Just when you thought manuals in trucks would soon be dead for good…
If you lament the fact that you can count the number of modern trucks with manual transmissions on one hand, this comes as welcome news. Sources close to Jalopnik disclosed Ford may end up putting a seven-speed manual in the 2020 Ford Bronco. Yes, a seven-speed manual transmission (here’s looking at you, Chevy Corvette and Porsche 911). The company reportedly went to Getrag to source the transmission – dubbed MT-88 – for the highly anticipated Bronco revival. That transmission will likely come paired to Ford’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine, currently used in the F-150 and across some Ford and Lincoln cars.
This new seven-speed transmission is an evolution of the six-speed MT-82 transmission Ford currently uses in the Mustang. According to the Jalopnik piece, Getrag has been working on the transmission – in six- and seven-speed variants – since 2015. The new model, internally designated 6/7MTI550, is capable of handling up to 550 Nm (405 lb-ft) of torque and has “high torque capacity at low weight”. Interestingly, Getrag also lists a start-stop system by way of gear detection in this seven-speed gearbox.
While there’s no official word from Ford on the matter, as you’d expect, this will likely stir enthusiasts’ attention in the Bronco even more, if it does come to pass. In an age where automatics are faster and more efficient, a manual 2020 Ford Bronco may likely remain a rarity or a special order option.