This is a pleasant surprise.
Deliveries of the Ford Bronco haven't begun yet, but initial orders show that the off-roader is already a massive success. Since its debut last summer, Ford has received 125,000 orders for the reborn off-roader but this overwhelming demand has resulted in delays for some customers who ordered certain options.
Wildtrak is the most popular Ford Bronco trim in the lineup, which is only available with a 2.7-liter V6 gasoline engine pumping out 310 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque and a seven-speed automatic transmission, followed by the Badlands trim. Ford also sells a base model with a 2.3-liter turbo inline-four engine and an available seven-speed manual transmission.
It turns out the Bronco's manual transmission option is more popular than Ford ever thought it would be. In a post on Twitter, Ford's Design Strategy Director, Ryan Tomorrow, revealed that manual transmissions make up 18 percent of all Bronco orders.
"18% of #FordBronco orders are for manual transmissions. Ford gave customers the choice, and they choose to #savethemanuals," Tomorrow wrote on Twitter.
That's a surprisingly high uptake considering the manual transmission is only available for the less popular 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It's also a pleasant surprise since sales of manual transmissions have declined in the US in favor of automatics.
Consequently, some manufacturers no longer give you the option to row your own gears, but Ford's revelation is an encouraging sign the manual gearbox is still far from dead. A manual also offers other advantages as it can give you more precise control when off-roading.
Thanks to its dedicated low-range crawler gear that has a ratio of 94.75 providing more wheel torque, the Bronco's manual transmission makes it easier to navigate rough rocky terrain at slow speeds, which explains why it's a popular option for off-road enthusiasts. By popular demand, Ford also now offers a manual with the off-road-focused Sasquatch Package.