More and more vehicles are using automatic transmissions to send power from the engine to the wheels. Even supposed sporty cars have been ditching manual transmissions in favor of automatic gearboxes. But the upcoming 2020 Ford Bronco could come fitted with a manual transmission, according to a report by Jalopnik.
Citing a number of sources privy with the plans, Jalopnik reported that Ford is tapping Getrag to develop a new manual gearbox for the 2020 Ford Bronco. The partnership between Ford and Getrag to develop a new manual transmission for the Bronco isn't surprising as the German company is also the one producing the manual gearbox – the MT-82 six-speed unit -- for the Ford Mustang. The new manual transmission for the new Bronco will be named as the MT-88. As per Jalopnik’s sources, this Bronco-bound transmission will be a seven-speed unit that would send power to wheels from Ford’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine.
According to Jalopnik, there is a possibility that the new MT-88 manual transmission share components with the MT-82 manual gearbox. Likewise, Ford may also decide to use the new MT-88 manual transmission for the next generation of the Mustang. Nonetheless, while the current plan has the new MT-88 manual transmission being fitted in the Bronco, the fact that the vehicle is still being developed means things may change as Ford gets closer to the official unveiling of the Bronco.
Interestingly, LinkedIn profiles of Getrag employees reveal a new manual transmission has been in development in Germany since 2015. Internally dubbed as the 6/7MTI550, this manual gearbox is offered a six-speed manual version (6MTI550) as the base, as upgradable to a seven-speed variant (7MTI550). The once internally called as the 6MTI500 became the Ford MT-82 once it was fitted on the Mustang. The 6/7MTI550 could be the future MT-88.
The 6/7MTI550 manual transmission, as per a spec page at Getrag’s Web site, is rated for 405 lb.-ft. of torque, which is suited to 400 lb.-ft. torque rating of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine.
Some employees at Getrag Jiangxi site in Nanchang, China – who also made contributions to the development of the MT-82 in the Mustang – have indicated in their LinkedIn profiles that they are currently working the MT-88 project. Interestingly, Getrag produces the MT-82 in Nanchang, so it is possible that it may also build the new MT-88 in the same facility.
Currently, only a handful of cars in the market employ seven-speed manual transmission, including the Chevrolet Corvette and the Porsche 911. By employing a manual gearbox for the new Bronco, Ford could be planning to take on the new Jeep Wrangler that can be availed with a manual transmission.