here as Ford uses Sport on many of its vehicles already. So, it could most likely be a variant on the Bronco.
– Rings a bell? This brings in a lot of nostalgia. ‘Maverick’ could be used for the entry-level trim, or a special edition, or even for a bespoke model. In all likelihood, Ford will launch a limited-edition variant for a revived SUV, similar to what Jeep with the Gladiator’s ‘Launch Edition’.
- There was news of Ford using ‘Rock Monster’ and ‘Tremor’ internally for the Bronco. But, going by the trademarks filed, ‘Tremor’ may not get the nod on the Bronco. As for the Rock Monster, it could be a concept model.
With all this hype built around the upcoming Bronco, it better be as good as it seems as of now. The manual transmission news is sure to make a lot of folks happy out there. Do you think the Bronco will live up to these expectations, or are we expecting way too much from the celebrated off-roader? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Ford Bronco.
Read our full review on the 2005 Ford Bronco.