2021 Bronco Sasquatch manual option added as Ford relents

Chris Davies - Sep 21, 2020, 8:20am CDT
2021 Bronco Sasquatch manual option added as Ford relents

Ford has relented, and will offer the 2021 Bronco Sasquatch package with a manual transmission, the automaker has confirmed today. The decision comes after vocal enthusiast outcry since the new Bronco’s reveal back in July, after it was confirmed that Ford had no plans to offer its 7-speed manual gearbox with the optional Sasquatch package.

The Sasquatch package is Ford’s off-roading focused option, with a number of improvements for those actually wanting to take their truck into the rough stuff. One of the most significant changes are 35-inch Goodyear mud-terrain tires, which are fitted to 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels.

However, Sasquatch-equipped Bronco also get Dana front and rear electronic locking axles with a 4.7:1 final drive ratio. There’s also high-clearance suspension and an increase in track, almost two inches wider than on the regular Bronco. Position-sensitive Bilstein shocks and wider fender flares round out the changes.

That all bode well as would-be Bronco owners sized their new trucks up against Jeep’s Wrangler, except for one frustrating detail. Jeep’s Rubicon package – its own more off-road focused option – could be had with the Wrangler’s stick-shift. The Bronco’s Sasquatch package, however, as limited to the 10-speed automatic.

It didn’t go down well, and has probably been the biggest point of complaint over the intervening months as Ford takes reservations and prepares for Bronco production early in the new year. Rumors of a reprieve for the Sasquatch/manual combination began over the weekend, when a truck with both was spotted in the wild. Now, Ford has confirmed that it will indeed be offering it as a customer option.

“The Bronco community spoke and we heard them,” Mark Grueber, Ford Bronco consumer marketing manager, said today. “Our team moved quickly to add Sasquatch with a manual transmission – another example of our focus on giving customers the best possible off-road vehicles and accessories that we can.”

Sasquatch will be offered across the full 2021 Bronco range. It’ll be optional on the Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, and Badlands models, while the Bronco Wildtrak and First Edition models will have it as standard.

So equipped, there’ll be a maximum crawl ratio of 94.75:1, Ford says. With the Badlands truck with the Sasquatch option, the bigger tires and other changes will be combined with a semi-active hydraulic front stabilizer bar disconnect, too. You’ll be able to get the combination on both the 2- and 4-door versions of the Bronco.

The only downside, really, is availability. Ford says that, if you want a 2021 Bronco with the 7-speed manual and the Sasquatch package, you’ll have to wait until late 2021. That’s a fair degree later than the first deliveries scheduled for spring 2021, but those who want the very best competition to the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon may decide it’s worth demonstrating some patience.

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