The Sasquatch package might be getting a stick.
Off-road enthusiasts are, by-and-large, thrilled with the all-new 2021 Ford Bronco. Ford managed to hit just about every single target it needed to in order to make a splash in the off-road SUV market, giving its new Bronco standard four-wheel drive, rugged body-on-frame construction, a solid rear axle, an available manual transmission, and best of all, an optional "Sasquatch" package with some seriously hardcore upgrades.
But if you'll recall, those last two items aren't available together, the seven-speed manual being reserved for the Bronco's base 2.3L turbo engine while the Sasquatch package can only be optioned with the 2.7L V6. That choice has riled plenty of Ford fans, who even started an internet petition to try and persuade the automaker to make a stick-shift Sasquatch.
Now, there's evidence that customers' cries might just have prompted Ford to change its tack, as Bronco Nation purports to have spotted a manual-equipped 2.3L Ford Bronco testing Sasquatch components in Utah. The SUV was wearing the Sasquatch's beadlock-capable wheels and big, 35-inch mud-terrain tires. Notably, the fender flares were removed, presumably to give those massive tires a bit more room to travel.
Here's where things get a little contentious, though; speaking to The Drive earlier this week, a Ford spokesperson said that the Bronco's "lineup and powertrain offering configurations [remain] as announced on July 13." Any claims that Ford is planning to offer the Sasquatch package with the seven-speed is "speculation," per the spokesperson.
Of course, whatever the powertrain lineup officially is at the moment, Ford might still be evaluating a manual Sasquatch to be announced as some future date. It's also possible that Ford is simply testing those beadlock-capable wheels and 35-inch tires on the 2.3L stick-shift Bronco because those parts will be available aftermarket through the Ford parts catalog. Remember, the automaker is launching its off-road SUV with a full range of official parts to woo the sort of enthusiasts who like to personalize their rides.
We're still clinging to the hope that the online petition worked, and Ford will indeed offer the Sasquatch package with a seven-speed manual.