Off-road lovers must make a difficult sacrifice.
The 2021 Ford Bronco was announced just a few days ago but the most expensive First Edition model has already been sold out. Don't fret though, as other variations of the Ford Bronco including the Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Badlands, and WildTrak are all still available to be pre-ordered with a $100 deposit. Any of these trim levels can be equipped with the new Sasquatch package, which is cleverly named because the Sasquatch (aka Big Foot) has large feet.
This package, which is optional on all trims and standard on the WildTrack, includes 35-inch tires (hence the big feet) with 17-inch bead-lock-capable wheels. It also adds front- and rear-locking differentials, Trail Control, a 4.7 final drive ratio, and raised suspension with high-clearance fender flares. Off-road enthusiasts should opt for this package but they may be forced to make a sacrifice when doing so.
Ford spokesperson Mike Levine confirmed on Twitter that, "Sasquatch is only available with the 10-speed automatic." This means no matter if you choose the 2.3-liter turbo-four of the 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6, opting for the Sasquatch Package will lock you out of the optional seven-speed manual transmission. "We're open to feedback for those that feel otherwise," Levine added, leaving open the option that Ford could change its mind on this decision if enough customers complain.
After numerous fans complained on the Twitter thread, Mike went on to say "Send along feedback. We wouldn't have the badass and amazing #FordBronco we do without listening to customers. This is just the start." This proves that the Bronco is an SUV for enthusiasts and Ford knows this.
We assume this packaging decision was made because Ford's Trail Control system, which acts as a sort of off-road cruise control, wouldn't really work with a manual transmission. This is a bit of a shame considering Ford went through the trouble of offering the Bronco with a seven-speed manual featuring a low-speed crawler gear.
Manual transmission lovers will simply have to equip their 35-inch tires from the aftermarket. This doesn't seem like too much of a hardship considering most Bronco owners will likely modify their wheels and tires soon after purchasing. Besides, if you want the most off-road capable Bronco with the most power, it will be the 2.7-liter V6 model with 310 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, which is automatic-only anyway.