Seven-speed Manual for the New Bronco? Could Be

A report published by Jalopnik details what seems to be an airtight theory that the Ford We’ve All Been Waiting For will be available with a seven-speed manual transmission.

“Say what?” you ask, doing a double take and spraying your glass of whiskey all over the keyboard (I had a similar reaction). Yes, boys and girls, it may actually come to pass that the new Bronco will be a close-enough Wrangler competitor.

We know the Bronco might not look like the one shown above. Increasingly, though, that seems to be okay. With rumors like these, most gearheads should be able to live with a slightly crossover-ish Bronco.

From Jalopnik:

According to sources who spoke with Jalopnik, Ford has tapped Getrag to build a manual transmission for the upcoming 2020 Ford Bronco. The new transmission which is to be dubbed the MT-88 will be a seven-speed gearbox and will likely be paired with their 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine.

Excellent! The little EcoBoost V6 is not a bad engine at all, making north of 300 horsepower out of its relatively diminutive displacement. Keep in mind the Fox-bodied Mustang GT your author desired in high school only made 225 horses out of an engine nearly twice that size. Engineers at the Blue Oval already work with Getrag on the six-speed ‘box found in the Mustang, so this is all plausible.

Digging into details as only Bozi knows how, he went on to search LinkedIn profiles for current Getrag employees, finding:

… their engineering division in Germany has been working on a new manual transmission since 2015 that is internally called the 6/7MTI550. The base version of this project is the six-speed manual 6MTI550 which can be upgraded to a seven-speed version called the 7MTI550. This numbering scheme would fall in line with their previous projects as the Ford MT-82 was internally called the 6MTI500 prior to being installed on the Mustang.

See? That’s why we love this guy. He went on to explain that profiles of workers toiling at the Getrag plant in China, where the Mustang stickshift is made, make mentions that could refer to the seven-speed unit, as well.

Naturally, all hands are silent on the matter, giving the standard line that they don’t comment on future product. While the new Bronco might not bear the body of its revered predecessors, all these signs point to something that could bring some much needed competition to Jeep’s Wrangler.

a version of this article first appeared on thetruthaboutcars.com

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