And with seven gears, no less.
Given that the upcoming, reborn Ford Bronco is being based closely on the Ranger, we expected certain key elements to carry over from the pickup to the sport-ute. But we apparently assumed wrong when it came to the engine, and we may have assumed wrong when it came to the transmission, too.
Where the US-spec Ranger employs a 2.3-liter turbo four, we're now expecting the Bronco to pack a larger 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6. And where the Ranger comes with a ten-speed automatic, the Bronco, it seems, will get a new manual transmission from Getrag with as many as seven forward gears.
Specifications for the 5/6/7MT1550 gearbox show an adaptable configuration capable of handling 442 (or as much as 590) lb-ft of torque, in vehicles weighing up to 4,000 kilograms (8,818 pounds), towing up to 10,000 kg (~22,000 lbs), in rear-drive, all-wheel drive, and even hybrid setups, and with five, six, or seven forward gears.
In the latter, the transmission adds a low "crawler" gear below the usual six - the better for off-roading at low speeds. That would be very different than the seven-speed manuals offered in vehicles like the Porsche 911 and Corvette C6, where the seventh gear is positioned at the top for cruising on the highway.
The presence (or at least availability) of the manual transmission would ostensibly place the Bronco in an even more prime position to take on the Jeep Wrangler, which (like the Gladiator and Compass) is available with a stick. By contrast, the new Land Rover Defender is being offered (for the time being at least) only with an eight-speed automatic
Meanwhile the Ford Ranger is one of the few mid-size pickups that currently doesn't offer a manual here, unlike rivals including the Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma, and the aforementioned Jeep Gladiator - all of which offer the option to row your own gears.