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2021 Ford Bronco May Offer 7-Speed Manual Gearbox With Built-In Crawler Gear

Supplier Getrag has detailed a new transmission seemingly tailored for the new Bronco.

Kelly LinWriterBrian WilliamsPhotographer

We've heard that the 2021 Ford Bronco might get a Getrag-supplied manual transmission, possibly with seven speeds, and a newly revealed transmission from none other than Getrag has kicked the rumor mill into high gear. First posted to the forums on Bronco6g.com and FullSizeBronco.com, the news came from Getrag's own website, which details a new seven-speed manual transmission that can be equipped with a low-speed crawler gear. It seems perfect for the soon-to-be-revealed Ford Bronco SUV.

Getrag's own information points to the transmission being aimed at large rear-wheel-drive vehicles—implying a longitudinal engine configuration, which the new Bronco is sure to have—and being configurable for five-, six-, and seven-speed setups. The transmission can handle up to 443 lb-ft of torque, and supports all-wheel-drive applications.

Where things get interesting for potential Bronco use is the optional ultra-low crawler gear, which would stand in for the seventh gear in the seven-speed transmission configuration, and would act as a de facto low-range—minus a separate two-speed transfer case. With the low crawl gear, Getrag's new transmission boasts a sizable ratio spread—the gap between the lowest and tallest gears—of up to 11. Getrag says the transmission is even compatible with hybrid powertrains, so maybe we'll also see it in the Ford Bronco Hybrid. A stick-shift, off-road-focused hybrid SUV? What is this world coming to?

Assuming this nifty stick-shift setup is indeed headed for the next Bronco, it wouldn't be the only transmission choice. Ford is widely expected to offer a 10-speed automatic, as it does in the Ranger and F-150 pickup trucks, and either transmission could bolt up to a version of the 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbo-four from the the Ranger or a more potent V-6 pulled from the larger F-series. It shouldn't be long until we find out if Ford will really offer a seven-speed manual (or any manual, for that matter) on the revived off-road nameplate (we also will then know if the other breaking Bronco news, its paint color options, is true). The 2021 Ford Bronco is expected to debut this month and go on sale in early 2021. A smaller model, reportedly called the Bronco Sport, will be revealed in April and hit the market later this year.